How to be a Strong Passive Job Candidate on Twitter

By Reed Parker

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HIRING A SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER?

Don't hire someone without first tuning in for this essential advice.



So maybe you’re satisfied with your current job, but in the back of your mind you fantasize about a job offer from another company with better benefits and better salary landing on your lap one day. You may as well be prepared just in case a recruiter happens upon you in their search for great passive job candidates. How do you optimize your social media profile and activity in order to look the most appealing?

It’s important to show your best self to potential employers who may come across you on Twitter. The obvious start is to clean up your profile and feed and focus on professionalism. But that’s not to say erase all evidence of personality and replace it with a quote such as “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” because that will only homogenize your social media existence.

 

Optimize that bio.

Many treat their Twitter bio as a mission statement, but approaching it in this manner can come off as desperate. Instead your focus should be on honesty which will subsequently create originality. Speak of your accomplishments and the current roles you assume, as well as the things about you that portray your personality and interests. If applicable, include the names of individuals and companies you collaborate with (including Twitter links). Ultimately, try to strike a balance between professionalism and fun.

You’re allowed 160 characters in which to craft a bio and erring on the short side is encouraged. Attention spans are sadly short these days and you want to a hook that will attract an employer on the hunt for passive candidates. According to Washington State University, you only have six seconds in which to make an impression. Your bio could very well be the place that they spend those six seconds.

Here’s my attempt:


 

Be actively passive.

In order to be effectively passive, you must be at least a little active. Share articles and thoughts about industry news and follow top industry professionals. The end goal should be to get in the networks of these professionals so that when it comes time for the headhunters to come looking, you’ve given yourself visibility and name recognition. Put the least amount of steps possible between you and them. Recruiters are being advised to stop lurking in the shadows when it comes to looking for passive candidates. Instead, they’re being encouraged to build relationships.

Building relationships face-to-face is always the best option, but Twitter chats are an acceptable digital substitute when traveling would be too difficult. Participating in Twitter chats is a great way to increase exposure, glean tips, and make connections in an easy and convenient way. Also, recruiters are expressly using them as a way to find passive candidates. So when participating in a Twitter chat, contribute enthusiastically and engage in discussions. Don’t be satisfied with only answering questions. Instead ask follow-up questions of other participants to further facilitate discussion.

Job listings are going the way of the dinosaurs. At least, recruiters want them to. According to Ohio University, 69% of companies report being adversely affected by a bad hire and 24% of those said that bad hire cost them more than $50,000. So having to sift through resumes for the best possible hire in the stack is tedious, and instead they prefer to be headhunters, looking for the best candidates who they could pull away from their current jobs. Which is made easier by the fact that millennials tend to switch jobs more often than previous generations.

 

Be skeptical.

What happens when the day comes that a job offer, or at least a lead, falls into your lap? It’s important to be at least a little skeptical. The worst position to be in would be a week into the new job, regretting your decision to leave the old one. So do your research about the position in question and the company itself. Ask questions of the recruiter, but also use services such as Glassdoor.com to get a third party view.

Be sure the recruiter is giving you the time to weigh your options and gather this information. If they seem to want to rush the process, this could be a red flag. Desperation is the worst cologne and there’s a reason for that.

Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back. You weren’t looking for a job, yet someone sought you out based on a skill set you’ve demonstrated.

Having an optimized social media presence can turn the fantasizing into a potential reality. So start making connections and get on the radar of industry influencers.

 

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