KPMG is using Twitter to connect with students about their careers

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Today’s corporate recruiters aren’t just relying on job boards or your resumé to decide if you’re the perfect fit. KPMG is using Twitter to keep in touch.

On KPMG’s Twitter page, students who are interested in a career with the firm or in a career as a Chartered Accountant in general, have been asking questions and getting the inside scoop from recruiters about what it takes. It’s a great tool for KPMG to connect with more people without the hassle of e-newsletters or time-consuming blogging platforms.

This medium also provides a way to share time-sensitive and up-to-date information regarding projects that do not fit into traditional e-mail messages.

For example, three KPMG employees volunteered at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games and tweeted about their experiences.

TalentEgg asked KPMG Talent Attraction Manager Stephen Novalski to answer a few questions about how he and his team use Twitter to connect with students. He also offered some great advice on how students and recent grads can get started on Twitter.

Q. How does Twitter help KPMG find candidates? Do you actually hire people from Twitter?

A. Recruiting will always involve building personal relationships with potential candidates, and Twitter is just one way to help start that process early. We don’t hire directly from Twitter, but like our YouTube channel, it is one vehicle students can use to connect with and learn more about us.

Today, KPMG is using Twitter as a recruiting tool in the following ways:

  1. Students can follow KPMG to get advice about their job hunt, career planning, and other information to help make the transition between school and their first meaningful job less stressful
  2. While Twitter is great for keeping in the loop, meeting recruiters face-to-face is still very important. Twitter helps make sure students don’t miss any opportunities to get to know us better. Each week, students who follow @KPMGCampusCDN receive updates about when recruiters will be on their campus or at nearby events
  3. Students who follow our Twitter page are exposed to news and information about KPMG that will help them understand our workplace culture and get to know the firm better. Along with our other recruiting activities, this information helps students decide if KPMG is the right fit for them.

Q. What advice would you give to students who are interested in connecting with employers like KPMG but who don’t really “get” Twitter yet? How can they get started?

A. Twitter is like a river of information that keeps you informed about news, events and topics that are important to you. It keeps you in the loop on changes in your chosen career field and, ultimately, that knowledge can make you more valuable to employers.

If you want to get started on Twitter, our advice is simple:

  • Get an account
  • Follow some of the companies, news organizations, and people you care about
  • Start by listening and learning to get a feel for how other people use Twitter
  • Once you’re ready, engage by responding to conversations started by the people you’re following

You’ll start to build a valuable network that you can cultivate over time—you never know who you will meet in the “Twittersphere” or how valuable they could be to you in the future.

Q. What is the value in Twitter for you, both from a personal and professional perspective (i.e., your personal Twitter account)?

A. Many people use Twitter strictly for either personal or business use, while others blend them together. At KPMG, each of our recruiters who are on Twitter use it differently. Some use it to find out about great events in their cities, while others use it strictly to gather the news that is important to them.

Q. How can a student make themselves stand out as an awesome candidate on Twitter?

A. If you want to stand out to KPMG on Twitter, we suggest the following tips (but keep in mind that you don’t need to stand out on Twitter to work at KPMG—use the tool as you see fit):

  • If you meet a recruiter on campus, mention it to us on Twitter! Tell us who you met and what you talked about by sending us an @ reply. We’ll make sure the recruiter knows you mentioned them
  • If you’re at a KMPG event, send us an @ reply and mention a few key points you learned about the firm or about accounting in general. We love to see your feedback and you never know who else in your network could benefit from the information. New people might start following you because of the great information you’re sharing

Don’t take our word for it—try it for yourself and see if you get hooked.

Here are some hints about how to interact with KPMG on Twitter:

  • Sign up for an account at Twitter.com
  • Follow KPMG at www.twitter.com/KPMGCampusCDN
  • To have a public conversation with KPMG, include “@KPMGCampusCDN” in your message; the “@” symbol tells KPMG you mentioned them
  • To have a private conversation with KMPG, write “D KPMGCampusCDN” and type your message. The “D” stands for direct and it tells Twitter you don’t want anyone but KPMGCampusCDN to see your message
  • Try following a list; this feature lets you receive updates from people without having to subscribe to each of their individual feeds if you only occasionally want information from them. Lists are also a great way to find people you want to follow based on what others say about them.

Twitter just might change the way you interact with recruiters in the future and find jobs today. It’s a good idea to give it a try and become familiar with how it works. Most users report it can take up to 6 months to become completely comfortable using the service. You don’t want to just be starting when you really need it.

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