Using Twitter to Land a Tech Job at Expedia

Expedia Baggage TagOnline travel site Expedia wants to hire 240 technology professionals ranging from engineers to a sizable slug of information technology specialists. And more and more, managers there are finding those people on Twitter.

But first, the jobs. The company’s looking for:

  • Software development engineers
  • Test engineers
  • Program managers
  • Technical product managers
  • UI/UX Web developers (less emphasis on visual design, more on technology)

Java and Hadoop are the two most common skills that Expedia looks for in job candidates. Others Include Cucumber for testing positions, Cocoa and iOS for mobile and AJAX for engineering. “It’s getting harder to find people to do these jobs who know Java and we’re a Java shop,” says Expedia recruiter Jeremy “Jer” Langhans.

Social Hook

Of course, it’s one thing to know of a job opening, but another to connect with the hiring manager. Langhans says there are three ways to get there.

“One way is as old as the hills, where you get together in person at meetups, trade shows or through online forums,” he says.

The second way is through an organized online social media site, when you can search based on the company, area you want to work in and the title of managers in that department.

But a third method that’s gaining traction is to use Twitter. Langhans recommends that candidates enter keywords around a specific topic and company to locate people who can help you out, if not the hiring managers themselves.

Once you’ve identified a hiring manager, the best approach is to use what Langhans calls the “Golden Rule”: Identify where they spend most of their time on a social media site, and if they’re discussing a topic you’re familiar with, chime in. “It’s like a handshake without the awkwardness,” Langhans explains.

After you’ve broken the ice and gone through a few rounds of tweets, send a private message indicating your interest in working for the company and the position you’re seeking. Show that you’ve done your homework, then can ask if the manager knows who is hiring for the position and if they’d be willing to make an introduction.

Langhans notes that Expedia has hired thousands of people through Twitter, where the engagement between a candidate and someone from the company played a substantial role.

And BTW, here’s Langhans Twitter handle: @jer425.


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