If you have spent any time searching for a job in today’s market, you should be well aware that paper resumes alone are not enough to cut the mustard. Most of today’s employers post their job opportunities online, which means you’ll need an online presence to land those jobs. To optimize your employment search, you need access to the best online job search tools.
When I mention online job search tools, most people think of LinkedIn, a fantastic platform for connecting executives and mid-career job seekers with prospective employers. But there’s another tool you should be aware of, one that often goes overlooked and underused: Twitter.
I know what you are thinking: “Great, I just became comfortable with LinkedIn, and now there’s another social media platform I have to join and get used to!”
Do not fret! The steps offered below will help you to easily integrate Twitter into your employment search. For your convenience, I have broken them down into what I believe to be small, bite-sized points that you will find easily digestible.
1. It Is Essential That You Create a Twitter Account that Showcases Your Professional Profile
Look at your Twitter profile as your online calling card. Make your account information as professional as possible. Briefly introduce yourself, your industry, your passions, your specialties, and your credentials to curious viewers.
If you already have a personal Twitter account that you mainly use with family and friends, don’t worry. You won’t have to spend a month unfollowing everyone. Instead, you just need to create a new account. Then, you’ll have two Twitter profiles: one for personal use, and one for professional pursuits. This way, your professional online presence won’t cross paths with your personal one.
2. Start Building Your Network
Looking to get your resume into the hands of the hiring manager? Start following CEOs or senior leaders who are relevant to your field and companies that you are interested in working for someday. Pay close attention to the hashtags these accounts use. These hashtags will be your link to your target audience and potential employment opportunities. Follow recruiters who specialize in your industry, too.
You will find that some companies have Twitter accounts that they use strictly for announcing job openings; you definitely want to follow these.
Once you start following a few key industry leaders, Twitter will provide you with a suggested list of other people you should follow. Pay attention to this list, because it will be full of people or companies that are followed by the individuals you’re following. Understand you are not just collecting followers; you are building professional relationships and strengthening your online reputation and personal brand.
3. Start Retweeting Tweets That You Find Valuable by the Leaders You Follow
The more people can relate to you and your contributions, the more likely they are to continue following you. Tweet tips and share industry-related news and professional resources. Get involved in various conversations about your profession, and by all means, answer questions. Impress future employers and decision makers with your creative insights.
4. Once You Have Built a Base of Followers, Occasionally Tweet About Your Job Search
Let your Twitter community know that you are looking for a job. Allow your followers to start working for you.
Perform a Twitter search for your particular industry under a relevant hashtag, like “#HRSpecialist” or “#JobATL”; this will give you a stream of information regarding job availability in your field. Take advantage of particular job search hashtags that can help you quickly find available opportunities – e.g., hashtags such as “#NowHiring,” “#Hiring,” “#Careers,” and “#Jobs.”
5. Tweet Your Resume
This is the tricky part. How do you compress all of your skills and talents into 140 characters or less?
Here are my suggestions on the basics:
Job Title: State the job title you currently hold, are seeking, or one used by a potential employer in a recent job offer.
Main Skills: Share your most relevant set of skills as it relates to the position you are pursuing. Pay close attention to the number of characters you use; you want to list only the two or three main skills that apply.
Location: You definitely need to state your geographic preference or current location. A recruiter who is reading your tweet will skip over you if they cannot be sure you are in proximity to where the job is – or willing to relocate. Make sure to preserve crucial character space by abbreviating the particular state you are in or are seeking to move to.
Link to Your Professional Resume: Gotcha! If you have tried the exercise above, you have discovered that 140 characters will not be enough to describe yourself and the value you bring to the table. You will somehow need to provide access to your complete professional resume. You can do this by providing a link to a PDF copy of your resume on Dropbox or Google Drive, or by sharing a link to your LinkedIn profile.
If you are really bold – and technically savvy – you can link recruiters to a PowerPoint resume on SlideShare or a video resume on YouTube.
To adhere to the 140 character limit, your link needs to be short. I have found that the easiest way to accomplish this is to use a social media management system like Hootsuite, which will automatically shorten your links.
Still need a little help? Check out this article on The Muse, which shows examples of some of the best 140-character resumes on Twitter.
Whew! For all you busy CEOs, executives, and professional job seekers, I know this is an abundance of career information, but trust me: If you are serious about landing that perfect job, you cannot afford to leave any stone unturned. Chances are your competition is probably sticking to friends, family connections, and LinkedIn as their sources for future employment. Those are great starts, but by integrating Twitter into your job search, you can add a great new tool that will help you gain an edge over other job seekers.