How Twitter Can Help Make You More Employable

Photo: Erin Ericksonby Erin Erickson, Chicago Chapter Vice President;
Creator of Me Media: Social Media for Non-Techies

This post is adapted from Me Media: Social Media for Non-Techies

How Twitter Can Help Make You More Employable

Twitter. Of the most-often used social media sites used by the masses, Twitter is the newest.

In its simplest terms, Twitter is a free microblogging site allows its users -- people, businesses and websites -- to post updates in 140 characters or less.

How can you use Twitter?
On a personal level, you can use Twitter post your whereabouts, plans or whatever other thoughts pop into your head. I've seen groups of people use it to check in at conferences and post updates on an upcoming, spur-of-the-moment meet-up.

Professionally, Twitter can be used to post company news or recent additions to a website.

How does Twitter work?
After a simple sign-up procedure, you can write, or post, as many updates as you'd like. It's so easy even my mom has signed up for Twitter account.

In addition to posting updates, you can also "follow" people, groups or websites. Likewise, people, groups or websites can follow you. Big fan of the New York Times? Use the "Find People" tab, type in New York Times, select "Follow" and you'll receive instant updates from the New York Times. Odds are, you'll know a few people on Twitter. Simply type their name or website and begin following.

You can update your Twitter profile to include the area you live or a website you may be affiliated with. If you've got a blog, this is a perfect place to include your URL.

Why should you care?
At first look, Twitter may seem like a silly little tool that teen-agers and 20-somethings use to demonstrate their angst toward their parents or employers.

Upon closer inspection, you'll find Twitter can be a useful tool for finding and posting your own news. Sandwiched in between two friends' laments about the election, you may find a news posting that serves as a great lead for a project you're working on.

How Twitter Can Help Your Job
In addition to serving up leads on projects, you will have created a network of past, present or future colleagues.

To make Twitter work for you, you need to reach out and follow people or groups and let them follow you.

Communicate with other Twitter followers and engage in conversations with them. You never know when someone might be looking to fill a position you would be perfect for.


Me Media: Social Media for Non-Techies (http://emediaconsulting.blogspot.com) is a how-to blog geared toward teaching non-technical people how to create, use and manage social media. The blog is written by Erin Erickson, Chicago Chapter Vice President and former print editor who taught herself HTML and social media to in order to work in online media. She is a Senior Web Editor at Putman Media.

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Comments:
Great post Erin...of course, you are absolutely right. Many journalists/freelance writers who embrace blogging and twitter have more work than they know what to do with. The last three writers I hired to do a job for me I first met through a blog or twitter.

Thanks for continuing the conversation.
# posted by Blogger Joe Pulizzi : January 30, 2009 at 8:15 AM
 
I suppose I should have also included my Twitter name on that post: @Ehal76
# posted by Anonymous Erin : January 30, 2009 at 12:16 PM
 
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