Twitter: Old Dog With New Tricks And A Buzz.
Well, I got suckered into Twitter a few months back, and was not to pleased with somehow associating myself with Lady Gaga. Old dog to be sure, but I needed new tricks. My clients tend to be managerial professionals familiar with e-mail, Google, etc. Some but not most are comfortable with LinkedIn. Now Twitter; well that seems to be another matter altogether. I get it. It’s quick, flighty, and a lot seems to get caught up in the great flow of tweets causing questions around how one’s message, brand, value proposition can ever reach the target.
Twitter’s functionality has become a reality not only for Ashton Kutcher, Lady Gaga, Shaq, and other narcissists, but for job seekers and small businesses alike. Twitter is being used for corporate branding, marketing, and recruiting for wired and connected talent. Companies, HR professionals, and recruiters all value and leverage the access to Twitter’s nearly 200 million users. 63% of Twitter users are less than thirty-five years old; sixty percent of Twitter users are Caucasian, but a higher than average (compared to other Internet properties) are African American (16%) and Hispanic (11%); and, 58% of Twitter users have a total household income of at least $60,000.
- Create your brand through your profile. You are a brand, a valuable brand, and you need to communicate that to potential hiring agents. Your profile can be more than the 140 character limit on Twellow (the yellow pages of Twitter) which you should sign up for as well…it’s free. This initial statement can leapfrog you past the “tell me about yourself question”, and based on the key words you use, escalate your chances of being identified. Be sure to make your branding statement and picture is consistent on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, your blog, your resume, and your business card.
- Identify job opportunities posted by recruiters, companies, and obtain job search tips from career consultants and coaches…preferably me. While it certainly helps, you don’t necessarily need to tweet. Learn about hash marks (#), Twitter search tools, how to create your own lists and access the lists of others. Find the content that is relevant to your experience and value proposition and begin to follow those within your niche.
- Position yourself as a valued candidate. Take part in ongoing discussions. Share your subject-matter expertise. Intelligently answer questions that others raise. Share resources that you have found, ask questions that demonstrate you know what you are talking about. Ask followers to check out your website or to connect with you on LinkedIn in order that they can identify more of your professional capabilities.
- Remember you can begin following and stop following whomever you wish to, as well as at any time. Unlike LinkedIn where connections involve an invitation and acceptance, on Twitter you can have immediate access to all the tweets of anyone you choose. By searching Twitter you can find thought leaders in your professional field. You can learn about what is important to companies on your target list and to their employees, managers, customers and suppliers.
- As an example, search for “Ford engineer,” and look in the upper right of your screen to find a list of people who are Ford engineers. Or search for “technical recruiter Nashville” and recruiters in the Nashville area who focus on technical professionals. Start following these folks on your search results and you will begin to get understand how you can position yourself to be a more highly sought after candidate.
- Expand your search. Search “how to find a new career,” “new job search strategy,” or something that describes the job you are seeking like, “project management engineer Atlanta.” When you find a relevant tweet, follow the author, and re-tweet (RT) it so others, as well as the author can see that you took an interest in what was originally communicated. The old, flattery will get you everywhere strategy.
I found twitter to be a bit awkward at first, but have come to rely on it quite heavily. As with the other networking and professional development tools within the social media space, Twitter should not be considered or relied upon exclusively. However, it has become a valuable tool in the toolbox, and I believe you should put the Twitter tool in your toolbox as well.