Twitter is a mystery to many people. It has a language all its own—tweets, hashtags, RT, DM, tweetups, and tweeps. And it has its own etiquette. You are expected to thank people who retweet your tweets and follow people who follow you.
But perhaps the biggest mystery of all is how to use Twitter in a job search. Many executives see Twitter as a fun application for young people who want to keep their friends updated on the minutiae of their lives (what restaurant they went to, what they ate for lunch, their ride home from the subway), but it is also where many hiring managers are and where recruiters regularly post openings, which is why it is an important social networking tool to master.
Here are some important tips for setting yourself up for job search success on Twitter:
1. Create a professional-looking background for your Twitter profile. There are several applications available to help you do this. One of them that is free is Twitbacks. You can upload your picture and choose a template that presents you well.
2. Write a bio that describes what you do and what you have to offer. Make sure to include keywords that a recruiter would search for so that you can be found.
3. Include your LinkedIn URL as part of your bio. Space is very limited on Twitter, so you want to be able to refer recruiters and hiring managers to more information about your professional background. LinkedIn is perfect for this. It is an extended resume, and you can even upload your two-page resume to your profile.
4. Tweet information of interest to employers. Use your tweets to talk about professional association meetings that you have attended and industry-related articles that you have read. This will show that you are staying current with your field.
5. Search for the right people to follow. In order to be effective on Twitter, you need to follow the right people and have them follow you. Twellow is an application that has Twitter users categorized, so you can search for people who are in your profession or industry to follow. Also, you can find executives in your field using ExecTweets. Twitter users are also categorized on this site so that you can find appropriate people to follow.
6. Use hashtags to make it easier for employers to find you. Hashtags are terms used on Twitter that start with the # sign. Many Twitter users regularly search for tweets by hashtags so that they can stay up to date with what people are saying about a particular topic. Some hashtags that are useful to job seekers are #jobs, #jobsearch, #careers, and #employers. You can also search Twitter for hashtags that are specific to your field.
For assistance with using Twitter for your search, send an email to Cheryl Palmer of Call to Career at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 877-743-9521.