One of Twitter's most useful aspects is the access it provides you. Recruiters, HR representatives, hiring managers, and executives all use Twitter on a daily basis. Unlike an online job posting where you can only apply via the information provided, Twitter allows you to interact with these people directly by sending them an @ reply or a direct message. Your resume is much more likely to be seen and seriously considered if you’ve interacted with a company representative rather than applying to a job post along with hundreds of other job seekers.
Tips to get noticed and hired on Twitter:
• Create a user-friendly profile. Use your real name and keep your Twitter ID professional. Use the biography to tell the world what you do. Your goal is to be found and followed by like-minded people. Make it easy for others to follow your updates or follow you back.
• Use the website field to link to your online resume. Consider using a service like VisualCV that allows you to post and share your resume online. If you don't have a digital version of your resume, use your LinkedIn profile as your website.
• Keep your updates public. There's an option to have public or private updates on Twitter. If the purpose of your Twitter account is to meet people and potentially find your next job, keeping your updates private defeats the purpose. You need an open profile so other users can search for your tweets and easily find you. Recruiters use keywords and hashtag searches (which group tweets by topic) through the Twitter search function to find potential candidates for open positions.
• Find jobs using hastags. Use the integrated Twitter search feature or a third-party applications like TweetDeck to search for keywords or hastags. Hashtags are words with a # prefix. For example, the hashtag #job will yield you the results of every tweet that a user categorized with #job hashtag, but not a tweet that simply says "I'm on my way to my new job."
People use hashtags on Twitter to categorize the subject of the tweet and make it searchable. Research the hashtags people use to categorize job openings or job-search advice, like #jobs or #jobsearch, as well as hashtags for your specific industry, and set up an automatic search for all tweets with those hashtags. You can also use hashtags to join a conversation about certain subjects and interact with other people using that hashtag.
• Follow people who work in your industry or companies that interest you. Interacting and building relationships with people who are already working at those companies may help you uncover job openings that aren’t posted on popular job boards.
• Use Twitter lists to find new people to follow. This will will help you discover relevant information about your search, as well as more contacts. You can make your own lists to filter information only from people on that list or follow other people's lists to see people and content you wouldn’t see in your own stream.
• Be consistent. Posting regular updates takes time, but not so much that you can't easily post an update or two a day. Also find time to interact with the people you follow and scan your automatic searches.
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• Promote others before promoting yourself. Blatant self-promotion and a Twitter stream full of self-concerned updates is a big turnoff. You want to share information about yourself and use it to help you, but you also need to help others to gain and maintain an active following. Share interesting information and links. Promote others through retweets, or tweeting what they’ve tweeted, to recognize their efforts, add value to your community and join conversations.
Lindsay Olson is a founding partner and recruiter with Paradigm Staffing, a national search firm that specializes in placing public relations and communications professionals. She blogs at LindsayOlson.com, where she discusses recruiting and job search issues.