Now that I have covered some of the basics of Twitter (for those that didn’t know what Twitter was), I now want to show how Twitter can be used in real life situations. And with the job market being what it is, using Twitter to find employment opportunities seemed like a good starting point.
The universe of Twitter “tweets”
Twitter provides the following site to search user “tweets”:
While the site may appear “Google-esque”, you are trying to match the contents of 140 character “tweets”. So your search criteria needs to reflect how other people may have assembled or abbreviated their twitter content. For those not familiar with fitting content in such a small space, I talked about this in the previous blog entry entitled “You would be surprised what you can do with 140 characters!“
Searching Twitter for Job Opportunities
To demonstrate the nuances of Twitter searches, let’s assume we are looking for a “Project Manager” position. Using search.twitter.com, let’s try a few things:
Your initial approach might be to search using the words Project Manager. You will get a number of results, but upon closer examination you will see that some tweets use the words together and in some they are separated (i.e. Project Controls Manager).
By enclosing search terms with quotes (i.e. “Project Manager”), Twitter will only return those entries that exactly match whatever was in the quotes.
As we have seen, a tweet’s content can be maximized with the use of abbreviations (or misspellings). As you can never know what was in a given users mind when they created a tweet, you need to think outside of the box specific to your search terms. Continuing with our Project Manager example, try these search terms:
- “Proj Manager”.
- “Proj Mgr”.
- “Prj Mgr”.
- PM (not a good search term, because it returns time entries [i.e. 10 PM]).
Each of these searches will return a different set of results (and the content structure will vary as well). Also you can’t assume that a single search will find every possible opportunity/tweet — It may require multiple searches. My advice is to practice searching with a variety of terms / abbreviations (and misspellings). Over time you will learn how to effectively find the content you are looking for.
So what can you do with the Search results?
The following image is a partial screen capture from a sample twitter search. The areas I want to focus on are in RED
Things to consider…
- You should start by analyzing the content of each tweet. This will help you identify content applicable to you. It may also give you ideas for other search terms (i.e. abbreviations / misspelling)
- When you find a tweet of interest, you can click on the element I have marked as “Twitter Account”. This will bring up that user’s Twitter profile, which will allow you to read other tweets from them and/or follow that user if interested.
- Finally, clicking on shortened web addresses will bring you to a web site with more/related content.
And as an added bonus, if you have a smartphone with a twitter client installed — you could get real time notifications of these opportunities (based on who you are following)!
So, hopefully this provides you with some ideas that you can include as part of your job search. And as a convenience for those reading my twitter blog for the first time — here are links to previous/supporting posts: