When Twitter first came about, many people saw the micro blogging site as the definition of “TMI.” Twitter users could quickly tap out an update about anything and everything. While some people used it to share links to intriguing news stories, others were using it to do a play-by-play of their day.
“Waiting for my sandwich at the deli.”
“Ugh, so rainy out today.”
While some people still use Twitter as a way to detail their every thought, many others have relied on the site to improve their own job search. When I lead resume webinars, I’m frequently met with questions about social media’s role in the job hunt. In years past, it was thought that making your Facebook and Twitter pages virtually invisible to hiring managers was the safest way to go. Now I advise job seekers to use these tools with care. Making proper use of social media can actually help to make you more appealing to a recruiter. Here are some ways to effectively use Twitter during your job hunt:
Showcase your professional abilities and interests
Yes, Twitter is fun if you want to offer a few witty thoughts on the latest episode of your favorite TV show, but the site is more three-dimensional than that. It can also help you to extend your professional brand. When you join Twitter, think carefully about how you want to approach the site. If you’re looking to network or to make yourself more visible online, you’ll want to make sure your tweets relate to topics in your chosen industry. Use your bio section to include a clear description about who you are and what you do, and then link to your portfolio.
This doesn’t mean that you can never use Twitter merely for mindless entertainment. If you want to tweet about your dining experience at a local restaurant, that’s fine. Just create a personal Twitter account in addition to your professional one. Keep the two separate, but make sure neither contains any questionable postings.
Tweets don’t just have to be about that funny thing your cat did. Smart professionals use Twitter to generate compelling, attention-grabbing content. Find a news article that you find particularly relevant to your field, then tweet out a link and your take on the piece. Soon, users will look to you for news and insights on the field. This may earn you the attention of a company with a job opportunity.
Seek out mentors
Though reaching out to strangers on Twitter may feel scary, the site makes it easy to build relationships with potential mentors. Regardless of status, anyone appreciates a genuine compliment about his or her work. If you admire the portfolio of someone in your industry, send him or her a message telling him or her so. It may lead to a mutually beneficial professional relationship.
One of the best parts about Twitter is that it enables job seekers to connect directly with the organizations they admire the most. If you’ve always had your eye on working for a particular company, start following this organization. If they tweet out something you find interesting, write them a response. You may begin to engage in a dialogue with the brand, thus helping you to stand out should you choose to submit your resume to a job opening there.
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