Twitter TWTR +0.72% remains my favourite social network by far. Working out why I like it is sometimes hard, and there are times when it frustrates me beyond belief, but generally I live on it more than almost any other online service. What’s interesting to me, as someone who ranks Linkedin as his least favourite network, is that Twitter seems keen to position itself as a resource for people searching for jobs.
If you’ve ever looked for a job, you’ll probably have tried everything. When I went from a full-time job, to freelance journalism I put hours into my Linkedin profile, and as far as I can tell, it did very little for me. Perhaps you need to be more pushy, and ask people for work more directly. But I’m British, and that’s not how we do things.
Perhaps Twitter has heard this very British problem, because it is just about to launch its first UK job fair. It’s got a live Q&A session with the winner of The Apprentice UK – which I think is of dubious value, even if the man in question now runs a recruitment service – but the UK National Careers Service will also be involved.
According to a Twitter survey, 77 per cent of polled UK Twitter users think the service could help them find a job. That’s a fairly high number, and if so it could prove to be hard news for Linkedin, which has really billed itself as being a place for finding work. In this UK push, Twitter is working with companies like GlaxoSmithKline, Deloitte and Nestle to connect people with jobs. There’s also the inevitable hashtag #YourJob too.
Interestingly, I did actually get work offers through Twitter. Within a month of me announcing my move into freelance writing I had made contact with people who needed some content. These were small jobs, but they were a big help in easing the transition from full-time to freelancing. And because I have a lot of Twitter followers who work in the same industry as me I was able to reach a lot of people very quickly and say “I’ve left my job and I’m available for work”.
The more I think about it too, the more I realise that actually, Twitter is kind of a natural way to find out about work. Even though I’m no longer looking for full-time employment, I still follow the service that aggregates job adverts, and many publishers who I might be interested in working for. That means I get to see new positions pretty quickly, without the need to search recruitment companies or the websites of those employers directly.
There’s also a handy anonymity to things that Linkedin doesn’t really offer. I always remember an old boss telling me you could always tell if someone was looking to move on by their Linkedin activity. That’s not ideal if you’re trying to secure a new position before quitting. I also like the fact that you can build a list in Twitter. Once you’ve got the job, you can ditch it and not have to unfollow dozens of individual accounts.