It’s generally accepted by most people who think about the areas of recruitment and employment that Twitter can be a very powerful job search tool indeed. Whether you’re finding your first job, aiming to switch jobs, changing careers, or looking for work experience or a voluntary placement, Twitter’s instant real-time nature makes it a job-seeking networker’s dream.
However, to prevent that dream turning into a nightmare, it’s important to network on Twitter in the right way. Here are some tips for becoming a pro networker on Twitter and thus enhancing your chances of landing the job you really want. Also check out Position Ignition’s ebook called 125 Twitter Job Search Tips.
- Use your own name when you sign up, as this is a signal to others that you’re there to be open and honest and make genuine connections as yourself.
- Upload a photo of yourself to your profile that shows a lot of your face. The closer up your face is in the photo, the more personal—and therefore trustworthy—the picture appears.
- Don’t lock your Twitter account. If someone has to request to follow you so they can see your tweets, this defeats the purpose of using Twitter to network.
- Even the greatest tweeters started with a single tweet. Instead of looking at your blank, new Twitter profile for days on end, get that first tweet out of the way. Say what you’re on Twitter for, why you decided to join, or, simply, that you’re having an interesting time finding a new job at the moment!
- Be clear on the types of people you want to attract and connect with. As a job searcher, to know which people will help you, you need to know what you want. Decide upon the job you’re actually after and it’ll become a lot clearer who you need to engage with on Twitter.
- Use directories of Twitter users to look for people and organisations directly related to your ideal job. The most well-known Twitter directory is Twellow. You can also list yourself on it so people can find you too.
- Once you’ve started following people, give them a reason to follow you back—it won’t happen automatically. Each time you start following someone, ‘tweet’ them (by putting their @username in front of your tweet) to explain how you found them and why you’re following. This is a great way of showing people that you’re not just spam-following but are genuinely interested in building a relationship.
- Even if someone doesn’t follow back after you do this, continue to engage with them by replying to their tweets and RTing them.
- Start a conversation with anyone who @replies you or RTs you, even if they’re not following you yet. It may turn out that you both see something of value in the other and end up following one another.
- Every time someone follows you, check out their profile and click on their link. Leave a comment on their blog or website or comment to them about it back on Twitter. This shows that you really appreciate the follow.
- Once you’ve made a connection with someone and have had a few good conversations with them, continue to interact with them on a regular basis. You relationship will grow and flourish. Just like any other kind of networking, Twitter networking isn’t about the number of contacts you can get, but about the quality of relationship you have with each and every one of your contacts.
- Network with employers by sending them tweets and links about their sector, industry or something you’ve seen in the media about them. This will convince organisations that you’re genuinely interested in their field. Showing a company that you’re tracking it in the media also demonstrates that you have a particular interest in that organisation and that you’re willing to do your research on it.
- Join in tweetchats relevant to job seeking. A tweetchat is a Twitter conversation, typically held at a pre-arranged, regular weekly time, between a group of Twitter users, and using a specific hashtag to identify the discussion. For instance, you may be interested in chats such as #JobHuntChat and #careerchat.
- Attend tweet-ups. These are meetings and social get-togethers ‘in real life’ arranged on Twitter, by tweeters. If your own personal Twitter network of followers and ‘followees’ are related to your profession, then any tweet-up you organize between all of you will be a valuable experience, as face-to-face networking will help cement your relationships.
- Follow up on a tweet-up by tweeting anyone you truly connected with at the event, just to say it was nice to talk to them. You never know where it could lead.
About the author:
Nisa Chitakasem -Founder of Position Ignition, a UK-based modern day careers advisory firm for professionals offering help around careers, transition and personal & professional development