twitter birdSocial media has experienced a massive push into the recruitment sphere within the last few years. But while sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook receive the bulk of attention from social recruiters and job seekers alike, companies of all sizes are beginning to aggressively move into the Twitter space in order to gain a direct communications channel with consumers, employees, and potential job candidates.

This migration of recruitment efforts into the Twitter network has produced a pronounced response from professionals who are creating Twitter profiles to exhibit their expertise and attract the attention of recruiters and hiring managers.

In order to build up this often underutilized digital asset, you first need to set up a Twitter account that is both professional and easily distinguishable. Creating a full profile is a must and should portray a polished and competent candidate. Use your profile as a miniature resume including information such as current position, passions, and a brief personal overview.

Given Twitter’s focus on brief communications (140 characters or less), it is an ideal mobile platform and maximized for use on mobile devices. Twitter’s mobile app is available for iPhone, Android, and Blackberry devices and offers tracking functionality for both people and events. And since Twitter communication is necessarily brief, it is easy to publish several tweets per day. With a focus on job hunting and putting yourself in front of recruiters, keep content relevant to your industry and use it to show off your specialized knowledge and skills.

Also important to spreading your Twitter presence is through the use of hashtags (#keyword). Hashtags tie your tweet to keywords and phrases so that when a user (in this case a recruiter) searches for tweets about a certain industry-related skill, they can easily find your tweet. Using hashtags help relate your message to subject matter that may not be explicitly stated in your tweet.

While using hashtags helps to make your tweets more visible to your intended audience, a further priority is the selection of valuable followers. Target specific in-house recruiters who are tweeting about relevant job positions and use their own tweets as intelligence to keep your focused tweets better informed about a particular corporate culture. Follow recruiters and hiring managers, retweet their tweets, tag them as favorites, and take other similar steps to get their attention and get them to follow you back. Once you are mutual followers, you have the ability to send direct private messages (still no more than 140 characters) as a way of introducing yourself.

During the process of learning (or relearning) Twitter as a tool for your job search, it is vital to operate with several rules of Twitter etiquette in mind. First, remember that everything you post is there forever and can be spread far and wide at near instantaneous speeds. Be careful what you say. Second, make sure you aren’t simply tweeting for the sake of spamming. Balance quantity with quality and make sure each tweet has its own purpose and value. Next, it is considered good etiquette to follow back those who follow you, unless there are obvious reasons to avoid a particular tweeter. Finally, remember that Twitter communications move quickly. Real time communication is the best form of communication and will net you the best results.

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