Here are three insights and a number of useful tips to help you to utilise Twitter effectively if you want to tweet for jobs or use Twitter for your career networking.
I regularly receive feedback from recruiters complaining that they don’t get resumes via Twitter or Facebook and from candidates who complain that they don’t find as many job opportunities from Twitter as they would get from LinkedIn or Facebook.
When I tried to enquire about the real meaning behind their statements, they say “but we do get resumes from LinkedIn”. Dear Recruiters and Dear Candidates – Twitter can’t be used like LinkedIn or Facebook. The point that I am trying to make is that Twitter is not a social networking platform and that it has its unique style of working. Twitter is primarily a media platform and in some areas works like a social networking platform.
Every platform has its plus points. Am I confusing you? Don’t worry, it’s actually pretty simple. You can read the long expert explanation from Will Oremus here or read my short version below:
Don’t search for or expect job portal functions and features in Twitter:
Recruiters have been using LinkedIn religiously to tap into the right talent. Some pay top $ to get a premium recruiter account and some use their free account. The bottom line is that they use it like a job portal. This blog post is about the mindset that many recruiters and jobseekers have.
Many recruiters use social networking platforms such as LinkedIn or Facebook as job portals. Twitter, however, is not a job portal and neither, for that matter, is Facebook. Facebook made a pitch towards Social Graph, and some recruiters and career coaches have used it in their search efforts but it still does not deliver any of the functions of a classic job portal.
Twitter is a media portal and it can be used to assist you with your search for candidates, jobs or networking contacts.
If you are a job seeker or career changer, then Twitter is a great learning tool where you can follow the greats of a chosen industry.
You can share and learn best industry practices. You can participate is some amazing Twitter chats and learn from the discussions.
You can follow Leaders, connect with them and exchange notes and you can share your own insight, expertise or tips with others, either via your own content or re-tweeted material. All you need to do is invest some quality time.
To find good job leads or networking contacts do one or all of the following:
- Follow the industry(ies) you are interested in and participate in communities you care about.
- Don’t just re-tweet what others are saying. Create meaningful content that people care about. Be a thought leader or a thought promoter.
- Use Twitter as a jumping-off point to your more detailed online profiles — a personal blog or LinkedIn profile, for example.
- Many companies have job-related Twitter handles. Following those is a great way to keep tabs on job openings, it is also much easier than searching jobsites.
- Build your network before you need it and if your network is a bit thin, put some effort into expanding it. Simply following others is not enough! I suggest that you engage with people who do what you want to do.
- Don’t be overly professional. Success comes from people – real people! Twitter is a great way to showcase your personality and talk to people about your interests.
Be an engaging candidate on Twitter
Just having a Twitter handle isn’t enough to attract the attention of recruiters. They’re going to be looking at what kind of content you share on your account. You want to share a good mix of interesting and thought-provoking content, as well as tweets that give a taste of your personality.
- Show what you are passionate about and give recruiters an idea of your personality and interests outside of your career.
- Recruiters know that if they hire you, they also inherit your network. So make sure to build a solid network of people both inside and outside your industry.
- Interact and respond to the people in your networks. Add value to your community.
Network effectively on Twitter
There are best practices of use with any media platform, (remember it’s not primarily a social networking platform!) and they become even more important when you’re looking for a job. You’re not going to build a very good network if you just promote yourself.
- First impressions are just as important on social media. Make sure you have a great online description and photo. Be professional but interesting.
- Don’t abuse your Twitter as a self-promotion platform— be interested in what other people are doing and engage with them. Regularly make an effort to share others’ content before your share your own.
- Actually network. That requires you to do it – don’t be an armchair tweeter. Put some thought and effort into your contributions. Set up 1 or 2 lists for people across different disciplines. Join chats. Interact and start conversations. Initiate discussions with people who inspire you. And, don’t worry, it’s okay to step outside of your comfort zone. It’s 2014 and the world belongs to tech savvy communicators.
- Share content that is valuable. The more relevant contributions you make, the more others will want to continue to follow you.
Twitter & Recruiting
Recruiters increasingly form the opinion that resumes won’t become obsolete, but a candidates’ online presence will enhance their resumes.
Your online or Twitter presence will be an increasingly useful tool for your discoverability and so it is important to have some presence online. Having an online presence whether it is a blog, a profile in a professional networking site or a simple presence with media platforms such as Twitter with links to your work to supplement your resume definitely enhances your offerings as a candidate.
You want to have a digital presence on the web and you want recruiters to be able to find you. That’s where Twitter can be a great tool.
Tell us more if you use Twitter and share with us how you utilise it as a job search resource. Let us know in the comments and always remember to hunt wisely!