Twitter. You either love it or absolutely despise it. I started out as a critic of this social media platform, and was completely shocked by the connections I was able to make through my daily interactions. Truth be told, I would not have this job today if it were not for Twitter. While you will not be able to escape the daily “I am eating a burrito. It is good. #life #yum” tweets and the entertaining profiles of celebrities, there is a lot more to Twitter than meets the eye.

In my previous role as a Recruiter, we were encouraged to start a Twitter account to source candidates. One of the first accounts I followed was the @UcfBusiness and @UCFFootball accounts (I am a UCF alum, and die-hard football fan). Lo and behold, this was when our new Dean was being welcomed to the University! I sent him a congratulatory/welcome tweet and found myself in a meeting with him a week later.

I, a recent grad/entry level Recruiter, was able to speak with the Dean and hear his vision for our University. I was excited. Now, two years later, I find myself being a part of one of the biggest career development transformations for universities across the nation….ALL because of my simple gesture through Twitter.

What can Twitter do for you?

News: Sometimes Twitter can give you a better (and more concise) recap of the top headlines, rather than waiting through commercials on your local station. Want to know what companies are merging or who is winning the big game? Check Twitter.

Unique Connections: In what other world can you connect with Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffet, and Dean Jarley (the celebrity of our college) in one place? Linkedin and Facebook are great, but Twitter provides instantaneous access to prominent individuals’ thoughts, dreams, and even their morning breakfast.

Professional Organizations: When I meet with my Accounting students, I always recommend that they read publications and know what is going on in the “real world”. Academics are amazing, but staying connected to your industry, dream employer, and related news will make you seem more knowledgeable in interviews and networking events. This is also a great way to meet followers from these organizations to connect with like-minded individuals.

Twitter Chats: I was lucky enough to connect with the head of a large non-profit foundation, and secure my spot in my very first radio show through a Twitter Chat. What is a Twitter Chat you ask? It is a way to participate in a weekly, or monthly, chat regarding a topic you are passionate about. The topics range from #nextchat (for young professionals) to a chat called #Foodiechats for those of you that like taking pictures of your food.

I have to admit, this last point I made is through an ulterior motive. The purpose is to invite you to a Twitter Chat that our College will be putting on this semester. Groundbreaking? Well, there are no other Universities doing anything like this. Want to connect with CEO’s, Business Publications, and social media experts? Join this chat; we are bringing them to YOU.

The chats will last 30 minutes (so no excuses of not having time) and may lead to great opportunities for you. The topics will be beneficial for students, recent graduates, and all business professionals. Break free from your Careerbuilder searches, and participate in something that will help your career. Take part in the discussion, connect with our guest moderators, and you never know…you may just learn something.

If you are still scratching your head on what a Twitter Chat is, here are some resources for you:

http://tweetchat.com/ – Instructions for Twitter Chats, and a great site to keep up with our chat!

http://www.seochat.com/c/a/social/how-to-take-part-in-a-twitter-chat/ – Pay attention to etiquette! You don’t want to be “that guy”

The schedule will be posted soon, so stay tuned for more information. We will also announce the schedule through our social media sites, atrium screens, and all of the PR channels we can. Hang tight, it’s time for you to leave the nest (Twitter pun intended).

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Kelly Bogey, Career Coach

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