If you still haven't found any use for Twitter, you're using it wrong. Twitter has half a billion registered profiles and—believe it or not—not all of them are used to get hourly Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber updates. Nor is it just a place to discuss what you had for lunch and other banalities.
Twitter is the best platform we have today to spread knowledge in real time. It's the easiest way to connect to experts in your field and become more knowledgeable about the latest trends. This can be a boon to your career, if you use the platform right.
Check out these savvy tactics to take full advantage of Twitter in your job search:
1. Fill your feed with relevant people. The best way to fill your Twitter feed with relevant, useful information is to follow relevant, useful people (no brainer!). To find them, first decide the topic you'd like to focus on. For instance, if you are vying for a project management position, search "project management" and click "people" on the left-hand module. Here, you'll find a list of users who mention your term in their bio—making them relevant to your search. Alternatively, search for your favorite company and you'll find executives and human resources folks who work there.
Then, pick and choose users who seem credible and interesting. Once you have a handful of folks, then it's like a snowball effect. Check out who each of them follow and retweet (RT) and follow away.
2. Use job search hashtags. For instance, some popular job search hashtags are #hiring, #recruiting, #joblisting, #nowhiring. Companies use these hashtags commonly to advertise positions. Use these hashtags to keep tabs on fresh job openings.
3. Make connections via Twitter chats. Twitter chats are the best ways to talk about specific topics (whether it's tips on job searching or a particular career niche) in real time. These chats give you a chance to ask questions and get insights from career experts. One moderator asks questions using Q1, Q2, Q3, etc. format. You answer using A1, A2, A3, etc. It can get annoying having to constantly refresh your page to update the conversation: To solve this, enter the hashtag into TweetChat for automatic refresh.
4. Manage connections using Twitter lists. The advantage of creating Twitter lists is to keep your feed organized. For instance, you can create a public or private list titled "career experts" and consolidate all career experts in one place. Then, you can go back to this group and fill your feed with tweets exclusively from career experts.
The advantage of using public lists is that folks are more likely to follow you back if they can see that you've categorized them. In other words, it means that you're not just a spammer.
5. Tweet relevant info. Now that you've filled your feed with folks who tweet cool, relevant content, you must remember to do your part. Tweet out links to trendy news stories you come across that have to do with your field, industry, or job. Add some commentary if space allows it.
If you have a professional blog, link to your latest posts or tweet questions and mention experts to get their insights. Keep your Twitter public (the whole point is to be seen and make connections), so when an employer Googles you and comes across it, he or she can tell by your tweets that you're immersed and well-versed on your job and industry.
Ritika Trikha is a writer for CareerBliss, an online career community dedicated to helping people find happiness in the workplace. Check out CareerBliss for millions of job listings, company reviews, salary information, and a free career happiness assessment.