A Little Bird Told Me… Using Twitter in Your Job Search

These days, getting a job takes all the resources you can throw at it. But one that many people may be overlooking is the social networking site, Twitter. According to job hunting gurus, there really is a lot you can do in 140 characters or less!

Here are five tips —

Create a professional account, and keep it professional:
If you’re under a certain age, you’re probably already on Twitter, tweeting away about everything from your latest vacation to your opinions on global warming. But when it comes to finding a job, it’s best to separate your personal and professional tweets, so set up another account dedicated just to tweets about respiratory care and your role(s) in the profession. Your bio should clearly state who you are, where you work now, and what your position is there. Include links to your LinkedIn page and your online resume as well. Upload a photo of yourself dressed in business casual or clean and pressed scrubs.

Follow institutions where you’d like to work:
Make a list of hospitals or other facilities where you might like to get a job and follow them. You’ll learn a lot about the hospital, its culture, what it deems to be most important, where it’s going, and how its employees feel about working there. That inside knowledge about the facility could make the difference should you acquire a chance to interview for a job there. Some hospitals have job-related Twitter handles too. Find out what they are and follow them as well.

Follow thought-leaders in the profession:
Being in the know also means keeping up with the people who are leading the way. So identify the top names in respiratory care and follow them too. If you don’t know who these folks are, look through your back issues of RESPIRATORY CARE to find out who’s publishing, or the AARC Officiaryto see who’s at the helm in your professional organization. You’ll learn a lot about cutting edge topics in the profession that you can use to polish your own professional profile.

Be a content creator:
If you want people to know you are on Twitter, then you have to tweet, and when it comes to your professional account you want to be sure you’re sharing (not just retweeting) relevant information that can be used to improve patient care or departmental operations for your colleagues. Keep up with the medical literature and tweet interesting studies you’ve read. Tweet about advances being made in your own department. Pose interesting questions about patient care (without naming patients, of course).

Reach out:
Once you’ve followed the institutions where you’d like to work for a while, reach out to them with a query about jobs using the “@” symbol and a lead-in that establishes yourself as a viable candidate. For example, if a hospital has been tweeting about its community service, and you have a record of community service, you might send a message that says something like, “As a participant in the DRIVE4COPD campaign, I find your dedication to the community inspiring. If you’re looking for RTs, give me a shout.”Sending a personal message is a good way to find a mentor who could help build your career too. Respiratory care is still a relatively small profession, and if you do reach out, chances are you’ll be rewarded with a personal connection.