Tuesday, December 6, 2011

25 Tips For Job-Seekers: Getting Started on Twitter

by Susan Whitcomb


There’s been lots of buzz about it. Perhaps you even visited the site, created an account, or dabbled with tweeting. Not love at first sight, right? If you’re like most people, you’re not alone in wondering, “What’s the point? How can this cacophonous site — crammed with apparently tangential, disconnected information — possibly help my job search?”
Do keep an open mind! Although Twitter has a learning curve (as is the case with all good things), you can find value from Day One, whether just dabbling as a NOOB (Twitter shorthand for newbie) or committing to becoming a power user. Here are 25 tips to get you started:
  • Lurk First. Sit back and study what’s happening on Twitter before jumping in with both feet. You can do this even before setting up your own Twitter account by going directly to Twitter user’s streams (for example, you can see my Twitter stream at www.twitter.com/susanwhitcomb or my coauthors in The Twitter job Search Guide (JIST, 2010), www.twitter.com/chandlee and www.twitter.com/CEOCoach). You can also visit www.monitter.com and search keywords of interest to you.
  • Think Strategic When Setting Up Your Twitter Account. Many people vacillate between using their own personal name (such as JohnDoe) or profession (such as CFOintheKnow). There are advantages to both, but using your real name can add to your name recognition. If you have a common name that is already taken on Twitter and want to use your name, add a designation that matches your profession, such as JohnDoeCPA or JohnDoeSalesExec.
  • Write an Employer-Focused “160me” for Your Twitter Profile. Twitter allows you 160 characters max to describe who you are. Give them a taste of the return-on-investment they’ll receive from hiring you. For example: “Go-to resource for publicity for nonprofits. Earned org’s cover stories in regional mags; PR delivered 10s of thousands in contributions.”
  • Point Employers to More Information. In your profile, include a link to a site where employers can get more information about you, such as your resume at VisualCV.com or your profile at LinkedIn.com.
  • Include a Professional Photo. Leaving off a photo is an invitation for people to dismiss you. Your photo should be as professional as you look when going to an interview — your absolute best. A greater sense of connection seems to take place between followers and followees when each of you can see what the other really looks like. If you use an avatar, be on brand. Some people use avatars rather than a real photo — these sites are great starting points for avatars: BigHugeLabs.com and SouthParkStudios.com.
  • Don’t Rush to Follow at First. When you follow people on Twitter, it’s likely they will consider following you back. If your history of tweets (your “tweet stream”) isn’t interesting or it’s non-existent, you’ll lose the opportunity to gain new followers. Instead, put out some interesting tweets first.
  • Tweet On-Brand. Tweet primarily about things that relate to your profession. Read news feeds, blogs, and other resources for relevant, fresh content.
  • Set Up Google Alerts for Tweet Content. Go to Google.com/alerts to set up alerts for industry trends, news on your target companies, and more sent directly to your email. You can then be the first to tweet about it.
Complete Article and All 25 Job Seeking Tips

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