Social media is playing an increasingly important role in the recruitment process. When hiring, managers turn to social media to evaluate candidates and review their profiles. Candidates also use social media to screen companies, learn about their culture and get in touch with executives and recruiters. If you thought Twitter was just an informal platform for posting funny comments, you're in for a surprise.
Here are top 5 practical tips on how to use Twitter as job search tool.
1. Build your brand
Tweeting is generally very casual and there lies its advantage – due to the laid-back character of the platform, you can show your interests, talents, style and personality. All this will give recruiters an idea of who you are outside of your career. Demonstrating your passion for learning, innovation or creativity will only do you good.
Still, to use your Twitter account for professional purposes, you must include relevant job-oriented information, such as your current position, professional interests and goals. Remember to include an appropriate profile picture, one that fits your profession and industry.
2. Create valuable content
Once you're done polishing your profile, it's time to think about content. Tweet about things that interest you – a link to an important article or your own observations about the industry will show that you're an active member of your sector.
It's quite simple. The more relevant, fascinating and attractive your tweets are, the more followers you're likely to gain. Before tweeting something, take a second to review your post and ask yourself: Will this really add value to the industry? Will recruiters see me as an attractive candidate?
3. Follow companies you like
Follow thought leaders of your field; companies you think are making a significant contribution to your sector and other key people in the industry. Follow professionals that work in similar positions. For instance, if you're an accountant, follow accounting professionals in companies that interest you.
Once you've built this kind of network, start paying attention to what people are tweeting about and retweet the most interesting and relevant content. Provide valuable comments by writing direct notes to people you follow. This provides a basis for creating new professional relationships that one day might lead to a referral and hire.
Don't use Twitter as a medium for self-promotion and personality showcasing. Engage with other people, listen to what they have to say and join in the conversation, contributing expertise and helping others. Interact and start to talk with other professionals – especially individuals that you find inspiring and admirable.
Doing all that, you'll be building considerable capital in your network, which will become really important once you need a favour or have a burning question.
5. Reach out
Don't hesitate to contact key industry figures and ask them whether they’ve heard about any interesting job opportunities out there. Where an e-mail or phone call may seem a bit over-enthusiastic, a tweet is simple and appropriate.
Reach out to recruiters as well. Many of them have their own professional Twitter profiles set up precisely for sourcing and attracting talent. Build a relationship with hiring managers of your favourite companies and you can be sure that once they start hiring, they will remember you.
Industry experts claim Twitter to be a great medium for job hunting. It inspires quick response, grants a space for meaningful connection and provides an opportunity for showcasing your talent and personality. Use it to your advantage and prepare for some great professional opportunities heading your way.
Kelly Smith works at CourseFinder, an Australian online education resource. She also provides career advice for students and job seekers and works as a freelance writer.
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