Since becoming involved with the careers guidance market, I’ve become increasingly fascinated by the relationship between job search/career change and social media. Probably because I’m someone who a) has had a lot of jobs and career changes and b) loves social media and regularly struggles to remember what she did before it was invented. Having written a blog post on using LinkedIn in a job search I started thinking about my chief social media love, Twitter. Although Twitter is less targeted towards professional networking than LinkedIn, it is still a hugely valuable tool to businesses and professionals-and to job seekers. Here are 10 tips for using Twitter to get a job.
1. Fill in your bio
You only have 160 characters for your bio, so make them count. Make it clear what you want and what value you can bring, i.e. “As a qualified social worker for x years, I’m currently looking for a position in a y type of organisation”.
2. Use a real photo of yourself
It’s important to upload a photo on your Twitter profile and it’s just as important that it’s a photo of yourself if you’re a job seeker. As hilarious as putting up a photo of Simon Cowell or a cat in a bow tie is, it doesn’t look very professional in the eyes of potential employers checking out your profile.
3. Follow the relevant people
Obviously if you’re using Twitter to tap into a certain job role, organisation, career or industry, it’s essential to follow tweeters associated with your target areas. There are a number of Twitter applications and directories that can help you find people in a particular field. The most established, popular and recommended one is Twellow.
4. Connect with people
Just following people who could be beneficial to your job search won’t be of any help if they don’t know you’re there! Connect with potentially useful contacts by replying to their tweets, following tweeted links to their blog posts and leaving relevant comments, and also tweeting them any thoughts or links that they might find interesting.
5. Tweet smarter
It’s great work if your first tweets are of value, but once you’re interacting with people and have some followers that are actually listening to you, it becomes even more important to tweet smartly. If you’re using Twitter as part of your job search this means giving off a professional vibe. You may only have 140 characters with which to tweet, but it’s still important to be interesting, avoid major controversy and to use correct spelling and punctuation.
6. Offer your help
This is an important part of connecting with people and being a smart tweeter: You can show both your authenticity and your ability to fellow users by offering your help to them, be it by answering a question, voting on a poll, or even sending them a book that they’re looking for and that you have. Giving assistance by using your career expertise in particular will of course demonstrate your viability as a job candidate.
7. Ask for help
You can ask for help just like anyone else on Twitter, especially if you’re looking for a job. Asking for help doesn’t necessarily mean coming across as desperate: it can be as simple and understated as asking a journalist who reports on your particular industry if they know of any openings within the ‘hidden job market’-openings that are there but aren’t being advertised.
8. Don’t spam
Unfortunately, as Twitter is such a popular platform, it does get its fair share of spammers. Therefore we’re all so super-aware as Twitter users that even if you’re not intentionally spamming, it can come across that way and you may end up reported and/or blocked. It’s one thing to ask for help from a variety of connections on a variety of job seeking issues, but if you repeatedly address exactly the same question/request to one particular person or the whole of Twitter, you may become a spam suspect.
Speaking of spam, if you do get a tweet or DM from someone you haven’t been interacting with, or don’t know, and they offer you a dream job opening, be wary. Ask yourself if what they’re saying is too good to be true and why the offer has come out of the blue: be careful not to click on any links you don’t trust, as phishing scams are built around trick links. If you’re not sure about a link, ask someone like @safety for help.
10. Preserve your Twitter reputation
Spamming is just one way of ruining your reputation. A job seeker’s online reputation can be crucial in landing a role so it goes without saying that you should avoid swearing, lying, posting photos you wouldn’t want your mother to see, being rude, cyber-stalking fellow tweeters, and drunk-tweeting.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get a job just by using Twitter, but used in the right way, it can be a great ensemble tool in your job hunting arsenal. Using Twitter in the ‘right’ way is basically about engaging your brain and thinking before you tweet. A lot of the above tips are applicable not just to the job seeker but to anyone who’s using Twitter on some sort of serious level. Yeah, you’re not going to stick to the ‘rules’ 100% of the time-if you were to check out my profile right now, you’d see that I goof around and squee over celebs more than I probably should. But the beauty of Twitter is that you can mix business with pleasure as