How to use Twitter in your job search

I’ve spoken a lot about the importance of social media for job seekers in today’s world. I’ve discussed the importance of LinkedIn and Facebook in relative detail, covering the issues of e-reputation, privacy and touched upon specific social media channels and how to use them in your job search. What I haven’t done is gone into to detail about the use and importance of Twitter for all of you looking for a job. So that’s what I’m going to do today.

As I’m sure you are aware (and you should be!), Twitter is a social networking and micro blogging service utilizing instant messaging, SMS or a web interface. It was launched in July 2006 and is now home to over 300 million users. Now many of you may be thinking that Twitter is just used for spreading and sharing information quickly to a global audience. Well, it does allow users to do so but what’s becoming increasingly recognized on a global scale is its importance for job seekers.

You don’t believe me? Let’s have a look at some stats.

According to a recent US-based survey:

  • 16% of job seekers found their current job because of a social network
  • 25% of job seekers claim to use, or have used, Twitter in their job search (a number which is rising)
  • 8,000,000 people say Twitter got them their current job

And whilst these numbers are quite impressive, what’s more important to focus on is the rate these numbers are increasing and the implications for the future.

Now I understand that knowing this is all well and good but unless you understand what to do it’s not very helpful. So how do you go about using Twitter in your job search?

Let’s start with the basics: Creating your profile.

-First you’ve got to choose a username. Choose something sensible and professional.

-Now you’ve got 160 characters to best represent yourself to potential employers/connections. This bio should be your job pitch. Tell people what you do, what you want and provide a link to an online CV. You want to make your profile as easy to find as possible. It has to be “googleable”. You can do this by incorporating keywords relevant to your industry.

-Next you want to upload an avatar. This is your profile picture. As you would do on your CV, choose a picture where you look professional as well as personable. The first thing people look at when they come across your profile is your picture. That’s a fact. So, make sure yours represents how you want to be perceived.

-Finally, utilize your Twitter profile background. You’ve got a lot of space to work with so you can design a professional background which will make you stand out and ultimately aims to impress. There are plenty of templates online if you’re unsure how to do this.

So that’s your profile done. Now it’s time to get networking. After all the most important thing is who you know.

-Hopefully, if you’ve built your profile properly and you are search-engine friendly then the people looking for you (and there are people looking for you) will find you. Recruiters are actively using Twitter more and more to source candidates so that’s one reason you need to be there!

-But obviously creating a profile and waiting for people to find you isn’t really going to benefit you. You need to get interactive. Get following, liking, commenting, mentioning, retweeting and sharing. After all it is a social network. Interact with people in your industry, people who you think can help you with your job search and grow your professional network.

-Of course this still isn’t enough because you still haven’t tweeted anything, and you can’t really have Twitter without tweeting! What you tweet completely depends on you. But what I would say is that you need to keep content favorable. You want to appear professional but you also want your Twitter to have a personality so it’s all about finding a balance. Tweet about what interests you and what you think interests your network as well. By doing so, you can grow a network of relevant professional and personal connections which may prove invaluable to your job search.

So there are a few things to get you started. Remember you can’t build a strong Twitter presence in a day. You have to be patient. It’s also important to underline that quality is more important than quantity. The most important thing is not having the most followers; it’s about connecting with the relevant ones. Do this, and you might just land yourself your dream job.

So get tweeting!

(You can follow us on Twitter @TMIParis)

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