#jobhuntchat: Free job search advice, anyone?

(I'm resisting the overwhelming urge to make any sort of reference to Charlie Sheen and #winning as I prepare to share deets on this awesome Twitter resource for job seekers. Mostly because I know that Rich DeMatteo, co-founder of this massively popular weekly chat is completely over all things Sheen. But also? Because this post is about job search resources, not goddesses, lawsuits or tiger blood. Let us continue.)

Interested in a weekly dose of free job search advice from a bunch of career coaches, recruiters, resume writers, HR people and fellow job seekers? Then you will absolutely want to check out #jobhuntchat, a weekly conversation that goes down every Monday (10PM ET) on Twitter.

Launched in 2010 by job search experts Rich DeMatteo (best known for his blog CornOntheJob.com) and Jessica Merrill-Miller (who blogs at Blogging4Jobs.com,) #jobhuntchat has quickly become the most popular and most visited Twitter chat for job seekers.  It's a very cool resource.

I hit Rich up on Skype last week to get the complete lowdown on #jobhuntchat. And here is what he had to say:

To someone who hasn't seen it before, what exactly is #jobhuntchat?

Basically, it's a place to gain free advice, learn about tools and trends within the hiring arena, and meet other people that share a common interest, which is job search and careers. Every Monday from 10-11PM ET, we just take random questions from people -- job seekers, recruiters, career coaches, bloggers... really, anyone involved in the career field. We post the questions and then everyone shares their opinion and expertise.

Why should a job seeker participate in #jobhuntchat each week?

By participating, a job seeker can find a ton of free advice from professionals in the field, all in one spot. Job advice is very opinion-based and depends on the person, so you can get a mass amount of experience and opinion, glean what seems most relevant, and then apply it to your own efforts. It's free, it's engaging and it's quick, easy and fun.

For someone new to Twitter, what's with the #?

The # is a Twitter hashtag.  These are the symbols that precede certain words or phrases within some tweets. The purpose of a hashtag is to create an organized way for Twitter users to follow tweets around a certain topic or theme. So, with #jobhuntchat, a job seeker can simply search under the term and follow along with all the tweets related to the group. Much like an actual conversation. 

What are the best things to come out of #jobhuntchat thus far?

Well, for sure, it's nice to see it gaining in popularity and helping lots of people. Typically, we have about 150 people on at a time, but we recently reached 300 people in one chat, with 2,000 tweets in that hour. We've also just launched an official website, JobHuntChat.com, which offers job seekers ongoing services and free resources on a 24/7 basis.

More proof that social media is changing the job search game. And another resource you absolutely should check out.

Thanks, Rich.