When looking for a new job, LinkedIn and Facebook are the first social networks most candidates think to polish. This approach makes sense, since 43% of employers use social networks to research job candidates. But many job seekers don’t fully utilize Twitter, despite it being one of the world’s largest social networks. Jobvite recently reported 52% of recruiters use Twitter to find candidates, and 39% recruiters use Twitter to post available jobs. Therefore it’s important for job seekers to not only join Twitter but to also make sure their Twitter presence is fully optimized to attract and impress future employers.
Twitter is a unique job-hunting resource because it offers easy access to the world’s thought leaders, CEOs, and influencers. Never before have the best in the business been so readily accessible for job seekers to engage in conversation or debate. Twitter is the perfect platform for exhibiting your professional interests as a candidate while still adding some individual flair.
Be personal and professional
LinkedIn is designed to read like an online resume, and Facebook is the main platform for many people’s personal lives. Twitter, on the other hand, has the capacity to mix professional and personal. It can be the perfect means of showing potential employers professional engagement as well as personal passions.
If you’re tailoring Twitter to your job-hunt, make sure your profile looks put-together and engaging. Try to assess it through the eyes of a hiring manager: are the Twitter handle and profile picture appropriate? Is the description informative and appealing? People should be able to take one glance at your Twitter profile and know who you are and what your interests include.
Engage in the industry
Follow prominent companies, leaders, and influencers in the industry you’re either already part of or want to join. Stay up to date on the industry’s latest news, and learn from the top minds: what are they saying? Who are they talking to, and where do those people work?
If you’re very involved in a non-professional hobby, consider creating a separate Twitter account. Separate accounts let you tailor tweets to better engage different audiences, and they ensure your job-hunt Twitter maintains a better balance of professional interests with personal touches.
Join the conversation
Don’t simply share and favorite tweets; add thoughts, opinions, and content of your own. Engaging in popular industry debates demonstrates passion, initiative, and critical thinking. It shows you’re not simply a follower but a contributor, a trait you would bring to any future career.
Expressing personal opinions also builds an accessible database of content which employers and recruiters can peruse. They can see not only your engagement and interests but also your insights.
Build a network
Finding and creating your message is important, but only if people are listening. To build a following, start small by following friends and acquaintances, and build to following and engaging with influencers who are vocal in the industry. Don’t be afraid to tweet at them: ask them questions, and share opinions.
Building an online network can take time, but having a sizeable following shows potential employers your opinion has value in the wider world, and it shows commitment.
Find jobs on Twitter
When job-hunting, check if the company is active on Twitter; if so, follow them before applying. It helps to learn what the companies choose to tweet about and who they follow. Many larger companies have job-specific Twitter handles they use exclusively for posting available positions, such as @MicrosoftJobs or @TargetCareers.