But, developing the perfect summary of your accomplishments and qualifications is only the beginning – you still need to get your one-page masterpiece in front of a potential employer. That’s why I’m here to offer you some bold advice: forget the resume, and tweet instead.
That’s right; Twitter, not a resume, can hold the key to your dream job. Twitter is the perfect place to network and connect with the potential employers who may actually want to read your resume when they see you actively promoting content relevant to their organization and industry. Here are five ways to help you connect with the right people:
Develop Your Twitter Profile
The first step to making meaningful connections on Twitter is developing a profile that reflects your personal brand. Choose a professional profile picture, such as a simple head shot, and take the time to find a background design that showcases your personality. In addition, spend time crafting a Twitter bio that describes who you are and what you do. You only have 140 characters, so make it count!
Start Making Connections
Twitter’s “search” function allows you to search for individuals or organizations you want to connect with. Begin following thought leaders and prominent figures in your industry. Connect with businesses and organizations in your market. It’s always good to promote content for a business you’d like to work for; they’ll likely look more favorably on you during the application and interview process because they know you’re an active part of their community.
Believe it or not, you can build relationships through 140-character snippets of conversation. One of the most effective ways to start your relationship is to welcome each new follower with a direct message (DM). In your DM, introduce yourself, briefly state what you do, what you tweet about, and of course, welcome your newest follower!
In addition to an initial welcome, make it a point to engage with your followers. Thank individuals for retweets, ask them what they thought about an article you both reposted, and send out #ff (Follow Friday) tweets each week to promote who you follow. The more you promote others’ content and engage with them, the more likely they are to promote your content and remember you for future job and internship opportunities.
The best way to build relationships is to avoid excessive self-promotion – no one loves a social media narcissist!
Find Twitter Communities Within Your Industry
There are thousands of Twitter communities of various sizes and scope in the Twitterverse, so seek out the ones that will help you grow as a professional. For example, #u30pro is an active community where young professionals share relevant content about navigating the job world as a Generation Y professional. The community hosts a Twitter Chat each week to discuss various topics about work and life as a young professional. Identify a few key communities, use a social media management platform like Hootsuite or TweetDeck to easily monitor those hashtags, and start tweeting relevant content!
Provide Relevant Content Regularly
Twitter has the unfortunate reputation of being full of conceited, self-involved narcissists who only tweet irrelevant comments, such as what they had for breakfast or any equally mundane detail of their lives. Give people a reason to follow you by regularly tweeting content relevant to your industry or content area. Your tweets are more likely to be read if you spread them out, rather than sending them all at once when someone may or may not be online, so use a social media management system to schedule your tweets throughout the day.
Since becoming a tweeter in mid-2010, I’ve received multiple internship and even job offers from individuals who follow me because of the content I promote. As I was redoing my resume this past month, I essentially tracked my journey on Twitter, sharing resume articles I found helpful and later sharing my revised resume itself.
Within a few hours, I had three different professionals reach out to me and ask if I’d want them to review my resume. (I said yes, of course!) They each provided me with valuable tips about my resume, and it allowed me to interact with industry professionals that I otherwise would never been able to connect with.
So, yes, having a resume may be helpful, but be sure you spend some time building your own Twitter network first! Create your own personal Twitter “success” story by building a strong profile, connecting with key influencers in your industry, and keeping up a conversation with industry professionals.
Have you ever received a job or internship opportunity because of connections you made through Twitter? How do you develop and maintain connections on Twitter?
Editor’s Note: YouTern supports #U30Pro and several other tweet chats as great resources for internship and job seekers. Among these is YouTern’s own #InternPro chat.
Abby is a senior mass communications and political science student at the University of Delaware, serving as president of her PRSSA Chapter, social media coordinator for a local organization, staff reporter for her campus newspaper, and an undergraduate researcher. In addition, she frequently tweets, and blogs at http://abbystollar.com.