Hello readers! I hope your 2020 is off to a great start and you are ready to start networking! Have you thought about networking online? Social media networking has taken off by storm and is a more accessible way for us to network with a broader network. “The days of in-person networking are quickly being overpowered by connecting on the internet. In the past five years, connecting on social networking sites has rocketed from a niche activity into a phenomenon that engages tens of millions of internet users. Now, instead of connecting at an in-person event, you can reach hundreds, even thousands, of potential customers online.”-Entrepreneur staff
Believe it or not, the internet is making the world smaller. If you’re not networking online, you are missing out on numerous opportunities! One of the biggest platforms for online networking is Twitter. #ScienceTwitter has a huge population of every career stage of scientists. Graduate students, post doctorates, academia professors, industry professionals, you name it, twitter has it.
Use twitter to connect with and follow leaders in your in field, your niche, and your interests. Spending 15 minutes a week searching can help you find hundreds of contacts. Search for people at your current level, as well as above and below where you want to be. If you can offer advice and help someone junior to you, that demonstrates qualities of being a leader, a trait every hiring manager is looking for.
Twitter and job searching
You should be prepared to be found on social media, whether it is a recruiter viewing your profile or an employer who you reached out to first. Using the search tool allows you to search a keyword and then follow any conversations that are happening about that word. For example, type “Science Communication” internships, and you can find hiring managers tweeting about their openings for a Science Communication internship. Hiring managers and recruiters use social media to source candidates, post jobs, and accept job applications. Social media helps recruiters understand you better, they’ll know your likes, dislikes, and how you can potentially fit in within the company., before even interacting with you. So make sure you’re building your networks before you need it, as people can already be looking for you!
Use Twitter to tell people that you need a job
People are using their Twitter connections as an advantage to secure interviews and new positions, and you can do the same. Of course, you need a good network of followers for that to happen. For example, if you tweet, “I’m looking for a science communication job in a tech company,” chances are, someone will know of an opening. This is why targeting people to follow is so important. Don’t just add people as fast as you can so that your own number of followers increases. Instead, focus on finding people who can help with your search.
On Twitter, the biggest compliment you can pay someone is to retweet something they sent out. In doing so, you are telling everyone you know that the tweet has value. Because being retweeted is such a compliment, most of the people you retweet will notice. They may or may not respond, but if you do this a few times, they will come to know you, and probably pay more attention to the things you have to say.
The best way to get attention from people who might be able to help is to add professional value on Twitter. Share interesting articles, books, or other information. Demonstrate your knowledge of your field. Answer questions from those looking for help. By doing so you are adding value, and this attracts more followers. The more followers you have, the more likely it is that one of them knows about the perfect opportunity for you.
Adding value is increasingly important as Twitter grows. Most people follow more people than they can ever keep up with. As their list grows, they start to make it easier by creating lists of people they want to pay special attention to, or by just skimming quickly and only seeing whatever catches their eye at that moment.
In order to get attention, you need to prove yourself to be someone worth listening to, and the only way to do this is to add value.
Attract attention from influencers by including them on a list
Twitter allows you to build lists of people you think are notably worth paying attention to. With this feature, you can then quickly read the tweets from a specific list. Other people can also follow your list if they are also interested in the same subject. Louise Fletcher recommends “creating a list for movers and shakers in your industry and then letting each person know that you added him or her to the list”. An industry hopeful might create a ‘industry experts’ list, add names of people they admire, and then send each one a tweet notifying them of their inclusion.
Mention your search casually from time to time
If your search is not a secret, mention it every once in a while. Don’t become tiresome, talking about nothing but how you need a job -– that’s a surefire way to lose followers! But do feel free to mention interviews or their job search activities in your updates from time to time. Some of your followers will have missed your original tweets about needing work, and you will be gaining new followers all the time, so this is a great way to make sure that everyone hears about your search without being repetitive.
You can just say things like “getting ready for an interview. Wish me luck!” or “Rewriting my cover letter for a great position. Hope I get an interview.”
Ask about jobs directly
There is nothing wrong with asking a hiring manager or recruiter if they have any suitable opportunities, as long as you don’t become a nuisance. If you have been using Twitter properly, your page will be professional and interesting, so if one of these people checks you out, they will get a good impression.
- The staff of Entrepreneur. “The Right Way to Network on Social Media”. Entrepreneur. February 19th, 2015. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/241959
- Fuld, Hillel. “How to Use Social Media for Networking the Right Way”. Inc. https://www.inc.com/hillel-fuld/how-to-use-social-media-for-networking-right-way.html
- Doyle, Allison. “How to Use Social Media to Boost Your Career”. The Balance Careers. January 27th, 2019. https://www.thebalancecareers.com/how-to-use-social-networking-to-boost-your-career-2062607
- “5 Ways you can use Social Media for Career Development”. Building Gurus. https://buildinggurus.com/candidate-resources/5-ways-to-use-social-media-for-career-development/
- Fletcher, Louise. “11 Concrete ways to use Twitter for Networking”. Blue Sky. https://www.blueskyresumes.com/blog/11-concrete-ways-to-use-twitter-for-networking/