Many job seekers are aware by now that LinkedIn is highly beneficial to your job search. However, they often overlook the “other professional network”…
With the ability to connect you with people across the country or around the world, Twitter enables you to expand your network well outside of your immediate circles. Twitter can be used to follow current trends in your industry as well as identify companies in growth mode (which means they will probably be hiring).
As most hiring managers and recruiters have a Twitter account, Twitter opens the doors to communication with experts in your field. Finally, the platform allows you to brand yourself professionally; to show potential employers why they need you on their team. When they see you confidently sharing your expertise, you have an advantage over your competition!
To get your Twitter job search going, here are some best practices that will help you take full advantage of the other professional network:
Account Set-up (Done Right)
Set up a designated job search account with a user name that contains your full name. Use the bio section of your profile to brand yourself for the workplace, and include a professional-looking headshot (no one takes “Twitter eggs” seriously).
Stay Under 140 Characters
I find it easiest to compose my tweets in Microsoft Word, where I can take advantage of the character count feature. You can use a site such as bitly.com to shorten your links. You might also use a Twitter management tool such as TweetDeck.
Tweet Relevant Content Only
All your tweets should include helpful information or links to articles of professional interest, with a brief comment or intriguing lead-in. Search Twitter for relevant hashtags (#) and then include them, sparingly, in your tweets (don’t use more than three hashtags per tweet; more than that looks like you’re trying too hard).
Build Your Network (Carefully)
Use Twitter’s search option to find others who share your interests. Be careful to grow your network at a moderate pace to avoid looking like a fake spam account. A Twitter best practice is to balance the number of people you follow with your followers. Far more followers and you appear to be a “broadcaster” (someone who only wants to talk). A far higher number of people you’re following and it appears no one wants to follow you.
Follow Companies and People
Follow companies of interest, influencers in your industry, bloggers you admire as well as a few of your job seeking competitors. Also follow those that use the hashtags you do; those accounts are likely to share your interests and are good networking contacts. Create Twitter lists to make it easier to follow these thought leaders.
Do Unto Others
A Twitter best practice you can’t excel without: promoting the work of others. “Retweet” those who have become part of your network; share their blogs and impactful tweets… and they will most likely do the same for you. Others will notice this giving network, and you’ll be well on your way to expanding your network.
At every opportunity, express gratitude. Thank people for-tweeting your posts. Reach out to influencers and newbies alike and thank them for following. Also thank bloggers for sharing their posts, and tell them how much you enjoyed the piece. Manners count on Twitter, a lot.
Because there are so many who start an account on Twitter, make a big splash and then disappear, both frequency and long-term consistency is critical. To keep yourself “top of mind” and to strengthen your personal network, tweet a minimum of 3 to 5 times per day when first getting started and much more as your network grows.
This list of best practices will get you started toward using Twitter to greatly accelerate your job search. Get started, today!
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at The Resume Resource!
About the Author: Trish Thomas of The Resume Resource is committed to helping people improve their lives through rewarding careers. A Professional Resume Writer and Career Coach, she delivers a full range of services to help job seekers establish clear career goals and develop tools and strategies to achieve those goals. What differentiates Trish from other career services providers is the time she takes to get to know each client and their individual needs to position them competitively in today’s job market. Follow Trish on Twitter!