How to Use Twitter to Find a Job
Knowing how to represent your professional brand will serve you throughout your career – and especially when you are searching for a new job.
Social media channels are a perfect outlet for professional branding, a technique that allows people to tell their story, prove their worth and outshine their competition.
While LinkedIn may come to mind as your first stop for all professional needs, Twitter has become a major player for branding, networking and job searching. As a result, recruiters are also actively seeking talent on this channel.
Twitter is a unique social platform that gives people from all over the world the opportunity to connect. This guide will show you how to use Twitter to find a job. Let’s start with your profile.
Setting up your profile
Twitter handle: This is your username and the name in which everyone will use to communicate with you on Twitter. Make sure that your handle is professional, clean and contains your name (preferably first and last).
If the handle you want is already taken by one of Twitter’s 330 million active users, adding an underscore can be a clean way to make your handle unique.
Profile photo: Use a professional headshot if you have one. This photo should be a clear, in-focus picture of you and only you from the neck up to allow recruiters and followers to match a face to the name.
Cover photo: Your cover photo is one of the first things that someone will see when they arrive on your page. It’s an opportunity to show off your interests and personality. This image can be anything from your college football stadium to your favorite vacation destination. You never know what common interest might spark a conversation with a recruiter.
Profile bio: Your Twitter bio should be a concise description of who you are, what you do and what you tweet about. This an excellent opportunity to include career-relevant hashtags that recruiters often search. Consider naming your industry, skill set or job title.
Example: Web Developer at @CompanyName. Follow me for everything #WebDev, #Tech, and #Java.
Location: Be sure to add where you live. This is how a recruiter will know which jobs are in your area.
Add a link: Twitter allows you to add one link to your profile. Drive recruiters to your website, portfolio or LinkedIn profile to show more about your accomplishments without even submitting a resume.
Following the leaders
Twitter is a top channel for finding industry news, career advice and trending topics. It is a good idea to follow industry news outlets, influencers, brands and companies. Doing so allows tweets in your Twitter feed to be focused on your professional life and career development.
When you follow a user, that user will get a notification of the follow. This gives a person the opportunity to follow you back, view your page and see your tweets. Either one of these actions is a win-win for someone trying to build a professional brand!
Tweeting to attract recruiters
Tweeting should be more than just 280 characters of random thoughts or complaints about the barista spelling your name wrong. Every social post is an opportunity for you to inform, educate, inspire and impress a recruiter. Check out these steps to learn how you can attract recruiters:
- Tweet often. There is no magic number for how often you should tweet, but staying active is recommended. Don’t lose the opportunity to engage with a recruiter by not tweeting regularly. Tweet once a day if you can, and keep most of the tweets professional.
- Have fun. It is encouraged that you sprinkle in some fun or personal life-focused tweets to mix up your content. This gives your followers some insight into your personality. Your personality can make or break your candidate potential, especially if the company is hiring for a culture fit.
- Curate. The content you share doesn’t always have to be created by you. Content like an industry news article or a motivational quote that inspires can be shared from a third-party source. Sharing outside content proves that your social profiles aren’t all about you. It also demonstrates your thought leadership by positioning you as someone to follow for industry news and content.
- Tag, mention and retweet. In addition, you can also retweet another Twitter user or even quote their retweet—meaning you share their tweet but add a comment of your own. Mentioning or tagging a person or brand can help increase the visibility of your tweet and increase the chance that they will see it, retweet, reply or follow you. To tag someone, you must type the ‘@’ symbol before their handle.
Example: “I love @Kforce’s new article on #ProfessionalBranding. Has anyone read it yet?”
When starting your tweet with a mention, put a period with no space in front of the ‘@’ symbol. Leaving out the period will only allow people that follow you or the person you mentioned to see the tweet. Opposite, by adding the period, you’ve opened the tweet for the whole world to discover.
Example: .@Kforce, I love your latest article on #ProfessionalBranding!
It’s easy to find and join conversations on the topics that you care about with hashtags. When adding a hashtag to your post, you increase your tweet’s visibility by joining the conversation. Furthermore, when you tweet about the latest #TechNews, anyone searching for that hashtag will be able to find your tweet. It’s important to stay active on Twitter, especially since you never know when a recruiter will stumble upon your tweet!
Pro tip: Use spellcheck on your tweet. It’s so important that your tweets are as clean and accurate as possible. Fewer people will want to retweet typos.
If you need help finding the right hashtag, Hashtagify is a great resource for finding trending topics and high-volume hashtags.
In addition, industry events, conferences, expos and tradeshows are a great place to learn and network. If you’re attending the event, you can let others know you’ll be there to network. You can also search Twitter using the event hashtag (i.e., #CES2019 for the CES 2019 conference) to see which sessions attendees are buzzing about. If you miss a session, you can often find someone tweeting about what you missed. Check out what meet-ups are going on at the event and see if any potential employers will be there.
However, you don’t have to attend a conference to reap the benefits of the Twitter search tool. Search for common recruiter hashtags like Software Advice suggests below to find jobs at companies that you aren’t following.
Using Twitter lists for your job search
It’s always a good idea to follow a company you’re interested in working for to learn about them before the interview. Read up on their latest news to impress your interviewer.
Some companies will tweet about their job openings, and others will be more brand-centric. Many companies have Twitter accounts dedicated to recruiting–including 174 of the Fortune 500 companies.
If you have a list of companies you’d like to work for, you can set up a Twitter list to monitor their tweets in one place.
To set up a new Twitter list, go to the company’s profile. Click the expand button to the right of “Follow”:
And, select “Add or remove from lists…” Enter the list name to be anything you’d like and set the list to private. If you set your list to public and name it something like “Companies I’d like to Work For,” it is possible that your current employer can find your list. You may want to name it something else that isn’t so obvious.
Turn on mobile notifications
Turning on mobile alerts for a brand you’re interested in working for can ensure that you know about a job posting as soon as it’s tweeted. You can turn on these notifications via the same button next to “Follow” and then click “Turn on mobile notifications.” You will get an alert on your phone each time this user tweets.
In conclusion, there was a time when job seekers shied away from social media and made their profiles private, hidden from employers. Now, job seekers are embracing these channels and the visibility that comes with it. With 84 percent of organizations recruiting via social media, every social post is an opportunity for you to impress a hiring manager.
After you’ve optimized your profile and activity on Twitter, add your Twitter handle to your resume or portfolio to let your professional brand shine.