Although I am an avid tweeter (twit? Twitterer?) there are several useful tools attached to this platform that I’m not familiar with but need to be. Many of my peers – human resource professionals and executive recruiters – have told me how I can benefit from Twitter chats. And you can, too!
For an expert perspective on how Twitter chats can advance your career, I asked Pam Ross, who is a sought after speaker about social technology and the future of work. She is the producer of the Reinvent Work Summit and the co-author of the Blueprint for Workplace Reinvention.
Pam has also been rated one of the 100 most influential HR and recruiting professionals on Twitter, where you can connect with her @pamelamaeross. She attributes much of that success to Twitter chats.
When you are first getting started on Twitter, she notes, you often feel like you’re talking to nobody in little bursts of 140 characters. Twitter chats changed that for me, as I realized that you can have a rich conversation with people on social media.
Through Twitter chats, I’ve learned from experts around the world, I’ve become known as an expert in culture, reinventing work and leadership, and, most importantly for me, I’ve met people whom I never would have had the opportunity to meet before Twitter. Many of my Twitter chat “friends” have become people I speak to on the phone and in person regularly to collaborate on business and to socialize with.
Pam, how would you describe a Twitter chat to someone who’s never attended one?
Twitter chats are hour-long conversations with people all over the world all discussing a single topic. Tweets are 140 characters, and the fast-paced back-and-forth that happens in a twitter chat is like an inspiring and educational cocktail party conversation.
Twitter chats happen every hour of the day, on any topic you can imagine (here’s a list of many of them).
Most of them are held at the same time every week or month, and they operate through the use of a specific #hashtag, which categorizes everyone’s tweets together. You can get a better understanding by watching this video in this post about Twitter chats.
How might Twitter chats benefit someone’s career advancement?
It’s often said that it’s not what you know but who you know when you’re looking for a job. Through Twitter chats, you have an opportunity to achieve both – you can share your expertise about work-related topics and connect with people in companies that you may be interested in working at. Some companies, like Zappos, even hold their own Twitter chats where you could meet multiple people in the organization.
What are the best Twitter chats for general career management?
Here are a few of my favourite Twitter chats. While each of them has a target area of focus, you’ll find lots of recruiters and HR pros on all of them, sharing tips and insider knowledge.
#TChat (Talent Chat) on Wednesdays, 1pm ET is one I have been participating in for many years, and it has introduced me to so many amazing leaders!
#jobhuntchat on Mondays, 10pm ET is great for jobseekers with advice, recruiter secrets, and more.
#LinkedInChat on Tuesdays, 8pm ET is a great resource for using LinkedIn to connect with employers and others.
#OMCchat (Open Mic Career) on Fridays at noon ET is a “a no-holds-barred career/job search chat.”
#internpro on Mondays at 9pm ET is especially good for people starting their careers.
#peopleskills on Sundays at 10 am ET is great for anyone who wants to build relationships and be seen as a leader in their organization.
There are also many industry-specific chats that would be great for people to participate in to develop knowledge and to share knowledge in their specific industry.
Which Twitter chats do you recommend for executives in career transition?
Any executive who is participating actively on Twitter is already a step ahead. There is no doubt employees and customers are using social media actively, but many executives have not become personally involved yet. Simply opening yourself up to the sorts of conversations that happen online is a great step towards further developing leadership for today’s workforce.
Peter Aceto (CEO of Tangerine bank), Cheryl Fullerton (VP of Leadership at Maple Leaf Foods) and Brenda Rigney (VP of People Operations at Earls Restaurants) are three great executives to follow on Twitter.
Several of the chats mentioned above are great for execs, and here are a few more that could prove helpful:
#SocialLeader on Mondays at 8pm ET is all about the shift in leadership style that is necessary in this new “social world.”
#LeadWithGiants on Mondays at 7pm ET is great for connecting with people passionate about leadership.
#CXOtalk on Fridays at 4pm ET brings thought leaders and innovative executives together to discuss leadership, technology and innovation.
Thanks to Pam, we have no more excuses! Which of these Twitter chats will YOU try first?