The Society for Human Resource Management recently found that more than 75% of companies use social networking sites to recruit job candidates — and recruiters are often going beyond professionally oriented platforms like LinkedIn.
66% of recruiters use Facebook for discovering talent, and 54% of recruiters turn to Twitter when vetting candidates. With Twitter’s redesign, that number is likely to increase.
Twitter is already an inherently ripe social network for recruiting because of its huge professional audience and the unrestricted access it offers members to one another. New features aim to make the network even more interactive, providing plenty of opportunities for job seekers to up their game.
If you’re part of the 44% of Twitter’s 974 million registered users who have never tweeted, you may want to reconsider that decision -– Twitter is emerging as one of the best vehicles for landing your dream job.
Here are four tips for making the most of Twitter’s redesign in your job search.
1. Use new features to highlight credentials
Twitter’s newly introduced features, Pinned Tweets and Best Tweets, place quality over quantity, allowing job seekers to showcase a more accurate picture of their professionalism, skill sets and interests.
Pinned Tweets let you strategically select a single tweet promoting your credentials or interests to “pin” at the top of your profile. This sets the tone for your Twitter profile and is one of the first things a recruiter is likely to notice.
Additionally, Best Tweets help your top content stand out in your feed. Imagine one of your tweets gets 50 retweets and 35 favorites: That tweet will appear larger than less popular tweets. Be wary, however, of which tweets become popular -– if your Best Tweets are politically charged or include inappropriate or offensive content, you’re probably not giving potential employers the best first impression.
2. Get noticed by employers in real-time
Twitter is an ideal network for building professional connections because you don’t need to know your contacts personally before interacting with them. You can find and engage with anyone, including hiring managers and senior leadership at your dream job. Consider every interaction an opportunity to leave an impression.
The best way to get noticed by potential employers is to interact with their posts.
The best way to get noticed by potential employers is to interact with their posts. Twitter’s automatic news stream and real-time notifications of replies, favorites and retweets encourage constant interaction and give users a reason to come back again and again. You can take advantage of these capabilities by interacting with job postings to ensure that you stay top-of-mind for potential employers.
The caveat is that you need to hit a sweet spot –- while you want to be noticed by employers, you don’t want to be persistent to the point of being annoying.
3. Optimize your profile for search
You’ve made a point to search companies on Google and decide whether they’re a fit for you; expect employers to perform the same due diligence.
Many companies are already using ads and search engines to target candidates by location, interests and experience on social media. For example, L’Oreal recently used targeted Facebook ads to reach specific candidates, generating 5.88 million impressions and 153 pre-qualified candidates for one of their positions.
With Twitter’s new timeline and list search filters, it’s only a matter of time before even more employers turn to the site to target candidates. To ensure you’re in the bullseye, optimize your profile by listing your location, experience and any skills employers would care about in your bio. In addition, use keywords that employers will use to search for someone like you, such as languages and platforms (i.e. .NET, HTML) if you’re an aspiring software developer. Hashtag key terms so they show as an exact match in searches.
If you really want to get noticed, consider turning the tables on employers by targeting them. UseTwitter’s ads to broadcast your credentials to hiring managers, targeting by company, industry and position. Twitter advertising is surprisingly affordable and highly effective. If you’re hesitant about being quite so bold, you can always use Twitter to direct message or mention hiring managers, asking to meet for coffee or an informational interview.
4. Treat your profile like a portfolio
Twitter’s redesign transforms your profile into a personal landing page. Beyond updating your profile picture and completing your bio, use your profile to promote and link to other online presences, such as a personal blog or online resume.
Job seekers may also want to take advantage of Twitter’s new photo capabilities, which allow you to upload up to four photos per tweet, aggregating your photos in a more visual and engaging way. If you work in a creative or visual field, tweets including photos can serve as a social portfolio of your work.
Twitter’s redesign boasts new features that provide a huge opportunity for savvy job seekers to convince employers that they’re worth hiring -– in fewer than 140 characters, of course.