As discussed a number of times before on the Career Intelligence Blog, recruiters are not only reshaping the way in which they recruit and find people online, but they’re actually at the forefront of the social media technology available to them – in some cases they’re driving changes in social media! It is therefore essential to view social media as a important part of your job search and not to let your social media be in control of you. By this I mean to say that you must have a solid grasp on social media and the ‘do’s and don’ts’ so that your online professional brand is not tarnished because of a
lack of interactivity. Social media platforms provide such powerful results in ones job search that leaving them inactive, or open to potentially harmful results*, is very bad for you and your job search. *it doesn’t have to be a bad review of a picture of you drunk to be harmful, inactivity can be just as damaging in the eyes of a recruiter or employer. There are a number of uses for social media in a professional capacity, including networking and job searching. Whilst you might have used social media platforms to chat with colleagues, search for topics being discussed and even look for available job openings, you might not have considered how a recruiter views your profile. Ask yourself – if a recruiter looked at your profile today, would they be impressed? In this article we are going to look at how recruiters view your Twitter account (your public profile and your Tweets) and ways in which you can adapt how you use Twitter to increase your chances of getting noticed and getting the job. But firstly, lets look at why recruiters are increasingly using Twitter to hire. Why do recruiters use Twitter? Twitter is a free-to-use tool for everyone, so it’s a logical platform to take advantage of from a financial point-of-view. As such a simple and effective platform, Twitter allows users to engage with each other with short Tweets (140 characters) and read a constantly updating feed from those that they follow. Added with the search capabilities, Twitter is the perfect platform to find people, engage with them and share ones thoughts. A recent (2013) survey by Bullhorn, titled the North American Social Recruiting Activity Report, found that 27% of recruiters are using Twitter, and this figure is on the rise. Companies are also taking advantage of its potential by setting up career specific Twitter accounts, such as UPS Jobs and Twitter’s own Join The Flock. With an increasing number of professionals using Twitter it’s of no surprise that companies and recruiters are ‘flocking’ to it to hire their next employees, so take advantage of this powerful tool and start utilising it today! Why your profile matters The first thing that a recruiter will see when visiting your Twitter profile is your profile picture, header, background and short bio. It isn’t essential to get a customised header and background image, but if you want to add some flare to your profile then there are number of ways you can do this. Have a look at our Twitter account for an example of what can be done: https://twitter.com/careerintel The most important part of your profile is your profile picture and your bio. Make sure you get a nice picture of yourself – a smiley one if possible – and write a little bit about yourself. The aim is to tell the recruiters who you are, what you do, what you’re an expert in and how they can find out more about you / contact you. Here you could provide a link to your LinkedIn profile or your blog. This is the first port-of-call for a recruiter looking at your profile, so make it look as professional and interesting as possible. Don’t stop at your profile So you’ve optimised your profile and made it look presentable, but your job doesn’t end there. It is now time to start using Twitter as it was intended for – to send Tweets. A Tweet is a short and concise message totalling 140 characters and can include text, hashtags (#), mentions, images and URL links. You can share anything you like from an update about your day to a picture of a sight you’ve seen, a Retweet (RT) of a message you like to a link of your latest blog article and so on. Creating a constant flow of interesting updates not only allows your followers to regularly see your updates throughout the day, but it helps you to gain traction and build an engaged following. A recruiter will be looking out for potential candidates who can demonstrate that they know how to use social media and that they have interesting topics to discuss. You must demonstrate to a recruiter that you know how to use these increasingly popular and powerful networking (and marketing) tools and it is also a great opportunity to show thought leadership through topic discussion and engagement. Try and dedicate some time a couple of days each week to reading through some of the latest Tweets in your feed (from the people that you follow), Retweet any that you would like to share with your followers and write a few Tweets of your own. They could include a link to an industry news story that you’re following with an opening sentence about your thoughts, “Let’s hope next week is more promising *URL LINK HERE* #oilconference”. Get noticed by recruiters The best way to get the attention and get noticed by recruiters is to engage directly with them. With so many recruiters using Twitter it is a great place to start, so begin by searching through your contacts to see who is advertising the fact that they’re on Twitter, and then do some searches through Twitter’s own search feature. With the right search keywords you should be able to find the people you’re looking to connect with. Let your contacts know that you’re on Twitter! You might not want to advertise that you’re looking for a new job or even that you’re looking to connect with recruiters, but by telling your contacts on LinkedIn that you’ve just joined Twitter and your @ username is ‘X’ then you might just make some new friends (followers) who are exactly the kinds of people you’re looking to connect with. Utilising hashtags (#) on Twitter will also help you to get noticed by recruiters. As we all know, recruiters are often looking to make connections with people even if they’re not currently looking for a new job, so getting yourself out there and engaging with certain topics and discussion will help to open you up to these individuals. Don’t be afraid to make contact with them too. Send them a direct tweet or a direct message (also known as a ‘DM’) and get the conversation started! Conclusion You don’t have to be a Twitter super-user to benefit from using it. Creating a nice looking profile with good information on you and how people can connect with you someplace else, for example on LinkedIn, you’ll be getting the ball rolling. Engaging with people, sharing interesting Tweets (Retweeting) and creating your own Tweets on a regularly basis will help you to build an engaged following, get noticed by recruiters and demonstrate that you’re not living in the technology dark ages.
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