graduate jobs This week the microblogging site Twitter launched its own online, European "job market". The idea was to invite and instigate more interactions between job hunters and companies looking for employees. With brands like GSK, John Lewis and cancer charity Macmillan getting involved it gave Twitter users the opportunity to learn more about the available roles at these large companies. The day was a relative success with interactions between employers and job hunters being informative and meaningful. This got me thinking about using twitter as a job hunting tool. Much of the information online about using Twitter as a job searching tool is directed at people further in their careers. Advice like becoming a "thought leader" in your field is banded around a lot, but for graduates looking to star their careers this advice is not exactly helpful. So what the hell's the point if you're not a respected authority in a particular area? How the hell is Twitter going to help graduates like you? Well it certainly can. Apparently, we are all now digital natives and there are trends to indicate maximising tools like Twitter and LinkedIn is the way that recruitment is happening. I am working on the presumption that explaining to you what a hashtag is or FF or RTing will be the same as taking 6 hard boiled free-range to nan's with educational intent.

Follow

This is perhaps the most obvious advantage of Twitter for graduate job hunters. Following the companies you want to work for or might want to work for allows you to learn more about them and especially over time come to understand the culture of the organisation. A couple of searches around "[company name] careers" or " [company name] graduates" will throw up plenty of accounts that could be of interest and will be the first to Tweet out about new roles and opportunities. Other advantages of being kept abreast of developments at a company you fancy working for is that your commercial awareness is vastly improved. A company's Twitter account should be one of the early points of call when preparing an application or for an interview.

RT: Real time

If, like me, you can't stay away from the social networking site, following the right people comes even more important. Once you are following the right people you're ahead of the game, in terms about learning about opportunities, having time to sculpt the perfect application or covering letter. The instantaneous and real time set up of twitter is also very important. For example, if you see a Tweet appear in your feed, employers are often able to interact with graduates in real time to help you quickly solve issues and satisfy your queries. Other benefits of following and being aware in real time of happenings at graduate employing companies is that you are aware of deadlines. These come and go before you know it, fortunately employers are on the ball with these and will keep you aware that time is slipping away.

Bios

Twitter bios are an easy way to tell people about you. More often than not they are utterly drab and underused selling points. The amount of tea-drinkers you see on Twitter you would presume there must be a global shortage. Add to that profound "inspirational quotes" which are often neither inspirational nor quote-worthy. It is worth spending time crafting a bio for yourself. It can be initially tricky not to appear like a desperate loser saying you' re "passionate about a career in Tax", because not even HMRC are passionate about tax. But bios can be used to tell employers about your ambitions while still showing that you're a real human not a processing automaton ready to be plugged into the working world for the next half a century.

#lists

After a quick search now as part of research for this piece, I have just looked up a few typical #s to see what the results are. One thing you should be aware of is that if you are almost slightly Twitter-literate, you are already better than most employers. This is no slate of them, but with hashtags especially, employers often don't get them. They're great for breaking news, scandals and Gogglebox, but trying to attract graduates by using "#graduate #job" is just there to temp bots on the internet. However, there are ways that this concept can become useful for your job hunt. Keeping up to date with the happenings in the industry will see you become aware of the up and down trends and following these is obviously important. Using Twitter Lists is an excellent way to consolidate these Twitter users in one place. Creating lists of industry leaders or graduate job boards/feeds is entirely up to you. Doing both allows you to keep an eye on what's available while keeping them off your day to day feed.

Building a brand and following

Many graduates will want to keep their professional (in this case soon-to-be professional) and personal lives separate. There are ways to do this, whether you choose to set up a new twitter account to devote to your job hunt or utilise the Lists facility to keep automated job feed Twitter accounts clogging up your feed. However, what is important about whether you use your Twitter account to gather a following and use it as a vital tool for your Personal BrandHowever, what is important about whether you use your Twitter account to gather a following and use it as a vital tool for your Personal Brand. Twitter can easily become one of the cornerstones of your internet presence and a way of showing employers you are serious about a career in that field or role. It is important that as well as your Bio you are participating in discussions on sector-related topics. In terms of impressing employers this is sodding dynamite. If they give you a quick google, your twitter profile might indeed appear near the top of the results and if they see you've RT'd something they'd also read from the FT or responded to one of Rand Fishkin's words of wisdom, employers will know their on to someone. While it is also important to have a few followers too. These will grow with time, but there's nothing more suspicious than a Twitter user with four followers. Import your contacts, get your mates on board, it gives you a bit of authority and less like the online equivalent of the lonely bloke in the corner of the pub talking into his pint. Twitter maybe the perfect procrastination social networking. Outstripping Facebook's monotony and Instagram's usability, I know I can spend hours on Twitter if I'm on a train or waiting around. I' d hate to ruin the concept for you, but it can be used to develop large steps towards your job hunt On a side note here are a few graduate Twitter users that are always giving out some great advice:
  • Ashley Heaver - Enterprise Rent-A-Car UK and Ireland Talent Acquisition Manager
  • Fran Campalani - Senior Manager Lloyds Banking Group
  • Lucy Madahar - Head of Careers and Employability at De Montfort University
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