To Tweet or Not to Tweet?
That is a question that many job hunters ask on their first day in job search. For the majority, the answer is “no, don’t bother with tweeting.” But wait, don’t log off yet.
Let’s put it in context and look more carefully. In case you haven’t tried it yet, Twitter is a micro-blog that publishes messages that are shorter and more frequent that ordinary blogs. Those “Tweets” are sent to your readers’ phones and computers, kinda like an instant message.
For job hunters, the central question with both blogs and micro-blogs is this: Who will read them?
With Twitter, you need to collect “followers” who volunteer to read your Tweets. It seems to me that you’re not likely to collect a whole lot of Hiring Managers inside of your targeted companies. Or even a whole lot of employees in those companies.
With a full-blown blog, the problem is exactly the same. If you know how to publicize your blog so it can be found among the millions of competing offerings, it could be a career and job hunting asset. If it is read by the right people. And if your content is useful to readers in your profession or industry.
The “if’s” are significant.
Unless you already have a following on Twitter or a successful blog, my suggestion is to forgo these approaches. There are many more productive areas where you can invest your job hunting time. Writing even micro-blogs is a time consuming process.
But reading blogs and Tweets is another matter.
For someone in job search, following Twitter feeds related to targeted companies can be useful. You can go to Twitter.com, search for the information you want by using keywords and sign up.
The same is true of full-scale blogs. Following the blogs of industry or professional experts can be useful for job hunters. Technorati.com is an easy place to go shopping for useful blogs. But writing a blog is useful only for the few who are strong writers and willing to learn the game of competing for readership.
What if you follow a number of Twitter feeds and some of the authors volunteer to follow yours? Well, if they’re the right people, it might be useful to tweet back now and then. For some people, Twitter can have some value as a social networking site.
But please, please don’t get too wrapped up in this stuff. The majority of job hunters still find jobs by talking real time to people they know and getting introductions from those “first generation” contacts to people at targeted employers. Blogs and micro-blogs can be useful tools. But blogs – and all the rest of the Internet – can also be the job hunter’s biggest time waster.