Friday, August 28, 2009

Twitter Tips for Job Seekers

I think most job seekers have gotten the word that they need to integrate social media into their search efforts, but I’m getting a bit alarmed at what some of them are Twittering.

“I’m eating a baloney sandwich.”

“I’m totally hungover from last night. Don’t even know the guy in my bed.”

“I hate my life. I hate looking for a job. “

Then, there are the bios: “A party kind of gal who loves Beanie Babies and eating raw cookie dough.”

Or, “Crazed man with a mission to break as many laws as possible.”

OK, enough. While there are plenty of tutorials about how to Twitter, I’m going to give tips specific to job hunters.

1. Fill out your bio. This is your chance to grab the attention of potential employers or other professionals. Don’t EVER leave it blank. If you don’t care who you are and what you have to offer, no one else will. Keep it professional. If you want to include a personal detail or two, keep it tame: “Cardinals baseball fan” or “avid skier.”
2. Post a professional photo. Don’t use photos that qualify you for the cover of Maxim or show you in your Captain Kirk outfit.
3. Provide a professional link. In your bio, provide more information on LinkedIn or another professionally focused site.
4. Be a valuable Tweeter. No employer cares what you had for lunch. Provide links to current industry news, or information on how to solve a problem – or how you solved a problem.
5. No whining. We all know the job market is tough and looking for work can be difficult. But employers want to get to know people who confront challenges and are energized by them. When you blame outside forces for your woes: “The economy sucks. My state sucks. My school sucks,” employers fear the bitching could extend to them if they employ you, so they move on.
6. Clean tweets, only. Don’t tweet – or retweet – anything profane, racist, sexist or anything you wouldn’t say to your grandmother.
7. No inanities. Employers don’t care if you’re going to bed, what you had for lunch or whether you are going shopping. If you can’t think of something valuable or interesting to tweet, don’t tweet at all.
8. Never use the word “desperate.” I’ve seen people say they’re “desperate” to find a job, either in their bio or their tweet, or both. Big mistake. Employers never hire “desperate” people.
9. Sound smart. Use proper punctuation, grammar and spelling. Using all lower case and lots of text acronyms makes you look and sound like an eighth grader.
10. Forget the personal health issues. You want employers to see you as robust, energetic and raring to go. If you tweet that you’ve got bunions, a urinary tract infection or a “weird rash on your leg,” they’ll move onto healthier prospects.

What are some other tips for job seekers on Twitter?


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12 comments:

the medical sales recruiter said...

Good tips. Job seekers need to remember that Twitter is a business tool for them--and it's a good one. They should follow as many people in their industry as they can to get more information. I have some Twitter tips for medical salespeople here: http://www.phcconsulting.com/WordPress/2009/01/09/top-10-twitter-tips-for-medical-and-laboratory-sales-reps/

Lori Davila said...

Get known for something and become an expert at something that could catapult your career and tweet about that - tips, resources, and ideas that help people's greatest challenges in that topic. Stay focused with it.

Anita said...

Lori,
Great suggestions. Especially if you're focusing on cutting-edge stuff. I wouldn't tweet about basics that anyone should know. In other words, tweet up, not down!

Anita said...

Medical recruiter,
You bring up an important point: If you're looking at a specific industry, make sure your tweets are geared toward those industries. Be able to talk the talk. Er, tweet the tweet. :)

Barbara Safani said...

Retweet to spread valuable content to your audience and simultaneously give a shout out to others making meaningful contributions on Twitter.

Anita said...

Barbara,
Good point! If you can't think of something to tweet, just retweet others until you have something valuable to contribute. Passing along good information is always of use.

Miriam Salpeter, Keppie Careers said...

Anita-
Excellent points about sounding desperate and personal health issues. There is a propensity to vent on Twitter, but job seekers in particular need to exercise caution regarding what information to share.

Another point to add...

Brand/label yourself professionally. Don't be @DRS17 if you want people to connect and identify with you. Choose a professional Twitter handle using your name or some combination of your name and profession that sounds good and is easy to remember. For example, @JaneSmith or @MarketingExpertJane.

There's so much to say about using Twitter for job search. It's a terrific way to expand the all important "loose network" that is likely to result in an opportunity. I've seen many success stories and relationships as a result of Twitter and encourage anyone who has been hesitating to jump in!

This is the URL to my "Use Twitter for the job hunt" post:

http://www.keppiecareers.com/2008/11/23/use-twitter-for-your-job-search/

Anita said...

Thanks, Miriam. Your suggestions about branding are on the money, and I know for me it was a great idea to use my real name -- now people know how to spell it!

Leanne said...

Twitter could be a powerful tool in your career search. Use it wisely. Great points about following all those potential and relevant employers. Especially making your tweets specific to your chosen sector. Remember your Twitter page will be a reflection on you as an employee!

Susan said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Margaret

http://businesseshome.net

Anita said...

Susan,
Welcome! Glad you are stopping by to visit, and hope you'll comment when you feel like jumping into the conversation...or just when you have an issue you'd like me to address.

Michael said...

Good article.
These days, job seekers need all the help they can get to rise above the crowd and get noticed first by prospective employers.
Toward this end, I thought I’d share with you a new, free tool I’ve created and launched to help job seekers: www.preverify.com
PreVerify is a free tool with which job seekers can conduct their own accurate and professional employment verifications. Following the quick and simple registration process, simply send your PreVerify request to your former and current employers to complete online at a time that is convenient for them to do so. No more interruptive phone calls, just an employment verification that can be used over and over again, forever.
Rather than crowd this email with a bunch of words, attached are two recent articles that talk about PreVerify:
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/08/prweb2645354.htm
http://www.killerstartups.com/Web-App-Tools/preverify-com-preverifying-employment-histories
Please feel free to View My PreVerify Profile: http://www.preverify.com/profile/michael-levine/1