March 30, 2011

How to Use Twitter as a Career Asset

This is a guest post by Jason Scott. Jason is an intern, blogger, creator, writer, actor, and an avid music fan.  He recently finished his Master's Degree in Entertainment Business with Full Sail University. He loves American Idol, Glee, Carrie Underwood, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, and social media. Feel free to tweet him @jlscott13.

I can always tell when it is spring.  The shorts and sandals come out, and I have a reason to wear my favorite sunglasses. Daydreams of the beach with a good book flood my every thought. However, I am also bombarded with the pressure of finding the ideal summer internship.

Most of you probably know what I am talking about. 

As late as last year, I used to poorly navigate around Google and Yahoo trying to find a needle in a haystack.  I would spend countless hours searching for opportunities that did not seem to exist.  “There has to be an easier way,” I complained.  There has to be a viable solution.

I soon realized that the solution was right before my eyes.  The social media sites that I was addicted to became my greatest asset.  I began by developing my Twitter profile into a professional signature for my brand. I needed to portray a sense of both personality and professionalism that potential employers would find intriguing. These days a simple resume is just not enough.  Many companies dig into social media platforms as part of their hiring process.  They want to know that the kind of content you are posting is appropriate for industry audiences.  Very recently, we have seen many poor examples of this.

You do not want to be among the many that tweet about getting drunk and then wonder why you have not landed any interviews. Social media has opened up a whole new avenue of eyes and ears, and you should be prepared.

With my Twitter profile refurbished, I began diving into Twitter chats. To put it simply, these chats are 2011’s version of chat rooms.  They allow industry professionals to converse from anywhere in the world with a hashtag at a scheduled time. I engage in #internchat, #mbizchat, #u30pro, #blogchat, #writechat, #storycraft, and #tweetdiner on a regular basis. Networking through these chats has connected me with some great individuals and companies that have become resources in my internship search.

I did not stop there. I also hunted down organizations like @Internships and @usmusicjobs who constantly tweet internship postings and news. Then, I created a profile on both their sites where I could upload my current resume and link to my social media profiles. There are tons of other companies whose job is to connect struggling interns with great opportunities.  I recommend doing your research and finding the industry in which you want experience.

All in all, Twitter is an incredible resource that many young professionals fail to utilize.  I highly recommend upgrading your Twitter profile a bit, rethinking the content you post, and diving into a world that is right before your eyes.
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