Gone are the days of looking through the Help Wanted ads in your local newspaper to find a job. The job market is now electronic and overwhelming both for the job seeker and potential employers. Employers post a job and receive hundreds of applications in just a few days and job seekers can drown in the online application processes. So how do you find your dream job and standout in your field? One option is Twitter.
I spent the last eight months looking for my GIS dream job. I spent the first few months searching the web for job openings and visiting GIS job posting sites. I found that this effort took a lot of time and did not provide many positive leads. After attending a local GIS conference and noticing that many of the speakers had their Twitter handles on their name badges I decided to use Twitter in my job search and to my surprise it worked!
I was new to Twitter and took it slow. First I created a professional profile by picking a professional sounding Twitter handle and added a simple clear photo and background. In my Twitter bio I put my experience, interests, job pitch and a link to my website all in less than 160 characters. If you do not have a website you can link to your Linkedin profile or create a visual interactive resume at http://vizualize.me. (Vizualize.me just launched last month and is a fun and creative spin on the traditional resume. They also have some blog posts about using Twitter, which are very similar to the Twitter path I followed.)
After creating a professional profile I started tweeting about GIS things. I did not tweet a lot but I did try and find interesting GIS articles or news events that I thought people might find interesting and benefit from reading. I kept my tweets professional and avoided personal and negative tweets. (I did not tweet about what I had for breakfast, how I hate my current job or how unfair the world was.)
The next step was to find some GIS leaders and innovators to follow. I had attended a conference, where this Twitter idea came from, so I searched Twitter for some of the conference speakers and began to follow them. I also checked out who they were following and looked at the lists they followed. Soon I was following some very smart GIS leaders. This gave me access to the current GIS trends and events and I was able to get links to blog posts, new articles, live and recorded conference sessions and eavesdrop on technical Twitter conversations. It was a great way to learn and keep current.
I had a professional Twitter presence, was following some amazing GIS leaders and learning a lot but this was not getting me a job. One day a tweet appeared from GISJobs4u that had been retweeted by someone I was following. I realized that the piece that I was missing was following GIS job posting tweets. I began following eight GIS job related Twitter accounts (see list below) and soon had job postings appearing on my computer. Many of the postings were duplicates because I was following so many lists but the short tweet with the job title, location and link to more information was amazing. I did not have to worry about missing a job posting and could scan the tweets and investigate the interesting jobs.
Twitter did not magically land me an amazing job but it did save me tons of time sifting through job postings and searching job sites. This extra time I devoted to following GIS leaders, staying current on new trends and taking part in conferences. In the end I was offered an amazing GIS Coordinator job in Montana that was posted on Twitter. One of the main reasons I landed the job was because I was actively involved in the GIS community, was pursuing my education and was current on the new trends.
Finding a job in this economy is not easy; you have to stand out of the crowd. Twitter is not a miracle pill but it may give you the edge you need and help you balance your search with education.
GIS job Twitter accounts
GISJobs4u GIS Pathway Jobs – The Place for GIS Jobs & Careers! (Analyst, Database, CAD, Cartography, Remote Sensing, Planning, Programming, Management, Technicians, Web Development)
gisjobscom GISjobs.com GIS JOBS – GIS jobs for Geographic Information Systems Job Vacancies & Resumes. GIS jobs GISjobs.com
gjc_dot_org GJC.org – Official Twitter feed of the GIS Jobs Clearinghouse.
GetGISTechnJobs GetGISTechnJobs – GIS Technician jobs, careers and community site.
geosearch GeoSearch, Inc. – Recruiters in GIS, GPS, LiDAR, LBS, Photogrammerty and Remote Sensing
giscareers Geospatial Careers – Pointers to jobs and career opportunities in GIS and Geospatial technologies
EsriCareers Esri Careers – Join Esri, the world leader in GIS software. Follow us to learn about career opps, our culture, the Redlands area, more.