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In 2006, Twitter took the world by storm and is now one of the most visited sites on the web with over 500 million users. People love Twitter for many reasons, but few know that it can be a very effective job-search tool. That "undiscovered territory" is what makes Twitter such a successful marketing tool to land a job. For those new to Twitter, here are the basics:

Profile: your first impression.

  • Choose a username (aka handle) that ties to your personal brand (like @icode) or use your name, as I did (@LukeShehata).
  • Add a photo that makes a good first impression. It should be professional, but it could also be eye catching in order to help make your tweets get noticed by an employer.
  • Create a bio that uses keywords from your résumé and include a link to your LinkedIn profile.

Hashtags – search and be found.

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  • Hashtags are like categories. They tell Twitter how to categorize tweets – such as what subject areas to place them in.
  • Job seekers might want to follow hashtags about their industry #pharmaceuticals or their profession #medicalsales and classify their tweets with these hashtags.
  • Follow companies of interest like @merck to watch for job postings. Many have specific handles like @staplesjobs.
  • Some of the top job general job seeking hashtags to follow are #jobsearch, #jobopenings, #joblisting, #jobposting, #jobhunt, #training, #recruiting, #needajob, #jobangels, #hiring, #hireme

Tweets – the art of communicating in 140 characters or less

  • Keep tweets short and sweet, using an online tool to shorten any URLs you include.
  • Share valuable content with your tweeps (Twitter People) – people follow helpful tweeters.
  • Show a little love and retweet (RT) the articles and info that your network is interested in.
  • Showcase your personality in your tweets and make them worth reading.
  • Tweet a company of interest with an idea. See if you can get a dialogue going. After demonstrating your usefulness, let them know you are interested in working for them.

Lists – keep it organized

  • Create lists to organize the people you follow and be a resource to others by sharing those lists with others.
  • Twitter provides a “who to follow” section under the “Connect” tab to identify affinity groups, people or companies to add your existing lists.

As a rising junior, I am under pressure to maximize my résumé for my launch into the professional world in two years. Staying on top of all the tips, advice, apps, and websites that are out there is part of my strategy. Twitter offers me a way to "play" in a less crowded market because it really isn't well known as a job search tool. Scaling back from six-page papers to 140 characters sounds good to me!

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