Sarah Alvarez got her first job after tweeting about Nutella.
She was studying abroad in France in 2012 when she saw that Shout PR, a retail and lifestyle marketing firm, had blogged and tweeted about a healthier alternative to the beloved hazelnut spread. Alvarez tweeted about the article and thanked the firm for posting it, and she later mentioned that Twitter conversation when she emailed the company about summer internships.
Shout had her come for an interview two days after she got back to the U.S. — and it hired her as an intern.
“Because of the way I reached out, they took a look at my social media profile,” said Alvarez, now an account executive at the communications agency Bite. “I interviewed with the person who had written the blog post, and she was very excited that I’d been engaging with her content.”
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the barrage of Twitter noise — and to favor LinkedIn instead as a professional social media tool. But if you don’t look closely at Twitter, you could be missing out on some crucial job and networking opportunities.
Twitter offers a strong network of people in various fields, and companies and hiring managers are increasingly sharing open positions on their accounts.
“It offers less structure as a job search tool, but more opportunities to connect with people,” said Pamela Skillings, an interview coach and founder of Big Interview, a job coaching program. “You can stumble on an opportunity that you might not otherwise find.”
Here are some tips to get the most out of your Twitter job hunt:
1) Spruce up your profile
First, think of your Twitter profile as your brand: Include an identifiable photo, so recruiters recognize who you are.
And don’t underestimate that bio under your picture. “Your bio is your elevator pitch,” said Alyson Weiss, a social media coach. “It’s your first chance to make an impression before people decide to click on you.”
In addition, Skillings recommends including your Twitter handle on your resume. “You’re giving people the ability to find you, and it shows a level of transparency.”
4) Use search tools
You can use Twitter’s built-in search bar for job openings: Type in a location, “hiring” and seniority level (like “entry level” or “director”), and you’ll likely see tweets about open positions in your desired area.
There are also job search engines specifically for Twitter, like Tweetmyjobs.com, which allows users to add in filters by location, industry and keyword.
Hiring managers are more frequently combing Twitter for applicants, particularly in fields where social media acumen might be considered a qualification for a job, like in HR and communications. Other industries — like nonprofits and academia — are starting to boost their Twitter presence too, Skillings said.
Charlie Loyd, who creates cloudless satellite imagery at Mapbox, found his job after tweeting at five mapping companies and including a link to his portfolio. Mapbox responded in three minutes.
“I was frustrated, and I wanted to get this in front of someone,” Loyd said. “And there was no formal submission process for, ‘Hey, I’m doing work that you haven’t done before.'”