Twitter has over 270 million active global users. Think about that for just a few seconds. That is one massive audience to get your message in front of right?
From an employment perspective, among those 270 million users are people who are going to be interested in you, your skills and your experience.
The role of Twitter in building your professional profile
The key to using this social media platform effectively, is working out which messages resonate with your Twitter audience and building your professional profile accordingly.
“The open nature of Twitter means these learning networks are now no longer confined to closed an private spaces, but are open and public. This increases opportunities for collaboration, connections and learning opportunities”.
Using Twitter as a digital platform will improve your professional reach and in time, solidify your position as an influential person in your field.
The purpose of Twitter
Some of you may think that Twitter is just a quick and easy way to stay connected with other people around the world on topics of common personal interest.
And whilst this is true, there are many professional benefits of using Twitter as part of your profile building strategy too.
People use Twitter for lots of different reasons. In a professional context, you can use Twitter to:
- Promote research and news as well as provide links to your blog posts, journal articles and other relevant news items
- Easily and quickly reach an audience with insightful tweets and re-tweets
- Follow the work of experts and influential leaders in your industry
- Build relationships with key industry experts and colleagues both locally and internationally
- Keep abreast of industry news and events and share that with others in your proressional network
- Seek feedback on your work, thoughts and ideas instantly from a global network
- Give feedback to others in your professional network
- Contribute to discussions on events, conferences, seminars and training courses
- Express what you stand for from a professional perspective
What makes this platform unique
The lifespan of a Twitter post is short. And you only have 280 characters to get your point across. This can be liberating. This social media channel cannot be used like other digital platforms that are more conversational.
Your tone on Twitter can be conversational but should also be consistent with your professional brand. Although being “wordy” won’t serve you on this digital platform.
“The most common length of a tweet back when Twitter only allowed 140 characters was 34 characters. Now that the limit is 280 characters, the most common length of a tweet is 33 characters. Historically, only 9% of tweets hit Twitter’s 140-character limit, now it’s 1%.”Techcrunch
Keep your tweet content short and sweet BUT compelling and if you are going to add a link to a blog post, make sure you use something like bitly to shorten the URL. That makes it easy for your followers to re-tweet your content.
Whilst it is very tempting to connect your Twitter account with say your Facebook account, think about your overall profile building strategy first. No one wants to see 10 posts a day from you on Facebook.
People don’t care what you had for breakfast. Always ask yourself before you tweet, “Will my network get value out of this content?” and “Does this tweet contribute in some way to the sector I work within?”.
Twitter’s role in your job search
Twitter can be a great source of information about, well anything really. And that means that you can use this social media platform to source future roles as well.
Using hashtags is a great way to source job opportunities that might be right for you. If you type “recruitmentjob #recruitmentvacancy, the name of a job you are looking for (eg #talentacquisitionspecialist or “recruitmentconsultant”), the search results will include tweets from recruiters and employers advertising for roles.
If you are looking for roles in a specific geographic region, you can use location hashtags. For example, if you are looking for roles in Australia, you might type in “AUJobs”, “AustraliaJobs” or “MelbourneJobs” if you seek roles in Melbourne only.
If you have a few companies in mind that you would like to work for, consider following their company Twitter page (or employment/careers page if they have set up a sub-account). Monitor their feed regularly to see if any roles pop up.
Content to tweet about
Building your professional digital profile takes time. And building your profile is made up of many parts. Using Twitter as part of your digital profile building strategy is useful and can be very effective in sourcing roles to apply for.
There are so many things that you can tweet about and re-tweet. Some examples include:
- News about what is happening in your industry
- Upcoming industry events
- Advice to others when they reach out for feedback or input
- Links to articles that you have found useful (don’t forget to list why)
- Links to your latest blog posts
- Encouragement, congratulatory comments or acknowledgement of companies or people in your network (don’t forget to include the handle of the person you are acknowledging, eg. @xxx, so they see your support)
- Retweet advice from industry leaders and influencers
- Contribute to tweets which is like getting involved in an online conversation – provide thought provoking content not “drivvle”
- Tweet about interesting podcasts you have listened to, citing a key take out that will provide value to your followers
Consistency is key – decide how often you would like to post and stick to that as best you can
As with any professional digital profile building strategy, you need to be consistent in your tweeting efforts. Starting out one week tweeting five times a day and then offering radio silence for the next month will hinder your profile building efforts.
“Have a think about what you can commit to and start out slowly. If you can only get to Twitter once a week for 15 minutes then stick to that plan for a month or so. Building new habits takes time.”
After a month, monitor how Twitter is working for you. Are you making new and valuable connections with others? Are you sharing content that is adding value to others in your professional network? Are you learning new things about your industry as well?
If the answer to any of these questions is less, see if you can add some more time to using Twitter each week to take advantage of these benefits.
How Twitter improves your professional brand
Recruitment teams, talent acquisition professionals and hiring managers are generally active on Twitter in some shape or form. They know that talented individuals go above and beyond creating a professional resume when they are looking to forge a meaningful career.
65% of employers have made hires through social media sites.Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) study
Here’s why companies are impressed when you use Twitter:
- It shows you are committed to keeping up to date with news from your sector
- When you contribute to online discussions and ideas, it demonstrates you are keen to involve yourself deeply in your sector and that you are dedicated to professional growth
- It illustrates you are keen to contribute to the growth of others in your sector, industry or area of interest
- Most importantly, being actively involved in using Twitter improves your online visibility. When you make contributions of any kind on Twitter, more people become aware of you.
Summary of Key Tips and Takeaways for Talented Individuals
- Keep content you tweet or re-tweet relevant to your chosen industry or field
- Connect with influencers, participate in conversations, add your thoughts professionally and with due consideration
- Don’t start and then stop – if you set up a Twitter account, commit to nurturing it. You are better to have no Twitter presence at all than to create a profile and then never use it
- A word of caution: don’t respond to conversations that are more than a week old; it is considered poor etiquette for Twitter
- When you follow someone or gain a new follower, don’t DM them; this is considered a “thirst move” and will seem unprofessional
- It’s important that the user name on your account is professional
- When you are first starting out, create a contribution calendar or set alarms in your smart device of choice to remember to make contributions. It can be hard to build new habits
The way you share, curate and create content for Twitter plays a role in building your professional profile. When executed well, it serves as a platform to markedly improve your profile in your sector.
Using Twitter as part of your professional profile building strategy will expand your professional network and contacts. In effect you are building a virtual community of people who may offer you jobs, information and further connections which will help you thrive in your career.
Further Reading and Resources
3 ways to use Twitter to advance your job search