Just this week, I received a letter from a blog reader who wanted to know if social media really was the way for her to find her next job, because she is of an “older” generation – her words not mine.
“What are your thoughts regarding Twitter as a tool to finding the next job? I’ve been hesitant to join and start tweeting (as I’m of an older generation and usually keep my private thoughts/feelings/opinions to myself) but I might just be limiting myself..? What do you think? Any and all suggestions, comments, best practices & critiques are welcome.”
Considering that this whole “generational excuse for not using social media” is coming up frequently, I thought I would address her question and help people new to Twitter overcome the resistance they might feel.
First of all, let’s put the whole age thing aside. I have Boomer clients who don’t tweet, and I have Millennial clients who tell me that Twitter is for old people. And between the two of those groups, over 100 million people actively use Twitter. The problem is that Twitter is a platform, and new users expect a solution. Using Twitter without a purpose is much like walking into a bookstore, grabbing a book at random, and then complaining that it didn’t help you with your investment strategy. This can get very frustrating very fast.
Having a purpose when using Twitter will help you avoid all of those people talking about what they had for breakfast or what song they are listening to right now. After all, you control who you follow. And if you are choosing to use Twitter to find a job, then the people you choose to follow will most likely be relevant to your industry and your target organizations.
According to a recent survey, over 8 million Americans found a job through a connection made via Twitter.
So to answer my reader’s question, yes, Twitter is a fundamental tool for the modern job seeker. Avoiding it for whatever reason (age, resistance), puts you at a significant disadvantage in the marketplace.
Here’s my challenge to you this week. Spend one week actively using Twitter. There are plenty of books, videos and articles on how to be active on Twitter. If after one week, you hate it, fine. But I’m willing to bet that you will have had a really good time. And who knows, maybe you will have met your next boss!