The free social media and micro blogging service that we know as Twitter has quickly become a fantastic channel for your personal branding. It complements your online presence on other platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. Some argue that Twitter has become a pivotal tool for connecting job seekers with recruiters, as it is very direct, quick and the reach-out is huge. If you are looking for a job in the current economy, you cannot afford ignoring Twitter as a complement to your other search activities. Let’s crack on:
Get signed up
Go to Twitter.com and sign up for an account. Pick a username that is professional and that an employer would want to tweet with. If your name is taken, consider any combination of your name and your industry or what you do. As with LinkedIn, you will want to get a nice photo up on your profile and you might want to customize the background image as well. The next step is to fill in the Twitter bio. You don’t have that many words so be precise, tell the world what you do, how much experience you have and what your major achievements are. The URL link should direct to your personal site, blog or professional profile on LinkedIn or similar.
Learn the ropes
Just like when you first signed up for Facebook or LinkedIn, you will have to play around with it a bit and familiarize yourself with the functionalities. The big difference between these services is that Twitter is not as personalized, you can choose to follow anybody and anybody can follow you. You will find that Twitter is much simpler than most social media, so you should be able to grasp the basics within an hour or so. Twitter is all about tweeting short messages and reading others’ short messages.
Who to follow?
Before you follow anyone, double check that you have done up your profile enough. The last thing you want to do is follow people and leave a poor first impression with your profile. When that is all checked, start looking for people that might have a job for you. Recruitment companies, HR departments, line managers are all on Twitter and will from time to time be tweeting new job offers. If you follow them, they are likely to follow you and pick up on your tweets.
You can actually search Twitter for tweets containing words such as vacancy, new job, requirement etc. This way you will be able to hone in on the Twitter folks that have new jobs going. Just make sure you make it relevant to where you live by checking people’s locations before you follow. TwitterJobSearch.com is a site that compiles all jobs on Twitter, it is global so just type in what job and location you are looking for.
Tweet about interesting stuff. Share the ups and downs of your career, life, friends and family. Retweet interesting tweets from others. Embed these tweets with your job search about once a day, just give your followers an update so that they get constant reminders that you are looking for a new opportunity. If you post links, always use URL shorterning services like bit or tiny. Don’t ever spam out any tweets, one bad tweet from you and you could be un-followed by scores of Tweeters.
Tricks of the Tweet
Now that you are up and running, you might want to look at applications to help you tweet. There are myriads of third party applications that will help you to auto-follow (SocialOomph) un-follow (Twitter Karma, Buzzom), to update your LinkedIn and Facebook at the same time as Twitter (Hootsuite, Seeismic). Run a Google search on applications and you will have enough to go through.
Once you get into Twitter it feels like it's the best thing since Hovis ready sliced bread. As useful as it may seem, remember that Twitter is not the be all and end all of your quest for new employment. Twitter complements your other activities and consider it another string to your bow.
Please share your experience of Twitter and whether it’s helped you? And please feel free to follow me by the way!