I recently did an interview with a writer for Money Magazine on using Twitter for personal branding and job search.
I wanted to share the notes I prepared and some of our conversation.
In Part 1 of this two-part series, I’ll talk about:
- 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.
- Position yourself in front of your target employers and hiring decision makers.
- 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.
My Twitter activity and knowledge helped me land the magazine interview. Twitter may help you get noticed and land a great gig.
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:
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 proceed with caution.
Include a link to further information about you. Your professional website About page is the best choice, if you have one. Otherwise your web resume or LinkedIn profile are typical choices. I really like to use a Google+ profile instead of LinkedIn, because you don’t have to log on to the site and anyone can view your entire Google+ profile.
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 the web.
Follow the Right Twitter Folks and Build Up Your Followers
Research your target employers:
LinkedIn company pages are a good place to research your target employers and find their employees. Then you can look for them on Twitter.
Identify key players and hiring decision makers that you’ll follow, retweet (RT) and @ mention (note them by including “@theirTwittername” on Twitter.
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 emagazines (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
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. Recent studies have shown that tweets with hashtags get retweeted more often.
photo by Rosaura Ochoa