Posted on April 2014 By Speller International
Welcome to the third instalment in our “Job Seekers, Get Social” series. Social media provides a crucial set of tools for job seekers to promote their personal brands, network with people of influence, and generally stay informed. Also, recruiters and hiring managers are increasingly relying on social media to get as authentic and accurate a view of a candidate as possible. However, this article series is less about persuading you of the importance of social media, as it is aimed at providing you with some practical advice on how to use relevant social networks. In previous articles we’ve looked at LinkedIn as well as Google Plus, and the next cab off the rank is…Twitter.
Twitter is unique among all other social networks because of the 140-character limit it places on users’ posts (also known as ‘tweets’). This limit forces users to be concise and encourages fast broadcasting of information; two things users clearly value given Twitter’s incredible growth. Also, Twitter is what you might call an open network in that you are free to follow any other user without consent, giving you much easier access to other users than other networks (so long as you know the ins and outs).
1. SETTING UP AND OPTIMISING YOUR TWITTER PROFILE
and follow the prompts to sign up for an account, whilst keeping the following in mind:
When picking a username keep it simple and recognisable. The obvious first choice is to use your name, but if this is taken you can combine your name and the word “SAP” or what you do more specifically. You can also break up your name with an underscore or use abbreviations. The idea is that recruiters can recognise you easily enough, so best to stay away from using obscure nicknames.
Have a high quality, professional photo (recommended size is 400 x 400 pixels) and make sure this photo matches your other social media profiles to make it easy for recruiters to recognise you.
To give your profile a visual edge, use a profile header (a banner that sits across your profile, in very similar fashion to Facebook).
Get ready to sum yourself up in a 160-character Bio! This can be a challenge, but also can help you get to the essence of what you offer as a candidate. Remember your audience (Recruiters) when writing your Bio; location, skills and experience are all important. Utilising specific keywords will also help you get found by recruiters.
You can also include a link with your Bio and we suggest adding your LinkedIn profile.
LEARNING THE LINGO…
Handle: Your Twitter “handle” is your username selected by anyone using Twitter and must contain fewer than 15 characters. Each Twitter handle has a unique URL, with the handle added after twitter.com. Example: http://twitter.com/username.
Tweet: The term used for any post made on Twitter.
Retweet: Twitter’s Retweet feature helps you quickly share someone else’s Tweet with all of your followers. (This is the equivalent of the “share” function on LinkedIn.)
Followers: These are simply the Twitter users that have chosen to follow you. Each time you “tweet”, it will show up in all of your follower’s feeds.
Mention: A mention is any Twitter update that contains “@username” anywhere in the body of the Tweet. Twitter then collects these messages and displays them in your “mentions” tab, giving it added emphasis. A mention is essentially a tool – and an effective one at that – used to bring a Tweet to a particular user’s attention (Like a recruiter or hiring manager perhaps!)
Hashtags: The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used before a word (anywhere inside a Tweet) to highlight it as a keyword to indicate a topic or category relevant to a Tweet. Twitter users search for hashtags to find Tweets belonging to a particular topic, thereby allowing your Tweets to be seen by users that don’t necessarily follow you (hint: employers) when you use popular hashtags.
Lists: Twitter allows you to organise the people you follow into lists, to help you consume your Tweets more easily. You can do this easily, by clicking on the “gear icon” in the menu at the top right of your profile. Adding all the job related accounts you follow into one separate list can help you quickly digest this content.
3. START BY FOLLOWING…
The first step once you are set-up is to use the search function to identify people in your industry and follow them. Twitter allows you to filter your search by content (Tweets) or Accounts (which may belong to individuals or companies). By typing “SAP” you will find Twitter accounts and Tweets relating to that topic. Using more specific keywords like “SAP Jobs” will likely highlight important tweets to read and people for you to follow.
Hint: Many companies will have Twitter accounts dedicated exclusively to jobs.
4. GET NOTICED…
Twitter is an ideal network for building professional connections because you don’t need to know people before you can interact with them. You can find and engage with recruiters and hiring managers and leave a good impression each time.
The best and simplest strategy is to follow people (and companies) of interest first, and then engage with their posts by “replying” (either with a valuable comment or even question), by clicking “favourite” (equivalent to liking on LinkedIn), or re-tweeting. The clincher is each time you do this, the account holder will be notified and therefore you will be brought to their attention.
But remember, just like in the real world, common sense should prevail. You should not abuse the access that Twitter provides; there’s a fine line between being engaging and being annoying.
Lastly, we see a lot of people using Twitter to ask personal questions about their chances of getting a job or following up an application for example. We advise this type of communication be reserved for more appropriate channels like email. Twitter is a transparent broadcast medium, where your Tweets should generally add to a more broadly relevant discussion.
5. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT…
More than any other social network, the best way to understand Twitter is to actually use it. You will be surprised how quickly it all starts clicking for you.
The following additional resources will help you along the way…
…There is of course, a lot more to know about Twitter than we could squeeze into a single blog article, if there’s anything more you wish to know or if you have useful tips of your own, please feel free to leave them in our comments section below. Happy tweeting!