People use Twitter for personal posts all the time; sharing photos, highlights of their days and jokes (#firstworldproblems, anyone?). But you can use this same social network to land your dream career! In 140 characters, Twitter enables users to share content and connect with others around the world. And you can tweet with anyone from your favorite celebrity to your dream career company; they don’t have to follow you back.
Twitter has broken down the wall between job seekers and employers. A job seeker can tweet a company to see if they need an intern, or a company can post recent listings to increase the amount of applications. In fact, 49 percent of hiring recruiters use Twitter to search for job candidates.
Below are the top six ways to use Twitter to build your personal brand and launch your dream career.
1. Upload A Professional Photo
A professional photo — just like on any of your social profiles — is a must! It’s much harder to get Twitter followers with the pre-uploaded, generic egg profile picture.
2. Load Your Bio With Keywords
Include key terms that describe your personal brand and reflect your industry in your bio to help recruiters find you (search engine optimization). Whatever terms you include in your bio is searchable via Twitter search, but will also help your profile show higher in Google search results. Twitter also allows you to list a URL in your bio, so include a link to your LinkedIn or personal website. Just like I mentioned in the LinkedIn job search post, utilize the | symbol to separate information. For example, mine is: Author of Land Your Dream Career| Speaker| Cheer Coach| SF Giants and 49ers Fan. Feel free to make any of your keywords in your bio a hashtag, which will make it easy for people to search your keywords from your bio.
3. Keep Your Tweets Short and Sweet
Remember you only have 140 characters, so use words sparingly and get your point across quickly. Try to only use 110 to 120 characters, so if people retweet (RT) your content they can add “RT @yourname” and their own hashtag or comment as well. You want to make it as easy as possible to RT you without changing the headline you created for your content. Also make sure to shorten your URLs. You can use http://www.bit.ly or third-party apps such as HootSuite. (Some of these third-party apps even let you track clicks on your shortened URLs!)
4. Add Value To Your Tweets
People want to follow helpful tweeters, so share valuable content. Valuable content includes news, how to’s, and fun/funny items. Pay attention to what your audience likes and post more content that they like. Then give credit where credit is due! Make sure you mention original authors or sources of information when sharing content. For instance, if you share this blog post on Twitter include via @ToriRTerhune. Tweeters love shoutouts!
5. Use Hashtags
Hashtags are invaluable for getting your content found. My top favorite hashtags to use are #jobsearch, #collegetocareer, #resume and #careeradvice. It increases the life of your tweet, because it can trend with similarly tagged tweets, and makes your tweet easier to find in searches. Hashtags can also add humor or context to a tweet. #mylife, #whyihateinstagram and others can include you in fun, ongoing conversations on Twitter. Please remember to only use two to three hashtags per tweet!
6. Utilize Lists
Create lists to organize the users you follow into categories such as career experts or social media folks. Then you can view the feed for just those users, and share the group of users with your friends or connections. Tweeters added to your lists will be notified and excited, the people you share the lists with will be happy and you will make yourself a great resource — so it’s a win-win-win. You can also subscribe to other users’ lists to stay updated on the types of followers that interest you. As an example, here’s a great social media related Twitter list.
What do you think? Do you have any other tips on how to use Twitter for the job search? Comment below!
*This is the second in a series of blog posts on using social networks to help your job search. If you have a network you would like included in the series, please let me know by commenting below!*