The idea that most job opportunities are not posted publicly is true, with 70–80% of jobs only available through the hidden job market. Luckily, Twitter is a good place to crack whisper networks, where hiring managers often tweet about upcoming or available roles. If you’re interested in working at a particular company, follow the people who work there on Twitter.
People often include the company they work for in their Twitter bio. Do individual Twitter searches using a company’s name (“Slack”) and handle (@SlackHQ) and navigate to “People” under search results.
If you enjoy someone’s blog, they’ll often have a link to their Twitter account in their site’s header, footer, or About/Contact page.
Simply Googling someone and where they work (“Kyle Russell Skydio” or “Kyle Russell Skydio Twitter”) will bring up their Twitter account in the first few search results.
Use LinkedIn to find people of interest at a company you’d like to work at. Type their name into Twitter search to see if they’re a user.
Once you find them, founders, hiring managers, and other employees will often post about the following:
Jobs that are available. These posts will notify you about jobs you might have missed (or that weren’t posted) on a company’s jobs page and will give you more insight into your potential manager or team member.
Jobs that haven’t yet been posted. Often hiring managers or team members will mention jobs that will be posted soon. Seeing this can give you a head start on preparing your application.
Call for contractors. These are requests to collaborate with individuals or teams in a temporary capacity (like a freelance illustrator, writer, developer, animator, et cetera). While these may start out on a per-project basis, often such contracts can lead to long-term opportunities. If you’re trying to raise your profile, short-term gigs can help you build your portfolio, network in your field, and gain recommendations.
Finding a job posting through Twitter also gives you the opportunity to read through a hiring manager’s Twitter timeline to gauge what it would be like to work for them and what they might appreciate in an application.
While it isn’t necessarily fair to judge a company based on one person’s tweets, managers and founders are well aware that their companies will be judged this way, and are often deliberate about cultivating or supporting their company’s brand through their tweets. For example, a company that values diversity and inclusion may be easier to spot when its founder is often posting about D&I best practices.
Following people can give you insight into the ideas these individuals and companies appreciate in order that you may improve your communication with them; their posts about work can provide specific insight into company culture and how you might fit or contribute. If the company is small enough that you can reasonably do so (if it’s a ten-person startup), following a large portion or even all the employees gives you a chance to form a judgment about the work environment.
Instead of waiting for happenstance, and expecting opportunities to pop up in your feed, you can also do the following:
Create opportunity lists. Add people you’re interested in working with to a private Twitter list so you never miss if they post about an opportunity.
Just ask. Message people you want to work with a little about your background (make sure to have proof of your work through a blog, portfolio, CV, or GitHub). Rather than asking them about opportunities at their company, ask if there are current challenges at their organization that you can solve with your skillset. In some cases, people are very willing to be forthcoming, tell you about upcoming roles, or refer you to existing ones. However, this isn’t always the case and often people are not comfortable referring people they don’t know, or their company may have a policy against this. This can be a good strategy with people you’ve interacted with several times or may be familiar with you through following your account.