Thursday morning, before the shock even wore off, one of the first things I did was reach out on Twitter. When you feel like your entire world is crashing around you, what you need the most is to feel like you’re not alone. So I reached out. (Of course, I texted my boyfriend first.)
As I was packing my stuff and hailing down a cab, my phone was beeping. Within the first hour of reaching out, I had 3 people send me a private message with job information, contacts and emailing me to have lunch next week to talk about options.
Within the first half of the day, a friend had talked to her boss and gave me his contact information.
Within 24 hours, I had a successful phone interview, with a face-to-face scheduled for the 7th.
All because I announced my unemployment on Twitter. I reached out, and the people who have been there everyday networking with me were suddenly my lifelines.
In Washington, DC, I’ve always heard that it’s not what you know, but who you know. That is very true. Furthermore, with social media and networking tools making connections instant, it is also true in every city.
One of the job leads I received required fluency in Spanish. This was a job I’d never apply to since I don’t speak Spanish but my contact told me that if I have the other requirements, that was fine. I should submit my resume.
While Social Media can be used frivolously, as can any other form of communication out there, it can also be used to your advantage. It pays to network. You just have to remember that it is a tw0-way street. If you are using Twitter simply to announce to the world of your daily food intake, you won’t get very far.
Reach out to people who are of interest to you. They may not reach out back the first or the tenth time but when it truly counts, your networking will pay off.
Mashable gives this tip on how to use Twitter for networking:
“New User Advice: Think of Twitter as a cocktail party where you know a few attendees, but most are strangers. You wouldn’t stand in the corner and shout, “I’m very interesting!” You’d start with your existing friends, and gradually work the room through conversation. On the plus side, small talk is minimal at 140 characters.”
Do your research. Read articles on how twitter works (You can start with this one) and how you can use their tools to your advantage. Use the search function, follow hastags, create lists.
One of the lists that has been extremely helpful for me is my ‘dc-jobs’ list. I can sort through tweets quicker and instead of spending extra time scrolling through 5-6 different job lists, I have them all in one place.
I don’t have a new job yet but what I do have is a fantastic network of people continuing to grow everyday.
Just remember. It’s a two-way street. Interact. Own Twitter and make it work for YOU.
What are your favorite Twitter tools?
How do you use Twitter on a daily basis?
Have you or someone you know found a job using Twitter?
Any other tips?