I am no expert on Twitter, however I have used it for a while, and have learned a thing or two. First, Twitter is a powerful tool in your job search toolbox, if you know how to use it. Twitter mistakes can also harm your job search and your professional reputation (AKA personal brand).
Why Use Twitter?
In addition to the many career professionals passing along good job search tips and job leads (including myself @DeniseMpls), there are major employers using Twitter for recruiting. You might be missing out on game-changing career advice or prime job leads by not being on Twitter.
Before You Tweet
There are dozens of blogs and news articles to help you make the most of your tweets. However, before you log on to Twitter for the first time, here are a few tips to help you hit the ground running.
1) Before you sign up for an account, think about how you want to present yourself on Twitter and the types of things you want to tweet. Twitter is basically a forum for people to have multiple (brief) conversations. Tweeters are more likely to follow tweeple who have a fairly consistent theme to their tweets. What do you want to talk about? What do you have to say?
2) If you are using Twitter as part of your job search, choose a profile name that is simple and not likely to give employers a negative message about you. You might consider choosing a profile name that helps to brand you as an expert in your field.
3) Complete your profile information before you follow anyone. Upload a photo or avatar, and complete the bio before you attempt to exchange tweets with anyone.
As in most situations, first impressions on Twitter are important. No one knows you exist on Twitter until you follow people. Then those people will look at your profile and decide if they want to follow you back. If they don’t like what they see, or there is no information given, they won’t follow you , and won’t see your tweets.
4) Before you start to follow people, post at least five tweets. That way when someone looks at your profile, they will have an idea of the types of things you tweet and will decide if they want to follow you or not.
5) Remember that Twitter is all about conversation. If someone is tweeting stuff that isn’t interesting to you, don’t follow them. Likewise, if someone decides not to follow you it’s probably because they are not interested in the general theme of your tweets. And that’s OK. There are plenty of other people out there tweeting your tune.
For those of you who’ve been on Twitter for a while, what advice do you wish you’d gotten as a newbie?
Newbies — what questions do you have about using Twitter for your job search?