Author and career coach John Lees asks can you get a job in 140 characters? Here are his top ten tips for using Twitter as a job-hunting tool…
Create an account you can use as a ‘professional profile’
If you are going to use Twitter as a career enhancer and job search tool set up an account specifically for this purpose with a completed profile that shows who you are at a glance - a short biography, mini-statements about your expertise, your approximate location, and a link to the site that recruiters can go to for more information e.g. your LinkedIn profile.
Follow the right people
Follow target employers, their followers and job tweets, as well as relevant blogs, media and industry experts.
Tweet the right amount
Tweet frequently but not too regularly or it will look like Twitter is the primary focus of your day.
Connect to LinkedIn
Connect your LinkedIn Update box to your Twitter account to share your career focused views and opinions and use the hashtag #in to update LinkedIn once a day - but only relevant updates.
Tweet information not desperation - news, links and ideas. However, sometimes a simple targeted message can help if you have just been made redundant e.g. ‘just laid off looking for an #engineeringjob' because that alone might prompt some offers of help.
But - don't go into the circumstances publicly, say anything negative about your former employer, or keep repeating the message if your first posting doesn't work.
Tweet what you think is relevant to your audiences, pick up relevant hashtags from discussions relating to your work sectors and include your LinkedIn profile on your CV so anyone looking you up will also be able to see your latest postings.
Say thank you
Thank others visibly where they mention or retweet you.
Be interesting and informative
Don't worry about producing original ideas or content. Focus on being current, relevant and sharing knowledge. Demonstrate your enthusiasm and mention events or conferences you are attending, books you have read, or sites and people who inspire you. If you attend any events, be sure to live tweet from them.
Turn tweets into conversations
Offline world rules the online world: don’t get locked into electronic conversations only - try to turn those offers into direct (private, offline) messages and then actual conversations and meetings. It’s important to go networking and meet the people you tweet.
Stay career focused
Keep your Twitter account career focused. If you want to look like a serious, committed candidate don't slip into personal anecdotes about your dog or love life. If you do want a fun account, give that Twitter account a title not directly linked to your real name.
Following these tips will help present a clear and simple picture of who you are and what you do. By being consistent with your Twitter usage you will become known for what you say and how you use it, not only boosting your career, but also raising the possibility of exciting new job opportunities in the future.