Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

From the Archive: #Jobsearch -- Using Twitter to Find Jobs

Submitted by Amanda Dumsch July 20, 2020

Where do you go to look for jobs or networking opportunities online? Most people automatically think of great sites like LinkedIn or Indeed; however, a growing number of people are turning to Twitter. Twitter is now being heralded as the best job search tool you probably aren’t using.

How can you harness the power of this social media powerhouse? Well, we aren’t encouraging you to tweet out a 140-character version of your resume, but we are encouraging you to become more familiar with site functions which can be very helpful when job searching.

Use Built-in Search Tools

Type keywords into the search bar to source job openings. You can type in a location plus the word “hiring” to get a broad overview of positions in your desired area.

However, an even better way to look is to search using hashtags. Hashtags quickly help you find available opportunities; even better, they alert you to companies and/or people who are tweeting using that hashtag. Remember the importance of using career and industry specific hashtags as well. Some popular hashtags to use in your job search include:


Start Following
If you have specific companies/organizations you are interested in, then you should start following their main account. On top of this, try to follow other people in your field of interest whether that includes industry leaders, publications, job forums or even recruiters. This can also be a great way to stay in the loop regarding recent news or business developments, which might alert you to possible job openings.

Stay Organized
Most Twitter users use it for both personal and professional purposes. If it helps, you can create new lists in which to add people. These lists can be either public or private and you can add as many users to them as you like. Clicking on a list gives you a quick snapshot of tweets from just those added individuals and companies. This can be a great way to help organize the often chaotic and continuously updated feed in the Twittersphere.

To add or remove people from your lists:

  1. Click the gear icon drop down menu on a user's profile.
  2. Select Add or remove from lists. ...
  3. A pop-up will appear displaying your created lists. ...
  4. To check to see if the user you wanted to add was successfully included in that list, navigate to the Lists tab on your profile page.

While it won’t entirely replace all of your standbys, Twitter can be a great addition to your online job/networking search. This website compiled over four-hundred twitter feeds of job opening organized by countries around the world. Give it a scan to get some new ideas.

And, while you’re logged in to Twitter, feel free to start following us at @NIH_OITE. We post about career related events and topics frequently, so we hope you will find this to be a good resource about staying up to date on all things OITE


“Informational Interviews – What? How? Why?” A Recap of NIH OITE’s Webinar

Submitted by Amanda Dumsch July 6, 2020

Blog reposted from The Rutgers iJOBS Blog
Written by: Helena Mello

Regardless of the career path stage, networking is an essential aspect of any professional life. As scientists, we have opportunities to connect in conferences, seminars and career events. We can strengthen these connections and expand our network with informational interviews; however, not everyone is familiar with this resource. With that in mind, the NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education (OITE) held the webinar “Informational Interviews – What? How? Why?” by Amanda (Dumsch) Langer. This article covers the webinar’s main points.


Strong networking leads to shorter job searches. Informational interviews help you expand your network and are an opportunity to show your professional abilities and interests. Regardless of the job you are searching for, in many cases, referrals can help land an interview more quickly than online applications. Those that will refer you must be familiar with your professional background, goals, personality and work values. Therefore, your referrer needs to get to know you. The goal is to let them know your career objectives while maintaining a friendly, professional relationship.

While most senior graduate students and post-doctoral researchers understand the benefits of networking, young researchers can also take advantage of it to explore careers. Performing informational interviews with professionals from diverse fields can help you narrow down the potential career paths after graduate school. Besides, starting early enables you to broaden your network, which is undoubtedly a great advantage when the actual job search begins.


The primary purpose of an informational interview is to ask for information about a particular job or career path. When preparing for it, the first step is to reflect on your career values and think of questions that address them. Think about why you chose to have a conversation with that person. Is it because of their background? Company? Position? What is it about them that you are interested in learning? Make sure to ask a few questions about their career progression, so you can understand how it relates to yours. After getting familiar with their background, you can ask about their field. The meeting is a great opportunity to ask about the field’s work environment and culture. An honest answer can help you identify a particular company you’d be interested in joining. In addition, questions about their job search experience and future moves can give insights into your job hunting or career exploration plans. Finally, ask if there are other companies or people in the field that you should learn about. Good informational interviews create a domino effect helping you secure more interviews!



There are three groups of people you can consider for informational interviews: your inner circle, acquaintances and professionals you don’t know. Starting with peers and friends (the inner circle) can make for a less stressful conversation and help you gain confidence. Acquaintances are people you briefly met at an event, or your partner’s coworkers, for example. They already have a connection with you, but you don’t quite know them yet. Finally, you can branch out to professionals on LinkedIn or at your school’s alumni database to start a connection. There is a chance that some of your requests will go unanswered, but don’t get discouraged. Send a short, direct message stating who you are, how you found them, and your goals for the meeting.

Informational interviews are professional conversations; therefore, make sure you respect the other person’s availability. Be clear about your expectations with the meeting, and be ready to talk about your background and career interests. Prepare in advance, write down questions and main topics, and have your elevator pitch ready to go. Finally, following up is key! This is the most neglected part of networking. Send an e-mail within 48 hours with a thank you note, check-in with them periodically, and show that you are available to keep the conversation going.


I hope this post helped you understand the purpose of an informational interview and how to set it up. Thanks to NIH OITE’s webinar and thank you for reading. Good luck and happy networking!

This article was edited by Janaina Pereira and Tomas Kasza.


Virtual Meeting Etiquette

Submitted by Amanda Dumsch July 13, 2020

Many of the same rules about in-person/face-to-face meetings apply for virtual meetings. For example, you should show up on time, preferably even five minutes before the meeting start time. However, given the completely online environment in which we are all meeting, here are some other etiquette tips to keep in mind ahead of your next Zoom/Skype meeting.

Prepare Your Space

If you are using a new platform, give it a test run before the meeting and make sure you familiarize yourself with any features (screen share/stopping video/muting) that you might need to use on meeting day. While you are testing it out, make sure that your microphone and audio work. Some have found that using headphones helps the sounds quality quite a bit.

Find a plain background or at least one that you feel comfortable sharing with colleagues. Some platforms offer virtual backgrounds for you to put up, but realize that when you use them, the image of you often becomes a bit garbled. Try not to sit in an area where you are backlit as it makes the image darker and people are very hard to see; it can almost like an anonymous person in the meeting.

Turn Video On
Have your video on unless you are experiencing connection issues or unless you need to quickly attend to something in your home.  It can already feel more difficult to engage with others virtually; however, this increases exponentially when one is trying to talk to and connect with black boxes on their screen.

When your video is on, remember that you are on camera and try your best to avoid multi-tasking. It would feel very rude to check your email or scroll through your phone during an in-person meeting, so try not to do it during a virtual meeting.

Beware of Your Own Noises
What seems like normal everyday sounds, like chewing, sipping coffee, or even saying “Uh huh” and “Yeah” repeatedly can be irritating to other participants. Muting and unmuting yourself is a skill you’ll need to master to do well in virtual meetings. Unless the group is a small discussion group, it is probably a good idea to keep yourself muted until you want to speak.

Talking over another person is rude in an in-person meeting and online it makes everything inaudible for the group. Be cautious of taking talking turns during virtual meetings.

Be Respectful and Kind
We are all living in a new normal where we get to see inside our colleagues’ homes and see/hear their pets, kids, partners, etc. You may also notice that your colleague is wearing the same shirt each meeting or has barely brushed their hair. Calling attention to any of these things is rude; remember that each one of us is trying to manage daily tasks and some days are more successful than others.

If you need more tips on managing virtual interviews, check out our blog post here.


Twitter for Scientists - #SciTwitter

Submitted by Amanda Dumsch July 27, 2020

The OITE Career Blog posted back in 2015 that Twitter was a great resource to utilize when job searching. For a basic overview of Twitter for job searching, check out that post #JobSearch – Using Twitter to Find Jobs.

However, a lot has developed in the last five years. Twitter has become one of the most popular social media platforms; as of 2019, it had a reported 320 million active users.  Many scientists have taken to Twitter because it can be used as a great tool to connect with others (even those in positions of power and leadership) in a very purposeful and active way. Scientists have remarked that Twitter is a great platform for seeking out scientific collaborations, finding new mentors, networking, and job searching.  These are all reasons that are important at every stage, but especially early in one’s career. 

If you are new to Twitter and looking for an introduction on how to get started, here are some excellent resources for you to check out:

1. An article from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) entitled “Ten simple rules for getting started on Twitter as a scientist”.  The introduction states:

“This article is written by a group of researchers who have a strong feeling that they have personally benefited from using Twitter, both research-wise and network-wise. We (@DrVeronikaCH, @Felienne, @CaAl, @nbielczyk_neuro, @ionicasmeets) share our personal experience and advice in the form of ten simple rules, and we hope that this material will help a number of researchers who are planning to start their journey on Twitter to take their first steps and advance their careers using Twitter.”

2. Daniel Quintana, a Research Scientist at the University of Oslo, recently published a book “Twitter for Scientists” which you can read online for free at . This book covers everything from composing tweets to taking care of yourself on Twitter.

3. In preparation for this blog post, we asked trainees at the NIH for tips on how they use Twitter, specifically which hashtags and accounts they recommend following. Here are some crowdsourced ideas for your inspiration:

For job searching:

Add #PostdocOpps, #SciJobs, etc…

Follow @ScienceCareers, your field societies e.g. ASM/ASTMH/ASV etc., labs, @MicrobiologyNet (Microbiology Network), @BeyondProf (Beyond the Professoriate, a good place to explore nonPI jobs), @Parasitologyjo1 (Parasitology jobs), @PostdocJobsBio (postdoc openings), @STEMPhDCareers, etc.

For science and scientists:

The field societies, journals, @bioRxiv, @theNASEM (Nat’l Academy of Science), @nationalpostdoc, NSF and NSF_Bio, NIH, NCBIStaff, @NewPI_Slack (for future PIs), @NIHFunding, @OSM,  @PLOSECR (PLoS Early Career Scientist Community), @GradSlack (for current/future grad students), @RNAJournal, @RNApreprints, @WomenInMalaria, @WIParasitology (Women in Parasitology), @BLACKAndSTEM, @Also_AScientist (community of unique scientists, LBGTQTIA inclusive), @AcademicChatter (or #AcademicChatter), @CSHL_WISE (Cold Spring Harbor Women in Science)




@choo_ek (Esther Choo)

@fromPhDtoLife (Jennifer Polk, PhD)

@jenheemstra (Jen Heemstra)




@VirusesImmunity (Prof. Akiko Iwasaki)

@Thoughtsofaphd (PhD Diaries)
































As a reminder: you can also follow us at @NIH_OITE. We post about career-related and wellness events and topics frequently, so we hope you will find our account to be a good resource about staying up to date on all things OITE

Quintana, D.S. (2020). Twitter for Scientists [eBook edition]. Retrieved from DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3707741