3 Ways to Use Twitter to Find a Job or Change CareersIf your job search has stalled, or if you’re looking to switch it up and change careers entirely, chances are there’s a job out there for you on Twitter — if you know how and where to look.

Even in this economy, and perhaps despite what you’ve heard on the nightly news, companies are hiring. Given the scale and cost effectiveness of social networking, more and more of those hiring companies are turning to Twitter to post job offers to a globally connected audience.

There can be a lot of noise on Twitter, and not every job that’s posted will be right for you. Here are a few effective strategies to cut through the clutter and help you find that dream job or make that career change you’ve been waiting for.

Search for Job-related Hashtags

Search Job Related Hashtags

When you want your tweets to be seen by a wider audience on Twitter, one effective tactic is to include relevant hashtags in your tweets. That’s exactly what thousands of businesses, recruiters, and human-resources professionals are doing to make sure that their job offers are being seen by job seekers on Twitter.

While it may be effective to search Twitter for relevant keywords or phrases, when you search for job-related hashtags you’ll find results from people who are actively looking to fill specific job openings. For example, one of the most popular and effective job seeker hashtags is #jobs. Organizations looking to find employees through Twitter will often use this hashtag because millions of people worldwide are searching on this hashtag 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

But that’s not the only effective job seeker hashtag. Try searching for hashtags like #hiring, or #hotjobs. You can also search for a job-related hashtag that includes the city in which you’re trying to find a job, like #ChicagoJobs or the industry you’re targeting, like #greenjobs. Try a few of your own permutations and see what results you get or try any of the top 100 job seeker hashtags as compiled by Career Rocketeer.

Find Relevant People to Follow

Find Relevant People to Follow

Another effective strategy for job seekers on Twitter is to find relevant accounts to follow such as companies you’d like to work for, professional placement agencies, online job listing sites, and so on.

Do you know what type of companies are almost always in hiring mode? Start-up companies. Typically, the first order of business for any start-up is to find and hire qualified employees. Executives and staff are juggling many roles and may not have time to post help-wanted ads in the newspapers or on traditional job boards. Yet most start-up companies have very heavy presences on social media sites like Twitter.

Use tools like Followerwonk to search Twitter bios for keywords like “startup” or “start-up.” When you find some start-ups that you think you might like to work for, follow the accounts, engage with the individuals doing the tweeting and when the time is right, make your pitch for employment.

By definition, recruiters are always hiring too. You can easily find them by searching Twitter bios for keywords like “recruiter,” “staffing,” or “jobs.” Allow yourself to be creative with the keywords you use in Twitter bio searches; you’ll be amazed at how many people you’ll find who are relevant to your job search on Twitter.

Network, Network, Network

Network, Network, Network

Twitter is a global social network. Don’t be afraid to expand your reach and follow people from anywhere and everywhere and from a variety of different backgrounds. Even if you’re interacting with someone from the other side of the globe, you never know which networks and resources that person is plugged into that may eventually help you with your job search.

Of course, in order for people in your Twitter network to help you with your job search, they need to know that you’re actively looking for a job. You can let everyone know you’re in job search mode without necessarily including this information in your Twitter bio. Consider strategically inserting job related keywords, hashtags or phrases in your tweets, like “I’d love to work there” or “Anyone know if that company is hiring?”

You can also network with like-minded people, who may be conducting their own job searches on Twitter and who have useful tips to share. One of the best ways to do this is to join Twitter chats like #JobHuntChat (Mondays — 10:00 pm ET) or #careerchat (Tuesdays — 1:00 pm ET) and simply jump in on the conversations and see where they lead.

Have you found a job through Twitter? Share your experiences in the comments below.

[Image credits: Mark Hillary, Tagxedo, bisgovuk, Harshad Sharma]