According to Resume Bear, 40% of employers check out candidates on Twitter before hiring. What you say, or don’t say, on Twitter could have an effect on what these employers think of you. Why don’t you use this to your advantage instead of ignoring it? Here are 8 steps to running a Twitter that will give a good impression to employers.
If you don’t have a Twitter, make one. What do you have to lose? If it’s likely an employer is going to try and find you on Twitter, give them something to find. If you have a personal account, make a professional account as well. Combining the two could be problematic… just like treating LinkedIn as Facebook can be. So if you’re going to make a professional account, remember that it is you PROFESSIONAL account and treat it that way.
Use your account to show off your specialties, skills, and knowledge. Use all of the 140 characters you have in your headline to describe yourself. BE CREATIVE. Tell a little bit about yourself and your goals; make it work for you!
Add a picture. Use a nice headshot. Just like you learned in LinkedIn: an interactive resume, this picture should be a headshot of only you looking semi-professional. It’s generally a good practice to use the same picture for all your professional accounts, i.e. LinkedIn, Twitter, and any blog or online profile you may have. The picture doesn’t need to be done professionally, but you shouldn’t be sporting sweats or a bathing suit.
Pick an area of expertise, and only tweet about that. For instance, if you are interested in advertising or PR or if you are interested in science, tweet about current news and discoveries in those categories.
Follow the right people. Follow leading companies or people doing research in your area of expertise. You can retweet things they tweet, and create relationships by joining conversations with them.
Use Twitter to get your foot in the door or as an icebreaker. With this, follow people you may want to work for as well. Tweet to them, and begin conversations. If you ever meet them in person, you can mention that you’ve chatted with them via social media, and if you did a good job, they may remember you and feel like they already know you.
If someone retweets you, thank them. It’s always polite to acknowledge that they shared what you posted. Not doing so is a big pet peeve for many Twitter users.
Tweet at least once a day, but don’t take over someone’s feed. Tweeting a couple times a day is ideal, with a few hours in between. Find a happy middle ground, if you tweet too much, people may become annoyed and unfollow you, and if you tweet too little, they won’t realize you exist.