How to Get Hired Using Social Media: Twitter (Part 3)

Twitter: Building a Name for Yourself

Twitter is a great way to become, or at least appear to be, an authority in your field and to build relationships with people who have similar interests. Think of Twitter as a giant house with thousands of rooms. Each room is talking about different topics ranging from Kim Kardashian to the War in Iraq. Each room has people who are the center of conversation, and people who are being completely ignored. Your goal is to find the room where you belong, and become heard within that room.

Twitter does not take long to set up but does take time to update and maintain. If you do put in the time it requires, it will be well worth the effort..

Getting Started

When it comes to choosing a twitter handle (the technical term for your name on twitter), make sure you pick something professional, such as “firstname_lastname”. Remember, when you are looking for a job, you are the brand that you are trying to sell, so pick your twitter handle accordingly.

For your location, choose the location where you would like to work, rather than where you live. For instance, if you live in New Jersey and are looking for a job in New York City, put “New York, NY” as your location. This will make it easier for employers to find you.

Next you need to write your bio, which is limited to 140 characters. Include your field, interests, and anything else that employer may be looking for. Here are a few things not to say or do in your Twitter bio:

  • “Follow Me!”
  • “I tweet about…”
  • “Don’t follow me if…”
  • Leave it blank
  • Type in all caps
  • Say too much

Choosing your picture may be a little bit more difficult on Twitter. Your picture must be a square image and it is not very large. Therefore, it is best to pick a close up of your face in which you are smiling. In order to insure the photo is framed how you want it; it is best to crop it before you upload it.

Lastly, Choose a design theme, background, and colors that are simple, yet not boring. There are many websites that have databases of different Twitter themes and backgrounds.

Getting Followed

The secret to getting followed is simple: follow to get followed. The more people you reach out to and interact with, the larger your network will grow and the more connections you will obtain. In order to find valuable people to follow, you can look at people’s “lists”. Lists are user-generated feeds that people create to categorize the people they follow. For instance, if you are  he a marketing professional, you would want to follow people in lists entitled ‘Marketing’. You can find these lists manually by looking through users pages, or you can use Listorious.com. Listorious allows you to not only search lists, but also enhance your chances of being listed.

Unfortunately, this is not all it takes to become an authority on Twitter. You must also contribute valuable content to your followers in order to get them to stick around. Set up an RSS feed for blogs related to your field and tweet articles that you find relevant. Make your twitter multi-dimensional by tweeting different things such as quotes, observations, tips, photos, and videos.

Utilizing hash tags may also increase your possibilities of being followed. Hash tags categorize your tweets for indexing and search purposes. For instance, if you are in finance, and tweet about finance, you could use the hash tag “#finance” to increase your “searchability” on twitter. The more searchable you are, the easier it is for employers to find you.

Hashtags are also used in Twitter chats. Twitter chats are reoccurring scheduled events using a particular hash tag to make you a participant of that chat, and will usually have a moderator. Simply view a chat by searching the designated hash tag for the chat in the search bar at the top of the page. There are many chats for almost any topic or field imaginable. You can find an extensive list of chats at this address: http://www.bit.ly/twitterchatslist. The first few times you participate, you might want to monitor what is going on before you jump in. Always respect the rules of the chat and follow the specific topic that the group is talking about.  This is a really great way to meet new people in your field and become part of a community.

There are a few shortcuts to getting a lot of followers on Twitter. Programs such as TweetAdder allow you to search for users tweeting about a particular topic, follow them, and unfollow them if they do not follow you back in a certain amount of days. The issue with this is that Twitter is filled with “bots”. Bots is a term, short for robots, that are created for many different reasons. You do not want bot followers. They are not real people, they do not contribute, and they do not act as a connection. The only manner in which TweetAdder should be used by professionals is the unfollow feature. Unless someone is highly influential or interesting, there is no reason for you to follow him or her if they are not following you back. If they don’t care what you have to say, why should you care what they have to say? Make sure to identify the people you don’t wish to unfollow, regardless if they follow you or not, before you use this feature.

Below are a few more tips to becoming a successful, employed Tweeter:

  • Do not tweet too much. This is one of the top ways to get unfollowed.
  • Tweet daily to show commitment. Employers love to see someone who is highly committed to what they do.
  • Just like anywhere else on the web, check your spelling and grammar.
  • Mix business with casual. Don’t just tweet about business. Tweet about other aspects of your life to give your page more personality.
  • Be respectful, non-political, and appropriate, just like you would be at work.

Searching for Jobs on Twitter

There are a few different ways to find jobs on Twitter. First, follow companies that you would love to work for and check regularly if they post anything about hiring. Next, follow recruiters by searching “recruiters” on Listorious.com. These users will not only post job openings, but tips that will help you along your job search.

Another method is to go to TwitJobSearch.com or JobShouts.com and search for the field or position you desire and the city where you would like to work. Look for the most recent posts from users that have a professional name and have a picture. If they have not chosen a picture, there is a good chance that they are a “bot”.

You can also perform this search manually within Twitter. Enter #jobs and the field you would like to work in. Then click “refine results”, scroll down to Places, and type the location you wish to work.

Lastly, and most importantly is listening. See what your personal connections are saying and if they are looking to hire someone. Do not be afraid to tell your followers that you are looking for a job. Hopefully, your followers can help or point you in the right direction.

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