It doesn’t matter how many times you try to avoid it, the term ‘social media’ is being used left, right and centre. When you think of using social media to find a job, you may automatically head straight for professional-based sites like LinkedIn. However, Twitter is becoming more and more of a prevalent tool when job hunting. If you’ve never used Twitter before, don’t panic! Here’s our guide to get you started.
‘Following’ certain accounts and companies on Twitter before you do anything else will allow you to peek into the world of what that company or person is all about. Do you have a particular sector in the engineering industry that you’re interested in? Follow accounts which are relevant to you – both personally and professionally. You can sit back and get the latest trends of your chosen industry without having to do much work. 40% of Twitter users actually don’t tweet; they observe. Observing on Twitter before you post anything is a good idea so you can get to grips with it – but it’s not a good idea to continue observing when you’re trying to job hunt. More on this later.
Create a profile
If you’ve never had a Twitter account before, don’t worry. When you first set up an account, Twitter will encourage you to follow certain accounts based on your interests. You’ll also fill out a short bio about yourself and include a photo – you can send out your first tweet too. Be sure to keep your photo to a professional standard as well as your bio. Have a look around on the site to see what others have done if you need inspiration.
Build your profile
Once you’ve observed what others are tweeting about on the platform and you’ve got to grips with what Twitter is all about, then you should start tweeting to build your profile up and really get an online presence. If you don’t engage with people, companies (and especially employers) you’ll end up lost in the crowd. Get people following you back by sharing and retweeting content and posting your own thoughts. If you see an interesting video or article online, tweet it.
Get your tweets right with #hashtags
You’ve probably seen a lot of words with a hash in front of them on other social media platforms. These are known as hashtags, and transform a word or phrase into a clickable and searchable link so you can find similar content. For example, if you saw a tweet with #WomenInEngineering mentioned, you can click on it to find tweets containing the same hashtag by other users. Try using relevant hashtags in your own tweets – if they’re popular, people will find them and either retweet or favourite them. ‘Favouriting’ a tweet is similar to ‘liking’ something on Facebook. Some people also favourite tweets so they can go back to them later if they contain an interesting link. You can see all the tweets you’ve ‘favourited’ on your profile page (and so can anyone else, so watch what you favourite!)
Ideally, you want other companies and people who have a large following to retweet your tweets. This is always a good thing if they have more followers than you do, and is another way for you to gain more followers. Don’t try and always tweet what’s popular (or trending) – unless it’s relevant to you, your Twitter feed won’t have any real substance and you’ll have followers who might not share the same interests as you, so when it comes to finding a job, it’ll be difficult.
Remember – Twitter and LinkedIn aren’t the same thing. You don’t want to be too professional on Twitter like you would be on LinkedIn. Twitter is a fantastic platform for expressing your personality and interests (something that’s always very difficult to express well on a CV). On the other hand, you don’t want to take it too far. If you start tweeting about religion, politics and anything else that’s controversial, you could be putting off potential employers. Head-hunters frequent Twitter every day, and if they do stumble upon your profile you want to give a good impression. As a rule of thumb, unless you would show your tweet to your boss, you perhaps shouldn’t be displaying it.
On Twitter you can ‘protect’ your tweets. This is good for privacy reasons because unless someone follows you (after you’ve approved them) they cannot see your tweets. However, your tweets cannot be quoted or retweeted by other users and if you tweet someone whom you haven’t approved to follow you, they can’t see your tweet to them. Protecting your tweets is a good way of sharing your updates with particular people, but you’ll be preventing yourself from being seen by recruiters.
So there you have it; a basic guide to setting up a Twitter profile and how to utilise it for job hunting. Make sure you’re still updating your LinkedIn profile too – it’s just as important when job hunting online. Twitter is constantly expanding, so there’s a lot to explore within your network. Here’s a good account to follow first!