Social media is a twenty-first century revolution that has swept the globe. It has given billions of people new opportunities to share their voices, connect, and facilitate the type of discussion that helps propagate more revolutions. It has infiltrated television, movies, advertising, mobile phones, online education, and a whole slew of other niches that are heavily embedded in many peoples’ daily lifestyles. To say that social media is here to stay would be an absurd understatement. In a way, the world is moving towards virtual connectivity on a level that parallels the time when the Internet first became available for personal use.
One of the most interesting things about this connectivity is how it has redefined what it means to network professionally. In the old days, networking to leverage relationships for careers was a matter of putting on a suit and tie and heading out to dinner parties—but no longer is this the case. Instead, you can join virtual networks dedicated to this type of activity like LinkedIn, Plaxo, or Jobster. Sure: you might have to bring out the suit and tie once in a while, but you’re far more likely to score a job through the Internet than you are by hosting dinner parties today (unless you can afford it).
Twitter especially is a unique platform for finding jobs for companies whose visions you are passionate about. These days, especially with the advent of online education, more and more people are obtaining highly accredited degrees—the competition is fierce, and it has become extremely important to differentiate yourself and to establish an online presence that is credible, intriguing, and that piques the interest of employers you want to work for.
And now, the million-dollar question: How do you do it?
Establish an online presence
Employers love to find people who fit their company’s cultural and behavioral values. Do you know what those values are? Do you want to work for a tech firm that values a geeky understanding of computers and the Internet? Establish yourself as an authority and a pundit in the niche you’re interested in sweeping and you will likely attract the attention of unique employers. Do you tweet about industry-relevant topics? Do you demonstrate a singular knowledge for your realm of expertise? Do your insights give other people a better understanding of the way you think—the way you approach a problem, the way you interact with others? By establishing an online presence via Twitter (where companies are always watching and tweeting themselves), you can essentially sell yourself in an environment where hungry recruiters are constantly scouting.
Connect with recruiters on Twitter
Any smart company looking to hire fresh talent knows that the Internet is one of the first places to go. Recruiters are often required to use social media as a means for sifting through potential applicants, and you might find that your dream company’s best headhunter is more sociable than you think. Follow these people—watch what they’re tweeting about, and try to connect with them about openings at their company. So what if you find that they’re not hiring right now? The more you can expose yourself to the right people, the better your opportunities are of receiving an email one day that says “Hey, send me your resume!”
Expand your network with the right people
Make friends. Connect with relevant people on Twitter who work in your industry. See what they’re talking about, and get involved in creative discussion that establishes your unique voice in your specific niche. The more your network expands—just like in the real world!—the more you raise the chance for making a random connection that could lead to your next big break. And remember: none of this requires toasts of campaign over an expensive caviar dinner—this can be done from home. Or a café. Or a smartphone.
At the end of the day, your ability to solidify the authority of your online presence will translate into career wins that you never even thought were possible. It’s very common today for hiring teams to type your name into Google when considering your application—so why not give them something unbelievably stellar to judge you by?