Twitter in the job search ...


This week’s book should have been a “home run” for inclusion in The Job Stalker, after all (as regular readers know), I have been focusing most of my job-search efforts within the Twittersphere, and here’s a book specifically dealing with using Twitter in one’s job search.  Perfect, right?

Well, one would think so … however, The Twitter Job Search Guide: Find a Job and Advance Your Career in Just 15 Minutes a Day is coming from a wholly different angle than any I’ve used, which one can obviously tell from the sub-title’s “15 minutes a day” promise, as opposed to my 8+ hours a day of research, reading, and networking!  

As I’ve noted in other reviews, I have had horrible experiences in the past with various “career management” (and other similar sorts of) coaches, consultants and centers across numerous previous job searches, and this book is very much coming from that culture, rather than from the Social Media world, so it was pretty much from the get-go a dissonant read for me.

I had seen this referenced by an HR professional whom I follow on Twitter, and contacted the publisher to get a copy, and set up an interview.  This was somewhat complicated by there being three nominal authors here, and I left it in the hands of the publicist who she’d tag for answering the e-mail interview questions.  Susan Whitcomb evidently drew the short straw, and her answers are on the other side of the cut:

Q:  Briefly, what’s the team’s background?
A:  Susan Whitcomb (@SusanWhitcomb) is the award-winning author of seven books. A respected authority on career training and certification, Susan is founder of The Academies, including Career Coach Academy, Job Search Academy, and CareerCom Academy where hundreds have earned their certifications in career coaching, job search strategy, Twitter, and, branded career communications. Chandlee Bryan (@chandlee),  president of career management firm Best Fit Forward, is a job search expert and social media evangelist with experience as a recruiter, Ivy League career counselor and consultant to Microsoft. Deb Dib (@CEOCoach) is a careers industry trend leader, career communications expert, and one of the world’s first Reach Certified Personal Branding Strategists. Known for infusing ROI value into executive branding, she is the trusted, go-to coach for leaders and rising stars who want to land faster, earn more, have fun, and change the world.
Q:  Have you had notable job-transition experiences?
A:  My career path has taken me from music therapist to legal secretary to career coach and job-search author, and mentor to entrepreneurs and coaches around the world. It’s not a straight path, but one that’s brought lots of insights into the challenges people face when it comes to career decision, job adjustments, and job search. I’ve also personally worked with more than 10,000 job seekers over the years, showing them how to connect their passions with a paycheck.
Q:  Why did you decide to write a job-search book?
A:  This is book #7 about careers and the job search for me, with earlier titles including Resume Magic, Interview Magic, and Job Search Magic. It was obvious that Twitter and social media were creating a seismic shift in search strategies, so it was a natural step to pitch the Twitter book to my publisher. What was a first for me was collaborating with my two coauthors, and what a wonderful experience that was! Chandlee Bryan brought fresh insights and hands-on experiences with Twitter, while Deb Dib added innovative applications to the personal branding and career communications process. They are both brilliant, gracious, and born to be visionaries in the careers industry.
Q:  How do you see the job market in the next 3-6 months?
A:  We see the job market as tough and tight for the short term! At the same time, every problem is perfect. What that means is this: Job seekers – out of necessity – will truly grasp the critical importance of conveying value to hiring managers and meeting employers’ specific needs. In a “me” generation, job seekers will come to realize it’s about “them” – the employer. It’s about the employer’s need for profits, the need to stop the bleeding (or even hemorrhaging in some industries), and the need to find employees who will do that with a smile on their face and optimism in their attitude.
Q:  If you had just ONE piece of advice for today’s job searcher, what would that be?
A:  Balance the mindset and mechanics of job search. Your mindset must be one of unwavering belief that there IS a job out there for you, that you DO bring value to the table, that you WILL work again, and that this challenging economy will bring good to your life long-term. At the same time, your mechanics must be well-oiled and state of the art. As you conduct a “social search,” stretch yourself to go beyond the resume with an omnipresent career communications campaign, including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, blogging, posting resumes directly on target-company sites and niche job boards, and then leveraging those tools to land daily face-to-face time with people who can influence the hiring decision.
Q:  What do you feel makes your book unique?
A:  This is the ONLY book on the market devoted exclusively to leveraging Twitter for job search. In true social media style, the book gleans the wisdom of 100+ contributors, including well-known authors and subject-matter experts in branding, social media, job search, and recruiting; along with more than a dozen successful job seekers who used Twitter to help land new jobs.
Q:  Aside from your book, what resources do you recommend?
A:  The Twitter Job Search Guide has a companion website,, where jobseekers can get updates on Twitter usage. We also highly recommend as a resource for job seekers, along with Twitter APIs such as TweetDeck for tweet management, TwitRes for tweeting one’s resume, and grassroots organizations like Hire Friday and Job Angels for support in the job search, among others.
Q:  Any additional words of wisdom?
A:  If you’re new to Twitter, approach it with an open mind. At first glance, it feels like a cacophonous, noisy, and random collection of thoughts, ideas, and conversations. In reality, it’s a business hub and barrier buster for your search. And a career caveat: Apply the same rules of networking on Twitter that you would face to face: for every one time you ask or take from your network, give ten times in return!

I really don’t want to bad-mouth this book … I’m sure that it could be VERY useful for job seekers who are “not me” … and I even re-wrote my review twice to be less “reactive” to it, but this is very much a “career consultant” book.  As you can tell from the last answer above, this is trying to “sell Twitter” to what is perceived to be a hesitant non-Social-Media audience, and is coming from “that side of the line” and not “job search for digital natives”.  This is not to say that there’s not quite a lot of very useful material in here (even for a Twitter “early adopter” like myself), but that the book manages to be both strident and chaotic at the same time, and comes from a place for which I have a very low comfort level.  In the immortal quip of Dennis Miller, “Your mileage may vary”, but if personality and authenticity are key elements of your on-line presence, this is likely to rub you the wrong way as well.

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