Social media can be a time waster or a great way to accomplish your goals. The tricks are using it thoughtfully and staying on task. You might think Twitter’s 140 characters make it less useful on a job search or that Twitter isn’t really a job search site, but there are ways to make Twitter a valuable partner in your process. Here are some tips we have picked up about branding for a job search on Twitter:

Your Feed

  • Your Handle–Choose a Twitter handle that is catchy, easy to remember and clearly associated with your name or business name. Try to avoid underscores and numbers, unless a number is part of your business’s name.
  • Influencing–Those short messages can be used to show your expertise. Use Tweets to offer advice on challenges in your field.
  • Content–Use Twitter Search to find links to interesting articles or news items that apply to your field. You can become a resource for your Followers and others who search for your topics.
  • Hashtag–If you really want Hiring Managers to find you, use hashtags to attract their attention. Research the Twitter Feeds of your target companies and use the same hashtags they are using in their Tweets to come up in their searches.
  • Engage–Mention or Retweet a company that you are interested in. They will definitely have your handle in the front of their minds.
  • Ask Questions–Twitter can feel like shouting into the void, but it’s really a conversation with the world. See if you can get the world to respond.

Watch out for:

Always remember anyone can see your Tweets. Twitter is not a good place to post personal or confidential information, profanity or anything about your boss or your clients.

Tweeting too often, especially during business hours, can make you look like you’re not being very productive at your current job or you don’t have anything better to do.

My Rules of Facebook apply here, too–even in 140 characters, you can say something you wouldn’t want your grandmother or a hiring manager to see. Think before you hit that Tweet button.

In Part 2 of our series, we will give you some tips on finding great job postings on Twitter and connecting with the hiring managers who are looking for you.

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative