Twitter may not seem like a viable source for landing a job, but with the privacy settings and restrictions that come with LinkedIn and Facebook, Twitter’s free-for-all platform may be your saving grace for connecting with your future employer.
We’ll cover the basics on how to effectively set up your profile, how to utilize Twitter’s many features to your benefit, and, most importantly, how to properly tweet and successfully get the attention of hiring managers.
1. Profile Basics
When filling in your bio, keep in mind that this is the second thing that people see when viewing your profile – your avatar, or profile picture, is the first – so choose your words wisely. You might consider mirroring your bio verbiage to that of Hillary Clinton, who manages to capture her mission, accomplishments, interests, and humor in just 140 characters. Also, ensure that your picture and Twitter handle are professional, representing the mature candidate that employers are looking to hire. For more tips on creating a stand-out Twitter profile with an appropriate avatar, check out this post here. Lastly, don’t forget to add a link to your personal site or LinkedIn profile in order to give recruiters a better idea of your credentials and background.
2. Search Tips
As you know, people want to do business (and hire) people they know, like, and trust, so try to come across as one of those people, if you want to be taken seriously. Once your profile is in tip-top shape, it’s time to start connecting and engaging with people in and out of your current network, and the best way to do so is to seek like-minded people out via Twitter searches.
There are a few ways to conduct searches on Twitter: general Search, Twitter Operators, Advanced Search, and hashtags. If you are looking for a specific keyword or person – such as “Richard Branson” – then the easiest thing to do is enter it into the Search box located at the top-right corner of Twitter. In doing so, a list of tweets will be generated that contain your search criteria and you can sift through them to find what you’re looking for.
For a more catered search where you can control the keywords, people, and location criteria, you’ll want to consider the Advanced Search feature, coupled with Twitter Operators to help refine the results produced.
The most common way to navigate through Twitter’s massive amounts of data is by using or searching hashtags in tweets. For example, if you’re looking for companies that are hiring, you may want to search popular recruiting hashtags, like “#hireme” or “#hiring”. Twitter suggests limiting the number of hashtags used to no more than two per tweet.
You can also use the above search methods to find industry leaders, colleagues, potential employers, and recruiters, so don’t limit your queries to just keywords. Make connections that matter so that you make the most of your Twitter account.
3. Tweet Tips
Tweeting meaningful and interesting content is somewhat of an art form that is perfected over time. Be careful not to overshare, but you also don’t want to be a wallflower who simply regurgitates other people’s content. Mashable suggests, in this post on using Twitter as a job search tool, “Don’t just retweet what others are saying; create meaningful content that people care about. Be a thought leader.” Do your part in offering your audience valuable, thought-provoking, and relevant information that they actually want to read and share, so that you can build your reputation on Twitter and with hiring managers.
Also, lend your expertise when the occasion calls for it – this adds to your credibility and also helps employers see that you actually do know what you’re talking about. If you happen to mention an employer (that you wish to work for) in a post, then be sure to, first, follow them on Twitter, and then tag them in your post so they are notified of the tweet. You never know what might happen. That employer could click on your profile and seek you out individually. It wouldn’t be the first time social media landed someone a job. For more tips on tweeting for professionals, read this post here.
Happy job hunting in 2014!
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What other ways do you leverage Twitter in your job search or career? Share your thoughts with our community on Twitter or in the comments section below.
Leah Arnold-Smeets, owner of Emiko Consulting, is passionate about helping entrepreneurs capitalize on their strengths, improve on their weaknesses, and reach their full potential. Leah obtained her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration & Entrepreneurial Studies from the University of Southern California (USC).