Twitter is a powerful messaging platform and one of the most powerful and effective sources for researching companies, finding job leads, networking, research and building your personal brand. Twitter presents a fantastic opportunity to build your personal brand and showcase your skills. You can raise awareness about who you are and the value you offer to potential employers by sending out strategic tweets that effectively demonstrate your knowledge and expertise.
Head hunters, hiring managers, recruiters, large HR firms and employment agencies all use Twitter to search for candidates to fill open positions. What is more, they are all available with a simple search, and you can build relationships and engage with them directly on the platform.
Most social media platforms require regular engagement and interaction, but with Twitter in particular, you need to actively engage with your target audience on a DAILY basis. There’s no getting away from that. You don’t need to spend more than 15 minutes on the platform, but you need to be there listening, tweeting and engaging with your followers.
You need to commit to being there, and you need to think about building relationships. Not updating or responding via Twitter with engaging and impactful tweets in a timely fashion will cost you followers.
Twitter is so popular with recruiters because using the platform for recruitment is free and can save companies and recruiters thousands of dollars, which is what it would cost to use a major job board. Your Twitter profile provides you with a powerful platform for presenting yourself to online recruiters and hiring managers in a concise and succinct manner. By leveraging Twitter as a tool to define your personal brand and creating an appealing brand image, you put yourself in the primal spot for top employers and recruiters to find you.
Companies with job openings tend to use hashtags to tweet job opportunities. Here is a list of some of the most popular hashtags job and career-related hashtags you should follow during your job hunt:
When hiring managers and recruitment personnel become aware of you on Twitter, the first thing they will check out is your profile and bio to get further information you. They will also take a look at what you have been tweeting about. This means that tweets involving politics, race or anything controversial would not be appropriate for the account you wish to use for personal branding purposes. You should treat this as a business account.
The tweets that you do post should shine as an example of what you are and what you do, and should be designed to inform or educate your audience, and build your brand. If you have been tweeting strategically with helpful posts and helping out customers, this will help attract recruiters and hiring decision makers to you.
Your name appears in your Twitter profile, but your username, which is what you go by on Twitter, is attached to every tweet you send out. For branding purposes, you’ll want to use your real name as your Twitter username. The whole point of personal branding is define, build and reinforce your personal reputation, so your Twitter username should match the name you are have used in your resume or CV, LinkedIn profile and other other personal profiles.
If you have a very common name or your name is not available, you can use a combination of your name, your profession, and/or other relevant keywords to define your Twitter username.
Assuming your name is Peter James, here are some effective options to consider for creating your Twitter username:
Using your profession and location as your username and your full name in the Name field is probably the best option for you. Recruiters often search on job titles or skills plus a location. In addition, including your brand keywords in your username brands you for Twitter as well as for the search engines.
Location is a very important field in your Twitter Settings, particularly for job seekers, because recruiters and employers often search on a job title (or skill) plus location. In the location box, list where you are living or the location where you want to live and work.
Tip: The length of your username will eat into the 140 characters that you are allocated for your tweet. If your name is quite long, consider abbreviating it. You’re going to need all the real estate you can get, particular if you want your tweets to be retweeted.
Tip: When you settle on a username, stick with it. Don’t change it because it’s going to be a strong part of your personal brand online. Remember that your Twitter name and username will be indexed as the title tag in the SERP, and this will help define who you are.
One of the biggest advantages of social media is the fact that you can use it to effectively control your personal brand image and define how you would like to be perceived by your target audience. Your Twitter profile requires a controlled career focus on personal branding.
Your Twitter profile should clearly answer the following questions:
Your area of expertise defines who you are and what you do. If you could tell someone only one thing about the services you offer, what would that one thing be? This means you need to focus on a specific subject-matter you’re passionate about, develop your skills and expertise in that area and define your reputation as an expert in that field.
The more defined and focused your brand identity, the more effective it will be. If you try to be a jack-of-all-trades who is everything to everyone, you will simply end up confusing your target audience and you’ll achieve very little of what you set out to do.
If your professional blog is up and running, and you can use the “More Info URL:” field in your Twitter Settings to connect your Twitter account to it. The link will be clickable, and it will be labelled “Web.”
Your bio is a strong part of your personal brand, and Google uses it to index your Twitter account. It is the perfect 160 character summary of your brand. This is where you show your personality and share who you are and why people in your target audience should follow and engage with you.
Twitter is a search tool, so you’d do yourself a favor if you included relevant, targeted keywords in your bio. Services like Klout pull your Twitter bio information as your Klout profile description. Services like FollowerWonk, formulists, and other Twitter search engines use keywords in your bio in search results when people are looking for like-minded people to follow.
Think about things that recruiters and hiring managers would search for to find you, and try to include those keywords in your Twitter bio. People in your target audience will be more likely to become followers if they were searching and found you based on relevant keywords.
Your bio is a critical aspect of your presence on Twitter, so use the space wisely. You don’t want to come off as stiff, robotic or boring. Add your personality so people can relate to you as a real person, but tactfully link it to what you’re currently doing, which is to find a job in your chosen field:
Here is an example:
Spirited SEO pro. Aiming to create a new home for a company: right at the top of search rankings using power of SEO and social. http://www.myseoblog.com
Although a little serious, this is a strong and compelling bio because it communicates a number of key points to potential recruiter and hiring managers:
Bear the following point in mind as you craft your bio: you can refine your bio as you go along until you get it right. If you find that you are attracting the right followers with your bio, then you can leave it. On the other hand, if you are not getting any followers, you want to keep tweaking it until it makes the sort of impact you are looking for.
A photo on Twitter is absolutely essential in order to be successful on Twitter. No one will want to follow you if you don’t have an attractive or interesting photo posted. People want to see what you look like. Your Twitter profile will never grow organically if you don’t have a photo because no one will want to connect with you if you haven’t been social enough to post a photo.
If you want to be successful on Twitter, it is important to build a network of people in your industry or field. Whether you are using Twitter to define your brand, increase your visibility, get a job in your field or build thought leadership, you need to make some serious noise with your tweets. You can’t be reserved or laid back. You need to be confident about what you’re tweeting and tweet often and strategically. And the only way people can hear that noise is by attracting a stream of followers. So you want lots of people to follow you.
One of the quickest ways to get followers is by following people first. People tend to follow people who follow them. If you are following someone you’d like to know, chances are, they just might follow you back. But you don’t want to follow just anyone. Quality is far more important to you than quantity.
There are all kinds of people on Twitter, and you need to be selective, and only follow people in your target audience. The great thing is, Twitter’s model allows you to follow any user whom you find interesting. These include prospective employers, fellow job seekers, career coaches, HR professionals, recruitment consultants, and networking contacts.
When you are known to be a source of great content, people will tend to follow you without you having to follow them. When someone follows you, return the courtesy and follow them back. Ignoring people who follow you will just make you come across as anti-social. When someone follows you, use both @replies and direct messages to acknowledge them.
You can choose to follow people based on certain criteria that you choose to define, such as the following:
Tip: When you first join Twitter, don’t just start following people willy nilly. You have a target audience: fellow job seekers in your field, influencers, thought leaders, recruiters, hiring mangers, career coaches, etc. These are the people in your target market. Also bear in mind that people want to be informed, educated, entertained, find a job, build meaningful connections, get more visibility, build their brand, and more. If people can see that you are of the same mindset as they are, they are more likely to follow you.
Stay active by tweeting on a daily basis. Your aim is to build a strong presence and define your brand. Aim for a minimum of 35 tweets a week, or five tweets a day to maintain your visibility.
When you join Twitter, your mindset should be with branding in mind. You will be defined by the content of your tweets, and the extent to which you engage with people. Make your presence felt with tweets that educates, inspires, entertains or informs. Engage with people. Comment on their tweets. And when you comment, make sure it is thoughtful and doesn’t come across as spam so people don’t see you as “fake”.
When you make a comment, do so because the tweet deserved a comment, not because you feel you have to say something. Don’t be overly cheerful or bashful. Just be yourself. Genuine, fun, interesting and personable. Ask questions. Never use Twitter as a tool to moan or complain about anyone or anything, because that just makes you sound like a negative person. Believe me, people in your target audience do not want to connect with anyone with a negative attitude.
Don’t ever sound like your job search is making you depressed or anything like that. Retweet other people’s tweets. Put yourself in the place of a potential follower. How do you want potential followers to perceive you when they visit your profile for the first time? The most successful people on Twitter are those that put the needs of other people first and foremost. That should be your mindset. OK, maybe you do have an ulterior motive, but so do other people on Twitter.
As far as people are concerned, they should get the impression of a knowledgeable, sociable and personable professional who has a lot to share. Those are the vibes you should be giving off.
When you join Twitter or create your new Twitter profile, start by posting 25 to 30 tweets so that people can get a chance to see who you are and what you’re likely going to be tweeting about. In addition, get into the routine of tweeting on a daily basis, because you need to be active on a daily basis to make the desired impact on the platform. This will ensure that you start out building the right following. The people that you want to become your followers are likely very selective about who they follow, and you want to show them that following you would be a safe bet.
The key to great tweets is delivering quality, meaningful content in an engaging manner that makes people in your target audience want to know you better. You will be defined by the quality of your tweets and how you engage with others on the platform. Industry experts recommend that you have a ratio of 80% professional content and 20% personal content.
When you tweet, tweet about topics that substantiate your brand. Share helpful, recent and career-focused content that reinforces your brand identity and identifies the source. If you’re a recent graduate, a potential employer can learn a lot about you by reviewing your Twitter stream. If your stream is filled with random, irrelevant ramblings, this will send a strong message about you to career stakeholders.
Speak in the same consistent voice. Be authentic. Every tweet you sound out should be designed to substantiate your brand. Don’t confuse your target audience by tweeting in different voices to sound “cool or trendy”. Before you tweet, consider the implications of the tweet and how it will make others view you. If it doesn’t give the reader insights into the brand image you are trying to build for yourself, do not send it.
Your tweets should be strategic and designed to add value to the conversation. They should be intelligently crafted to move your career or job search forward. Ask yourself, “Is the tweet specific? Does it serve to move my job search agenda forward? Is it salient? “Does it say something about my brand and who I am? “Does it demonstrate my knowledge or expertise?” “Does it make someone in my target audience want to follow me?”
Adhere to the following suggestion of tweet types:
If you are seeking a position as a search engine optimization specialist, here are examples of strategic tweets that will give some indication of who you are and where you are in your career at the moment:
Show who you are in your tweets. Show your personality. Don’t just share great content without trying to engage with other people. People are also interested in who you are as a person, and want to relate to you. In addition, tweet about topics that will serve to substantiate your brand. If you’re off-brand too often, followers won’t keep following you.
Before you tweet anything, ask yourself: “Does this tweet show off who I am, or substantiate my brand? Does it give my reader positive insights into my personality as a professional?”
In your tweets, always try to use the word “you”, rather than ‘I’, ‘me’ or ‘my’. For example, rather than “I love this great picture of Manhattan at sunset”, say “You’re going to love this picture of Manhattan at sunset”.
It is important to create a list to organize the content of your Twitter account. Twitter can get very noisy at times and lists allow you to sift through the noise so that you can listen exclusively to targeted users who are talking about exactly what you want to hear. With a noisy stream, you can miss important career and job-related tweets. You may also want to consider creating a list of your hobbies and interests as a way of sharing a bit of who you are with others.
Engagement is a big part of using Twitter. And engagement means more than simply sending out tweets and retweeting other peoples’ tweets, even if you are tweeting useful content. You engage with your audience when you have meaningful conversations with them. This means participating in ongoing discussions, paying attention to what is being said, expressing yourself, giving your own point of view, and responding to other peoples’ points of view.
Below are a number of ways in which you can actively engage your target audience on Twitter: