How to use Twitter for your job search
First of all, the basics!
You need to make it easy for hirers to find you, so by applying these basic principles, you’ll give yourself the best start, before we move onto anything more complicated.
Avatar / profile picture
You need a picture, which looks professional and is of you! Even if you’re new to Twitter, those “eggs” that Twitter puts on by default are a put off. After all, you don’t want to look like a spammer.It doesn’t need to be a “cover shot” which cost thousands of ££s to be taken, just make sure it’s clear and as recent as you can find. No pictures of you with a drink in your hand though!
This is your first opportunity to let people know that you’re looking for work. Be clear and concise and let people know a little bit about yourself. Think of it as an “elevator pitch”, which is just a short description. You have 160 characters to use. You can include #tags in your bio too! Think about the keywords related to the sector you want to work in. Suggestions for your keyword search – look for job titles, qualifications, skills, companies, locations people etc. Any that you use will be make sure that the people search brings up your details. If they are relevent to you, use them! If you have an online CV, make sure you include a link to that too.
A little used, but effective option on Twitter is your background! Advertising companies customise these to make sure they’re using every last bit of space on their profile. Make sure you do too! You’ll definitely stand out from the crowd. There are lots of websites where you can download templates to use. There are also advertising firms who will make you one (at a cost!), but these can be expensive, so probably not ideal when you’re job seeking.
Leave a comment below for access to further information on FREE customised backgrounds.
I’ll be posting a separate blog post very soon on how to customise your own background. (For those of you who are feeling creative and want to give it a try!)
Sometimes overlooked! Ensure that your tweets are set to “public”. If they aren’t no-one will see what you’re tweeting about! It might seem too simple, but it’s best to make sure!
OK. Now we’ve given ourselves the best chance of being found on Twitter, have made it clear in our bio that we’re looking for work and have a professional looking picture, we can move on to the proactive part!
We need to get out there and start tweeting and networking!
For all of these strategies you need to make sure you stay focussed and organised. Twitter is a massive system, so you can easily get swamped or lost!!
For the sake of simplicity, we can separate the next part of the process into 2 stages – You need to follow the right people and you need to get noticed.
Stage 1 – Follow the right people
You should have a reasonably good idea of what sort of job you’re looking for, even if you just ”need a job to pay the bills” at the moment. Use this as a starting point. Make a list of all the companies that you would like to work for. Some of these might not be on Twitter yet, but those will be few and far between. Think of your favourite job boards and job centres. The local job centres in the UK are now making more use of Twitter to help get employers and job seekers in contact with each other.
The next thing you need to do is “follow” this list of companies, people, job centres etc. To do this, you can use the “search box” at the top of your profile screen. (It has a magnifying glass in it.) Type in the company name and then “enter”. Twitter will then bring a list up of “tweets” and “people” which include these words. Find the relevent account and then click on “follow”. Some companies keep their different departments separate on Twitter. Make sure that you only follow the careers related ones, otherwise you’ll have to sift through sales tweets as well!
Complete this for every name on your list.
By following these accounts, you’ll see all of their updates on your twitter feed, which will keep you up to date and will also give you opportunities to contact these directly by retweeting (RT) and commenting on their tweets. By engaging directly with these accounts, you’ll get yourself ahead of the game and get yourself noticed.
Check out who these accounts are following and also who is following them. This will help you to find other people on Twitter who are in your chosen industry. Why not follow these as well? The more exposure you can get, the better.
Make use of the “lists” available on Twitter. Separate the companies, job boards and job centres from anyone else that you’re following by putting them into a list. Call it something like “job search”. You can then separate the tweets relevent to your job search from the other “noise” on your profile.
Stage 2 – Get noticed
For stage 2 of this approach you need to put some tweets out there yourself to get others to notice and hopefully follow you.
Post relevent tweets in your chosen areas and try to become an expert in your field. Comment on news in that industry. Pose some questions. Offer solutions to problems which may be out there already. Use your keywords from the suggestion above (in bio section) and your tweets will be found by others.
Always try to stay positive though, even if you’re tweeting about a problem. People don’t like moaning!!
Send direct messages (DMs) to the companies or people who you’re following. Ask them for advice or if they have any opportunities for you to follow up.
Look online for other content that you can share and tweet about it. Include links and ask questions about that too. You’re limited to 140 characters, so you may find a url shortener like bit.ly will help reduce the count. Also try to leave some characters spare for people to retweet your content.
Tweet about the job that you’re looking for and also try to find others who are already doing it. Comment on their posts and ask them questions about the role. In most cases, they’ll be more than happy to share their knowledge. People love talking about themselves!
As you follow stage 2, you’ll also be building up your background knowledge and you’ll be up to date on your industry, which will ultimately help in the other parts of your job search.
Don’t constantly tweet that you’re looking for work though, too much is a bad thing. Mix these tweets alongside your other content. (Your bio will still be advertising the fact you’re looking!)
These 2 stages should now have got your creative juices flowing and will get you a long way towards building your Twitter presence. I’ve included a few new approaches below for to try when you’ve built the foundations above.
It may seem to go against your instinct, but try to help others who are looking for work on Twitter. After all it is “social” media. By sharing advice and information that will help others, you will also be increasing your exposure and chances of getting noticed. You’ll be amazed how much of a difference a community type approach can help whilst looking for work on social media channels. Not everyone is going to be looking for exactly the same role as you, so why not help them too?!
Twitter job boards
Twitter has a wealth of jobs feeds where you can find opportunities without going through individual company feeds. There are far too many to list here, but a Google search for “twitter job search” or something similar, will bring thousands of options for you to follow up.
Well, that’s how to get started on Twitter. I’ll keep posting updates as I find new approaches for you.
Don’t forget to share this information! In fact, why not make it one of the first pieces of information that you share? – “Please RT”!
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