In my experience, executive job seekers shy away from Twitter for many reasons . . . most of which are misconceptions.
Do any of the following describe your resistance to using Twitter?
- You think it’s not worth the effort.
- You think it’s all about posting photos showing what you had for dinner, or tweeting about other frivolous things.
- You don’t think of it as a useful platform for personal marketing for job search.
- You think it will be a major waste of time, and a major distraction.
- You don’t think social media, especially Twitter, needs to be part of your job search.
- You don’t have enough time to do Twitter right.
- You can’t figure out how to best use it.
These are all valid concerns but, if you give it a chance . . . and stick with it for a bit . . . you should see the benefits and a good ROI.
In Part 1 of this two-part series, I’m covering:
- The value of Twitter for executive job search,
- How to get started,
- How to follow the right Twitter folks, and
- How to build up your followers.
In Part 2, I’ll cover:
- Tips on finding potent tweets and retweets,
- Building a Twitter strategy, and
- Staying the course.
Why Twitter for Executive Job Search?
Many companies (probably the ones you’re targeting) have Twitter accounts. They’re tweeting job openings at all levels and tweeting about their products, services, and company culture.
More and more C-suite executives and hiring decision makers at those companies are tweeting.
Many — probably most — executive recruiters in your niche are on Twitter, posting job openings, and searching and qualifying good-fit candidates like you.
Shouldn’t you be on Twitter too, connecting with them, communicating your value to them, learning from them, and staying top of mind with them?
Where else online (or offline for that matter) can you freely listen in on and learn from conversations they’re having to help you land your next gig?
Twitter is a powerful place to:
- Build credibility, visibility, and evangelism for your brand and unique value proposition.
- Extend your online presence.
- Connect directly with hiring decision makers at your target companies and executive recruiters in your niche.
- Help you with due diligence on your target employers.
- Expand your network.
- Connect with new communities of subject matter experts and thought leaders.
- Uncover opportunities that may lead to landing a job.
- Position yourself as social media-savvy . . . someone who’s embracing the digital age.
Twitter can help you capture the attention of people who can help you meet your career goals.
How To Get Started with Twitter
If you skip this critical first step, you won’t clearly understand the needs of the companies you want to work for, what differentiates the unique value you offer them, or be able to communicate your value in the messaging you put out there.
Create your Twitter biography:
This is the brief blurb (160 characters maximum) positioned just below your @Twittername and photo.
Use your most relevant keywords and keyword phrases, which you’ll uncover through company and industry research. Some people use hashtags in their bio, but they take up valuable space, so don’t overdo it.
Include a link to further information about you. Your professional website “About” page is the best choice, if you have one. Otherwise, your job search online portfolio (resume, bio, and other documents) or LinkedIn profile are good choices.
Include a professional photo. No one wants to follow someone whose Twitter account shows the default egg graphic. Use the same photo that you use elsewhere online (LinkedIn, etc.), so that you’ll be easily identifiable across your online presence.
What’s the best, and easiest, Twitter strategy for executive job search?
Find the right people to follow and retweet them regularly.
Follow the Right Twitter Folks and Build Up Your Followers
Research your target employers:
Search each company name on Twitter and follow them. You may also come upon employees to follow.
LinkedIn company pages are another good place to find employees at your target companies to follow.
Identify key players and hiring decision makers that you’ll follow, retweet (RT) and @ mention, which means including their “@Twittername” in tweets.
People see . . . and pay attention to . . . their @ mentions. It’s a way to directly connect with people you may not otherwise be able to.
Check your target companies’ Twitter accounts for job openings and announcements.
Follow, Retweet, and @ mention the following:
- Your target employers and their employees
- Relevant industry and company online publications
- Major newspapers and magazines (NY Times, WSJ, Forbes, etc.)
- Executive recruiters in your niche
- Subject matter experts and thought leaders in your niche
- Personal branding, job search, and careers professionals for free advice (search relevant hashtags like #jobsearch, #resume, #personalbranding, etc.)
- Any people whose radar you want to get on
For more on retweeting, see my post Twitter Executive Branding Strategy: The Beauty of a Retweet.
Tweet original Tweets, when you can
If you’re blogging or posting relevant articles anywhere online − your own site, another relevant site, LinkedIn’s Pulse publishing platform, etc. − tweet each posting.
Also, regularly tweet these posts of yours, to help you stay top-of-mind with people. Setting up an account on a social media sharing platform like Hootsuite will make it easy to create a posting schedule.
Don’t forget to use hashtags
As you continue to follow more people on Twitter, pay attention to the hashtags (#) they’re using and start compiling a list of those relevant to you, your brand, and your job search.
Use these hashtags in tweets whenever possible. Studies have shown that tweets with hashtags get retweeted more often.
photo by Rosaura Ochoa
More About Twitter and Executive Job Search (at the Executive Career Brand blog)
Executive Job Search and Personal Branding Help