Created in 2006, Twitter is a social networking site where people post short messages called tweets. Some might equate tweeting with microblogging. Like other social media sites, you can follow others and be followed in turn. Unlike other sites, it’s not necessary to know someone to follow them on Twitter. This format makes it easy to follow newsworthy entities relating to your job search – and for others to find you.
The most unique feature of Twitter is that each tweet is limited to 280 characters or less. This allows users to skim quickly and read content with a glance, which is a good thing for today’s attention-lacking audiences.
Establish Your Presence
It’s easy to get started on Twitter – just go to the What’s Happening box and start typing. Unlike LinkedIn, which is more formal, Twitter is a place to showcase your personality. (You do still want to be mindful of what you post: no off-color jokes, cursing, or sharing offensive content.) You can tweet about your personal life, hobbies, and other interests along with information from within your field.
Twitter allows users to set up a profile with a short description and photo. Try to make your description snappy and short, which fits into the whole premise of Twitter. Include keywords from your industry in your profile description to help describe what you do and what your interests are professionally. This gives a quick idea of what you’re about, and recruiters may find you in a search to fill positions.
Populate Your Feed
Getting your feed started can be tough if you’re just beginning to use Twitter. You wouldn’t want to tweet overmuch simply to make it look like you’re an active user. Here is some great advice for making it look like you’ve been using it forever.
A “hashtag” is a keyword that is followable on platforms like Twitter and Instagram. Watch Twitter for hashtags relating to jobs in your industry, networking events, and even job applications. You can also search for tags that pertain to the job you want. It’s best to include words like “#jobs” or “#hiring” and then other specifics (for instance, “#marketing” and “#Washington” or “#DC.”
Telling your friends that you are on Twitter is the quickest way to begin your following. When people follow you, the appropriate thing to do is to follow them back. To “retweet” is to share someone else’s tweet on your feed, like forwarding an email.
You can follow any account on Twitter, whether it is an individual account or one representing a company. Sometimes, companies even have dedicated Twitter accounts just for their job postings. Following individuals and companies in your field (and retweeting their information) will keep you up-to-date and clue you in to any job opportunities that may arise.
Position Yourself as a Thought Leader
Share articles about your industry, comment on pertinent news, and start conversations with major players. Once you position yourself as a thought leader, people will follow you for your expertise and come to you with specific questions about your experience.
A final note: No one wants to see a Twitter stream with only self-promotion! Share kudos to your team members (making sure to tag them) and link to others’ projects in the field. Your promotion of others will only make you look more attractive as a candidate.