One Tweet at a Time
There are those who still argue that Twitter is a passing phase – that it will never catch on. Given that they have been arguing this for a few years now, I have stopped listening. Anyone who watched the debates leading up to the last presidential election was probably made very much aware of how embedded into our culture this type of micro-communication has become. It has found a place in our news dissemination and in breaking down the in’s and out’s of politics, but has it found a place in recruiting and job search?
Anyone who knows me, knows that I enjoy using Twitter. It is a captivating and speedy communication tool and I, myself, have used it extensively for marketing and recruiting. I like to use it organically and I rarely automate responses or posts. And every single tweet is all me and only me. Compared to some, I have just a small following and I believe it is important to share information that communicates thoughts, ideas, and news about recruiting, job search, technology, social media, and business. These are things that I like, of which I have an interest, vested or otherwise. Thus, I am genuine in what I share.
Transparency of Twitter
Being careful who I follow, I typically check bios and attached links, as well as LinkedIn profiles. Trust is a major part of social engagement. It is better to start off with truth, than to build up to it. Social media has loosened the grip on the mystery of who we are. The cloak of invisibility that covers the marketer, the smoke and mirrors that many recruiters and sales people hide behind have been stripped away. I love that transparency and authenticity have become expectations and not just delightful surprises. There is no purpose of having a Twitter account if you only provide a Twitter name, no bio, and no avatar or profile pic for followers and potential followers to evaluate why they should follow.
Why Be Forthcoming?
In my experience and as a avid Twitter user, I want you to know why you would want to follow me and why you wouldn’t. If you are not interested in job search, social media, recruiting, technology, or life and biz lessons – you probably don’t want to follow me. Twitter is not a game where the winner has the most followers. It is about expressing interests and having conversations, about sharing observations and experiences, about learning from other humans who have human experiences – ultimately, expanding my base of knowledge.
If you offer me nothing, I want nothing from you. Personally, I do not follow those who do not have a bio or avatar. Why should I? There is nothing to compel me to. Jobseekers should view Twitter as another opportunity to market themselves, as another channel to share reasons to be hired. Never forget that it is a marketing and communications channel.
When I first started using Twitter, I set up columns of specific hashtagged words to follow.
# <– This is a hashtag. When as hashtag is attached to a word or phrase, it becomes more searchable. Thus, particular conversations and/ or interests can be followed. A jobseeker can learn quite a bit about a particular company, interest, or person by following them on Twitter. It becomes another facet in a jobseeker’s evaluation of opportunity. It is important to remember that while employers and hiring managers are evaluating jobseekers and applicants, jobseekers and applicants should be conducting there own investigation into the company where they have applied. How does this company treat employees or clients/customers online? Do they even have an online presence? Does that matter to you?
How to Find Social Channels
Of course, you can do key word or name search on social channels but most companies share their social contact information on their websites. Find them, follow them. It’s another way for the jobseeker to review and consider opportunity. These informal evaluations combined with phone screening and interviews provide even greater insight and control to jobseekers. It makes sense to educate and arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible.
Professionalism – Loud and Clear
While jobseekers are evaluating companies and opportunities, companies and hiring managers are evaluating jobseekers. You’ve heard, “what happens on the internet, stays on the internet.” This is true. If you show low professionalism by using crude language or posting lewd or unbecoming pictures, this will affect how someone views you, and that someone could be a hiring manager or new boss. I have heard many hiring managers deny potential candidates because of what they found online about that particular jobseeker. Even as long ago as eight years, I had a hiring manager dismiss an applicant after viewing said applicant’s Myspace profile. If you think that doesn’t go on today, you are kidding yourself.
Yes, Be Genuine – Just Don’t Be Stupid
**Yes, check all your privacy settings, but be smart. It is oh so true that stupid is as stupid does.
Control Your Image
Choose to control your online image. The ease of using social media has caused many individuals to relax their standards or have absolutely no standards. This has altered how many of us behave – we say things online that we would never feel comfortable saying to someone’s face. This is not always a good thing.
I decided long ago that being open and frank online would not give me away, but rather, those truths would define me. Decide what your truths are and present them professionally. There’s a paycheck waiting for you.
by Rayanne Thorn
|Every Friday, Rayanne hosts Jobsite Talk, sharing jobseeker tips & hiring ideas based on the Jobsite.com content produced here by those who know. Words to Work By|
|Rayanne Thorn is VP for Communications Branding at Evenbase US. She is an avid writer in the recruiting and job search space. She writes BonusTrackDaily.com for Blogging4Jobs and contributes often to the Huffington Post. Please feel free to follow Rayanne on Twitter and connect with her on LinkedIn.
Ms. Thorn is the editor and a regular contributor for the Jobsite.com Blog and News