How to use Twitter to get hired from 1,000 miles away

If you know what to look for, and you’re organized about it, Twitter can be an amazing resource for landing the PR gig you want in the place you want.

Like many recent college graduates, I wanted a new adventure in a new place. I went to college at Butler University, about 25 minutes north of my hometown of Indianapolis. By graduation, I was ready to explore a different part of the country. Having majored in advertising and PR, I knew I wanted to work in communications but everything else—industry, company size, office culture—was flexible. The oldest of four children, I inherited every Type A, overachieving gene you can think of. In college I was the sorority girl who was VP of student government, interned internationally, and spoke at our graduation ceremony. Yes, I was that girl. I set my sights on Boston and felt confident I could make this whole “get hired and move across the country in three months” thing happen. A sixth-grade class trip was my only firsthand experience in Boston. To say I knew nothing about being a twenty-something city-dweller was an understatement. Never mind I didn’t know a single soul in New England. Job searching began with my sitting at a wooden desk in my childhood bedroom with a thoroughly prepped résumé, a color-coded Excel spreadsheet, and copious amounts of Google searches. You can imagine how many unappealing positions come up when you search “entry-level Boston jobs.” After applying to a handful of positions through search and job boards, I discovered that most were outdated. I’d apply and promptly get an email informing me that the position had been filled. On a whim, I decided to search on Twitter and sure enough discovered handles like @JobBoston, @bostoncivicjobs and @hotbostonjobs. It turned out that many Boston companies use social media to publicize openings and seek out candidates. It completely makes sense; employers have to be where the people are. From that day forward, my job search happened exclusively on Twitter. Searching hashtags like #bostonjobs and combinations like #boston #jobs #pr made me realize the opportunities were out there. I just had to find them. I created a Twitter list of these handles and religiously searched hashtags for new postings. This method led me to job postings I never would have found otherwise. I even applied and interviewed with a company whose job posting I found on Craigslist (and that was a legitimate business). That’s not to say I didn’t stumble upon my fair share of unusual jobs. Two months into my job search, I finally hit the jackpot. @BostonTweet tweeted a link with more than 200 startups hiring in Boston. Diligently filtering through the list, I applied to every single Boston startup that was hiring in marketing. It tooks days to filter through the plethora of tech companies in industries like eCommerce, enterprise software, and consumer media. As I was living in Indianapolis at the time, I used the address of a friend of a friend of a friend (whom I’d never met) who was living in the greater Boston area. Every article I read with tips for landing a job in a new city suggested using a local address. Being up front about my move was important to me, so when I applied for a position I explained that I would be moving the following month. I also included the specific dates I’d be in Boston for an interview. Sixty-two job applications later and a round of interviews scheduled, I road-tripped to the East Coast for what was the most mentally exhausting week of my life. If you’ve ever done five interviews in a day, you know what I’m talking about. I returned to Boston about a month later for another round of interviews—16 in total—and after my initial interview with Kinvey, I knew it was the right fit.

Kinvey‘s job opening was one of the 200+ startups hiring in Boston. Months of rigorous job applying culminated as I received not one, not two, but three job offers in a 48-hour period. It’s been over a year since I joined the team, and I’m still so thankful technology exists, if only for the purpose of connecting people. To sum up what I did in some quick tips:

• Find Twitter accounts that publicize job listings in the area where you’re looking for positions. • Search hashtags and even combinations of hashtags for anything you think is relevant. • Make a Twitter list of anything good that you find. • Apply, apply, apply. • Use a local address if you can, but don’t be shady about it.

Lauren Pedigo is a marketing associate at Kinvey.

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