How to Find Jobs Using Twitter Search

Steve Morgan is a Senior Search Engine Optimisation Account Manager at Liberty Marketing in Cardiff. Steve has written this blog post to help students and graduates get the best from job seeking using Twitter. There are opportunities out there! Here’s how to find them…

What are you using when conducting a job search online? Many job seekers turn to job boards, carry out Google searches or browse company websites to see what jobs are on offer for their industry and location of choice. While this probably covers the majority of the jobs being advertised out there, not all businesses pay to advertise on job boards or other sites.

With social media becoming increasingly popular for businesses, many employers are also advertising jobs via sites like Twitter. In some cases, it might be all they do – they might be hoping that their followers will re-tweet the message and pass it on to people they know. So wouldn’t it be great to find those opportunities as well – opportunities that might be missed by other job seekers – and get in touch with them yourself?

Searching for job tweets

The problem with a lot of the information I’ve found relating to finding jobs using Twitter is that it isn’t very helpful. I’ve read posts that say “look at the jobs hashtag: #jobs“, but as you can see, it’s global and therefore very, very busy. As I type this, there were 1,536 of these tweets in the last hour alone! (Feel free to check for yourself using Topsy).

So how can we break it down to include more search times (beyond the word “jobs”), but also by industry AND location?

Here’s how… Here’s a search query that can be customised and used in Twitter:

job OR jobs OR hiring OR recruiting OR “looking for” OR “join us” OR “join our team” near:[place] within:[#]mi [keyword]

Before you panic and wonder what the heck it all means, let’s break it down by each section:

The first part (red) contains the kinds of things people might say in a tweet if they’re posting a job ad:

“New job post…” “#jobs” “We are recruiting for…” “We are looking for...” “Want to join us?” “We want someone to join our team…”

The second part (blue) contains the location criteria. Simply change [place] to your town/city and change [#] to the number of miles around it that you’re willing to travel.

The third part (green) is the keyword. Simply change this to the industry you’re interested in.

So if I’m looking for an IT project manager job within 30 miles of Cardiff, I’d change it like so:

job OR jobs OR hiring OR recruiting OR “looking for” OR “join us” OR “join our team” near:Cardiff within:30mi it project

(I’ve purposefully not included “manager” at the end, to get tweets that have both “manager” and “managers” in them. The other alternative would be to add “manager OR managers” at the end instead.)

Then copy and paste it in Twitter Search. Either go to the main Twitter Search page, or if you’re logged into your Twitter account, there should be a search bar at the top of the screen no matter what page you’re on. After you’ve input your search, you may have to change Tweets from ‘Top’ to ‘All’ in order to see all the recent tweets on offer.

You should see something similar to this:

And voilà! A list of recent tweets where people have posted info and/or links for IT Project Manager roles in and around Cardiff.

Things to look out for

This has been a pretty clean example, so let me show you an example where we’re looking for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) jobs instead:

In this example, only two relevant tweets have shown up: the tweets by Henry and Kathryn. The other tweets include people sharing news/info, selling their services or saying that they’re about to attend an interview.

Unfortunately there’s no exact science to searching for jobs in this way. There are ways to limit what words appear in the search (putting a minus/- in front of a word you wish to discount)* but the risk with discounting words is that you might be potentially removing some tweets that are worthwhile. The best thing to do is to trawl through the list and ignore anything that’s been picked up that isn’t relevant to your job search.

* Here’s a full list of all of Twitter’s advanced search operators, by the way.

Not getting enough suggestions?

If you’re struggling to get enough tweets to show then consider tweaking the criteria:

Change your wording: Perhaps you’ve been too specific with your industry keyword? Try different things – one recruiter or employer might call something by a different name. As well as SEO, we have “online marketing” and “digital marketing” – I even came across one company that called it “e-Channels”!

You could also consider adding more words to the front of the above search string: recruitment OR hire OR vacancy OR vacancies OR etc…

Increase the “within” distance:  Have you only chosen to show tweets 5 or 10 miles outside of your location? Try increasing the number (e.g. within:50mi) but obviously be realistic and keep in mind how far you’d be willing to commute or relocate to.

Unfortunately, if you’re not getting many suggestions beyond that, then maybe there aren’t many tweets in your areas (or any available vacancies – at least not on Twitter)…

Saving your search

Of course, you may not be getting many suggestions right now, but there may be more in the future, so it’s worth keeping an eye on what else comes out and what gets tweeted in the future.

If you’re conducting the search directly on Twitter, you have the ability to save your search. Click the button next to the Search button and select ‘Save search’:

If you want to view the search at a later date, click on the magnifying glass in the search bar at the top:

If you’re using multiple searches (e.g. for different words, locations, etc.) then you may want to move your keywords at the front of the search string, so that you can distinguish between different searches.

Saving your search as a column

NOTE: This next section is only applicable to Twitter application users (e.g. HootSuite and TweetDeck). If you are using the search string in Twitter directly then please feel free to ignore this next section.

If you use applications such as HootSuite and TweetDeck then you can save your search as a column, which is a lot more visual:

However, a word of warning with this approach: the ‘near:’ operator currently doesn’t work in either HootSuite or TweetDeck. There is a way around it, if you replace it with geocode data. There are many free geocode generator tools but the best one in my experience is MyGeoPosition.com.

Type in your location (e.g. Cardiff) and copy and paste the latitude and longitude numbers. You only need the first 8 numbers of each (e.g. 00.000000), so if you use a different tool that offers longer numbers, you can stop after the 6th number after the decimal point. Also, make sure to include the minus, if one is included.

So instead of near:cardiff, it’d be:

geocode:[lat#],[long#],[#]mi

Confused? Here’s an example of Cardiff’s:

geocode:51.481581,-3.179090,30mi

So in the search string, it’ll look like this instead:

job OR jobs OR hiring OR recruiting OR “looking for” OR “join us” OR “join our team” geocode:51.481581,-3.179090,30mi it project

Also, at present, HootSuite only has a 100 character limit when saving searches as columns, and because the Geocode data and all the different hiring/recruiting keywords is quite long, you might have to chop out a few of those words at the front in order to make it fit. If this happens to you then I’d advise removing “join us” and “join our team”, as they’re quite lengthy and probably less likely to be used by people tweeting.

The beauty of this is that it’s a constant reminder – it will update you with new tweets as and when they come up, without you having to manually search (or re-search) every time.

I hope the above is useful in your online job search. I’d love to hear feedback, whether it’s improvements onwhat I’ve suggested, or if anyone has managed to get a job via this method of job seeking – in which case, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Steve Morgan is a Senior SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) Account Manager and Twitter addict based in the UK. In his day job, he works at Liberty Marketing, helping clients with their online marketing efforts, but he also helps out with his parent’s family-run IT recruitment agency in Cardiff: Computer Recruiter (@ComputerRecruit on Twitter). You can also find Steve sharing marketing and recruitment type content (read: talk nonsense) on Twitter: @steviephil.