While job seekers typically look to LinkedIn for employment opportunities, they may be missing the biggest job market of all: Twitter. According to iCIMS research and analysis of over 60,000 jobs posted to social media in 2013, 51% of them were posted in Twitter. Some people may worry that the 140 character limit leads to shallow content – if their only exposure occurs when shocking tweets from celebrities and teens. However, if you know how to use Twitter to your advantage, it can yield seemingly endless opportunities for connecting with employers, finding fellow candidates, and getting yourself out there. Here’s some tips on joining Twitter and creating an employer-friendly profile.
Choosing your username. The Twitter username, commonly referred to as a “handle,” will always have a “@” symbol in front of it. Keeping your Twitter handle as professional as possible is the key, as every user on Twitter will be able to see your handle. For example, @your_name, @yourname, @yourname123, are all handles that are both straightforward and professional.
Creating your profile. Your Twitter profile, or “bio,” will be very different from your Facebook or LinkedIn profiles. It does not provide as much information about you as the aforementioned social media networks do, but it has just enough room for a few sentences detailing who you are, and what you are looking for in terms of employment. This “elevator pitch,” as it is commonly referred to, should include your most marketable skills, and a few details you believe would give you an advantage in the eyes of potential employers. For example, “I am an NYU graduate with a love for social media and small business marketing, and the passion and drive to succeed in any environment I am placed in” is an elevator pitch that shows potential employers what you can add to their organization.
Choosing your picture. You’ll be prompted to choose a picture, and I would suggest using your LinkedIn image, or another image that portrays you as a professional. Your picture will appear as a thumbnail in your bio, but can be clicked on and expanded by anyone who visits your profile, so the details matter!
Choosing your header image. Your header is the image that will be the background for your bio and picture. You can choose something classical, such as a subtle scenery picture, but nothing too obnoxious as to turn off anyone who is visiting your profile. Potential employers may not spend too much time on your profile, so the subtle details are key. If you are a musician, consider incorporating musical notes into your background, if you are a doctor, consider having a background that includes the caduceus. Many job seekers have chosen to create a custom header on your computer that will include more details on your qualifications as a candidate.
Choosing your location. There are two ways that you can approach choosing your location. You can say the town you live in or the area. For example, “Freehold, NJ” looks a lot more specific than “Tri-State Area,” or “Northern NJ,” which may not necessary be in your favor when casting a wider employment net.
Now that you’ve created an appealing profile, you’re well on your way to connecting with employers, and other candidates with whom you could share useful job searching tips!