I have previously blogged on the value of using social media for tracking down internships, work experience and jobs, plus networking, particularly in, (though by no means confined to) areas related to work in the media. It was also a prominent theme at the PPLS alumni event back in February – many of the recent PPLS grads who spoke at the event stressed the prominence of social media in their career-search and career.
When talking to current student Hannah recently, she enthused about her conversion to Twitter and how she’s used it to find internships and other opportunities, and to network in her industry of choice – screen writing.
Ever on the lookout for interesting blog material, (and having a suspicion that hearing it from your peers often carries more clout than from a careers adviser!), I asked Hannah if she’d be willing to share her experience of how she’s used Twitter to enhance her career. Happily she agreed – thanks so much Hannah! – and her account below make interesting reading.
‘A few years ago I attended a writing workshop with a published writer, a publisher and a literary agent. Amongst advise about writing and getting an agent, all three individuals, from completely different areas of the industry, agreed on one thing, that social networking is a significant part of writing. As a result all three subscribed to Twitter, and encouraged the attendees to get on Twitter.
As a writer, looking to break into the film industry, I immediately took their advice and opened a Twitter account. Before I opened one, I had been repelled from Twitter by the belief that it was worse than Facebook; little more than an invasion of privacy; a place for celeb-hungry individuals, searching for news about what celebrities are having for breakfast, where they spend the day, what they’re wearing etc. Yet – and there is no doubt that Twitter does have these pitfalls – this social networking site also has an amazing amount of resources.
So many professionals now have Twitter accounts, and whilst you do get the occasional update about breakfast or the tube, these professionals will often use Twitter to post work experience or job opportunities. I received my first internship through Twitter, and have applied for several more because of tweets about internships with employers such as ITV, BAFTA and so on. And an added bonus, knowledge of, and the ability to use social media outlets, such as Twitter, are skills many employees look for when they hire.
Over the past two years that I have been an active member of the Twitter community. And, as a result of my interests, I follow popular and up-and-coming writers, directors, and media agencies that constantly post tips on what they seek in CVs, at interviews, and general advice on getting into the film industry.
Depending on your ideal profession, Twitter is also a great means of self-promotion. If you have a blog or a website; if you’ve written a story or an article; Twitter is a great place to promote yourself and, consequently, attract potential employers and even collaborators.
Whatever area of work you’re interested in, you may just find that Twitter gives you quick information regarding opportunities and access to that industry, that you wouldn’t normally be aware of. So, if you’ve not already signed up, dip your toe into the tides of the Twitter ‘information-ocean’ – you may be surprised by what you find there.’
Thank you so much for this Hannah, and hopefully your experience will encourage Twitter-doubtfuls of its many advantages, give or take the odd breakfast update!