Three of my colleagues wrote a book a few years ago called The Twitter Job Search, and it’s a good read. However, there’s still not a widespread consensus that Twitter makes an effective job search tool. That said, you shouldn’t let it deter you from checking out Twitter and seeing whether you can apply it to your situation in a way that makes sense and, hopefully, produces positive results for you.
According to a book called Blogging All-in-One for Dummies, published in 2010, many millions of people have signed up and created Twitter accounts, but a lot of them haven’t really made use of Twitter over time. The book says that “the vast majority of Twitter status updates (called tweets) come from a small group of power users. Those people who truly enjoy using Twitter and have built strong relationships with other users find a lot of value in it.”
Are you now or likely to become a Twitter power user? For many of you, the answer could well be no. You might, though, benefit from giving it a try so that you at least understand how it works, what’s good and bad about it, and so on. For example, you might choose to “follow” some people who are active users and contribute good information, which you could gain some benefit from. However, to achieve maximum benefit, you probably need to become a value contributor yourself. One-way streets tend not to work particularly well in a job search campaign or career management realm. As the above quote emphasizes, relationships are a critical element of success, and that’s as true with Twitter as it is in many other situations.
Apparently, the jury is still out on whether companies as a whole are gaining much advantage by using Twitter. After all, it has only been around since about 2006 or 2007, and it has grown in numbers so fast that it has had a hard time keeping up. Also, as the blogging book points out, Twitter has yet to turn a profit for those who started it, so the benefits to a business from using it could be difficult to pin down. If your job involves helping your company use Twitter to gain market exposure, present itself to potential customers as a great organization, and so on, you might want to keep this in mind. Unrealistic expectations about what Twitter use can produce could impact your career success in a negative way.
I like learning new things, but I have to admit that I’ve dragged my feet about Twitter. My son says it’s easy to learn and has offered to help me get started, so I am going to check it out one of these days–I hope within the next few months–but I’m highly doubtful about whether I’ll become a long-term or power user. Why? Because I don’t see the benefit to my business from doing so, and I’m not sure how it will enable me to be more helpful to my job-seeking clients, which is an important consideration. I can’t help thinking the time needed to become that effective at it would be better spent elsewhere. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see!