Why Every Student And New Graduate Should Be Using Twitter

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Some people think Twitter is useless. They clearly haven’t signed up for an account yet.

If you ask anyone who uses Twitter regularly, they will tell you that the microblogging site has quickly become one of today’s most useful social media tools.

Not only does Twitter help you build a professional network, but it has also proven to help talented individuals land dream jobs. That’s right, it isn’t just a service that lets people broadcast what they had for breakfast.

After graduation, Kat Langdon tweeted that she was looking for a full time job. Her current boss saw her tweet and asked her to meet for coffee to discuss potential employment.

Launching and maintaining an active Twitter account is a commitment, but it provides a significant return on investment. The following reasons and real life examples will illustrate why every student and recent grad should sign up for a Twitter account today.

Twitter helps establish an online presence

Wondering how to build your personal online brand? Become active on Twitter. Tweeting about your interests, whether you’re a cupcake-crazed baker or a fashion enthusiast will allow you to become more identifiable and authentic in the minds of potential employers.

Creating an accurate yet interesting biography is one of the most effective and easiest ways to define your personal online brand. Make your Twitter bio professional, but don’t be afraid to add some personality, too.

Some of my favourite Twitter bios include:

Amanda PetrigliaDaniela DiStefanoDavid BradfieldAmber Avines

Having an interesting biography will help attract like-minded followers. You should also be sure to include links to your personal website, blog and LinkedIn account in your bio.

Above all, it’s important to always be authentic. Remember that any unprofessional content you tweet about can be viewed by anyone and may negatively affect your reputation.

Twitter lets you connect with professionals

It’s not everyday that students and recent grads can debate current events with executives. On Twitter, however, this happens daily. In particular, many public relations and marketing professionals have joined Twitter and like to discuss relevant topics with their followers.

David Bradfield, global chair of digital practice at Fleishman-Hillard, enjoys connecting with current public relations students via Twitter. Before participating in a guest panel at a student networking event at Humber College on November 30, 2010, Bradfield blogged about the experience and offered tips to prospective job-seekers in the PR field. Not only were Bradfield’s tips inspiring, but the link was also exclusively sent to his Twitter followers. If I wasn’t following @dbradfield, I likely would have missed discovering this resource altogether.

Twitter can help you land your dream job

Engaging with other Twitter users definitely has its payoffs. Kat Langdon started following her current boss on Twitter in 2009. They first bonded over their clumsiness, and even created a hash tag called #theclumsy that they used regularly.

After graduation, Kat tweeted that she was looking for a full time job. Her current boss saw her tweet and asked her to meet for coffee to discuss potential employment.

“Using Twitter was never about pursuing a job, but I happened to make the right connections and ended up being the right fit for Springfree Trampoline!” says Kat.

Adam Stanley, a journalism grad, had similar luck using Twitter. He often tweeted about golf, and started chatting with an editor of a golf magazine in eastern Ontario via Twitter.

“We started talking, and once he noticed I was journalism major from my Twitter bio, the rest was history! I wrote a few pieces for his magazine and the company’s website, too,” says Stanley.

For Langdon and Stanley, their motivation to tweet were never related to employment. However, they landed their jobs by being active Twitter users who effectively defined their interests and engaged industry professionals.

Twitter is an educational tool

Boyd Neil, senior vice president of social media and digital communications at Hill and Knowlton Canada, is a big supporter of Twitter as an educational tool.

“Twitter helps me keep up with professional ideas,” says Neil. “It allows me to connect with people I wouldn’t normally meet. Twitter is my own personal learning library.”

But Neil doesn’t just absorb the content posted by his favourite Twitter users. “I’m not a lurker,” he clarifies. “I give back to my followers as well by posting interesting content and sharing my resources.”

Connect with professionals who tweet about trends that interest you. Whether they’re posting links to a new blog post or an online magazine article, you’re guaranteed to learn something new. Following Mashable on Twitter will keep you up to date on breaking social media, and digital technology news. Huffington Post is also a great source for Internet news.

The key to getting value out of Twitter is to participate. It’s the people you’re interacting with and the resources they offer that makes it worthwhile.

Feel like you need some more guidance before getting started? Check out these savvy Twitter users for some more tips and tricks to launch your account today.

Happy tweeting!

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