Similar to Facebook, Twitter will most certainly not be the deciding factor in whether or not you land your dream job, but it can indeed play a significant part in whether or not you are considered a serious candidate.
Twitter is a social media platform that is truly about the here-and-now. A tweet that was sent yesterday, or even an hour ago, is no longer worth reading. It’s the very reason that if you desire to be the first to learn of world-wide breaking news, hot celebrity gossip, or a natural disaster – you’ll need to be on Twitter.
Now depending on how you use Twitter, this social media network can help set you apart as an expert in your field, solidifying a potential employer’s mindset that you have the ability to truly collaborate, are abreast of current issues affecting your sector, and are humble enough to reach out to other experts to expand your expertise and worldview.
Twitter, however, is not a social communication platform that is necessarily easy to adapt to in one day. To be honest, my wife once started a Twitter account with all of the best intentions to reach a broader market for her business, and then eight hours later – deleted the profile. Despite her best efforts, she was unable to see “the point” of it all.
She returned to Twitter a few months later, after having done the following:
1. Talked with other trusted professionals who were successful in using the platform for tips and suggestions for best practices;
2. Began following companies and leaders in whom she was truly interested, as well as other colleagues and friends using the platform;
3. Watched and listened online to see how other people engaged with the ‘Twitterverse’;
4. Slowly began to engage in posting tweets, retweets, and hashtags, which then helped develop her own Twitter following; and
5. Monitored which tweets received the most clicks, RT’s (retweets), and responses to gauge her effectiveness.
Once you have established yourself on Twitter using the above steps, you can then be strategic about using the platform to: promote your cause; market your brand or company; engage with influential leaders; share your own personal or professional content; or expose yourself to recruiters, potential clients, or perspective employers.
For example, as an active job seeker you can use Twitter to keep up-to-date with new job postings by recruiters or employers by following hashtags such as #jobs, #recruiting, #hiring, or #yoursector.
On the other hand, as a recruiter, you can use Twitter to access both active and passive candidates alike by tweeting links to your online job posts or website and filter those tweets into the appropriate audience using key hashtags. Here’s an example:
“New #Job Post for a #CFO for Major #Nonprofit! http://putyourlink.here #recruiting”.
Of course, you may have a better chance of being approached by new clients as well if you’re utilizing Twitter effectively because a client can see how broad you can cast your net into an appropriate candidate pool.
Be forewarned, however, if you also plan on using Twitter from a personal perspective. As with any social network, what you publicly proclaim online via tweet, post, or status update, can be – and likely will be – considered in the screening process, so let your online persona be an excellent reflection of who you truly are offline as well.
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