If you think Twitter is just for conversations, sharing opinions and hearing about the latest celebrity gossip? Think again, it's actually an excellent tool for landing your ideal public health job.
Of course, there is also LinkedIn, but Twitter tends to give a more genuine impression of your personality and interests than LinkedIn. The way you present yourself there can catch potential employers’ attention, and it may persuade them to employ you (or not, please be careful).
To find your ideal job using Twitter, try these eight steps:
Your Twitter profile is an excellent opportunity to make yourself look professional online.
Your profile should look employer-friendly. However, remember this isn't your CV, so keep things informal and let your personality shine through.
Your bio should be concise (it has to be under 160 characters). Take your time to write something thoughtful, using keywords to make yourself searchable. You could refer to your degree and extracurricular activities, along with fun interests. For example:
“Public health practitioner based in London. Cyclist, swimmer and a family man”.
It's also a good idea to change your DM (Direct Message) settings so that anyone can contact you, even if you don't follow them – that way, if recruiters want to get in touch, they have a direct line of contact with you.
Don't forget to link to other sites like your LinkedIn profile or a personal website so that employers can look up your background and experience in more depth.
Also, chose a good profile picture and cover image that look professional while still reflecting who you are. These should give a solid first impression to any employers who come across your profile.
Building a network on Twitter takes time and effort, nobody gets thousands of followers overnight. A good start by following organisations you're interested in, as well as people who work at those organisations.
It's also worth following some thought leaders in public health. It’s an excellent opportunity to hear what they have to say, and you may learn something or even better engage with them and join in the conversation.
Unlike LinkedIn and Facebook, Twitter is all about live updates and interaction, so ideally, try tweeting at least once a day to keep up with the public health community.
For example, if you come across an interesting article, retweet it and add a line or two of your thoughts. Whoever you've retweeted will likely be grateful for the extra exposure and might even respond.
Twitter Chats are also a great way of doing this. These are scheduled (usually weekly or monthly) conversations on a subject where people use a specific hashtag to stay connected.
It might be intimidating, but the only way you're going to get your name out there is if you get stuck in.
Twitter is an excellent opportunity to get a more behind-the-scenes look into an organisation and the job roles they offer.
Also, look out for updates like significant organisation changes in policy or a restructure. By following both the company Twitter page and following people who work there, you may gain insight into what is happening.
Another tip is to find the person who's currently working in the role you want and look into their background, specialisms and interests, as well as any projects they're working on. You can take inspiration from their route to the job when developing a career map.
Public Health Jobs regularly shares jobs on our account. You can follow us here. There are also other accounts to follow, such as @pubhealthjobsuk.
Here's an example of our feed:
Many organisations and employees will also tweet about roles they're looking to fill, so keep your eyes peeled.
Lastly, try searching popular hashtags such as #publichealthjobs to find relevant vacancies.
Knowing how to use Twitter's search tool properly can help track down relevant tweets and job vacancies.
Generally, the most effective way to search for jobs is by using this combination: location + 'hiring'/'vacancy'/'job' + public health (although note that not all job titles have public health in the title, it may be more relevant to search keywords such as ‘health improvement’, ‘smoking cessation’ or ‘health protection’.
However, getting the search terms right is just the beginning. You can narrow your search down further with the search filters.
This is when it pays off to follow the right accounts, as you can choose only to see search results from people you follow, as well as tweets posted near your location.
You can find the option to add search filters on the results page after you've searched the key terms. If you're using the Twitter app, you'll likely find the search filters by clicking the dial icon on the search results page. Or click here to see the advanced search.
Twitter can be a bit overwhelming at times, and filtering through the noise to find the best articles to share isn't always easy, but that's where lists come in.
When you come across an account that regularly shares effective content, you can keep up with its updates by adding it to a list.
To add accounts to a list, click the three dots next to the 'Follow' button on their profile and choose 'Add/remove from Lists'. You'll then be able to add them to an existing list or create a new one. Here’s Twitter’s detailed background on lists.
Twitter is all about being your authentic self, but you should still exercise a degree of caution.
Tweeting stories and pictures of things you may come to regret or getting involved in angry Twitter spats can create the wrong impression about you.
Be careful what you retweet too. Even if the retweet doesn't reflect your own opinion, sometimes it can come across as an endorsement.
The key to any successful job interview is preparation. When you go into an interview knowing the organisation and your interviewers as well as possible, you have an excellent chance of getting the job.
Use Twitter to find out things like developments, successes or trends within the organisations.
You can also do some background research on your interviewers too. If their profile is public, you'll be able to see their tweets and find out about their interests and work projects.
Doing this research is a great way to find topics that you could bring up in the interview to engage your interviewers and impress them with your knowledge.
As well as researching on Twitter ahead of interviews, you can also get prepared by finding out common interview questions and how to answer them.
We hope you have found this article useful. We would love to hear from anyone that got a job from one of our Twitter posts. Email us here to let us know.
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Jyotsna Srinath, Public Health Analyst at Essex County Council, kindly answered some questions about her public health journey.
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