Careers Twitter

Like LinkedIn, Twitter is another social media network that can be beneficial for job seekers. Unlike LinkedIn, which is strictly professional, Twitter has some wiggle room to show off your personality and interests. Think of Twitter as a cocktail party — it’s more casual and conversational in nature. It’s the perfect place to engage with others and make connections. And then later (hopefully) bring those conversations outside the Twitter platform.

Twitter is best for engaging with others and making connections. However, it can also help with your job search more directly in these ways:

  1. Act as a research tool. Twitter has a powerful search tool, making it great for researching companies and interviewers. You can learn a lot about a person by scrolling through their Twitter feed!

  2. Find job openings. Some companies (or employees) will post openings on Twitter. Frequently they’ll use hashtags like #techjobs, #devjobs, #designjobs, #datasiencejobs, #hiring, or #jobopening. You can find jobs by looking through relevant hashtags. Moreover, many companies have specific job handles, e.g. @googlejobs.

  3. Vetting. Lastly, recruiters and hiring managers may look at your Twitter profile to get a sense of who you are and see if you’d be a good fit at the company. This may be before or even after a job interview. That said, be mindful about sharing polarizing content about political or religious beliefs. And anything you wouldn’t want a potential boss to see.

How Twitter Works

Twitter revolves around tweeting. This is like posting statuses. Because tweets are limited to 280 characters, it’s not the place to go to write long-form. (Save that for your blog!) Many people enjoy Twitter because of its brevity. It prevents people from getting stuck in 30-minute long conversations.

A hallmark of the Twitter platform is hashtags. (The # symbol.) Essentially, it’s a way to categorize messages based on topic/keyword. It allows people to follow related tweets and makes it easier to find tweets/users in Twitter’s Search. While using hashtags in your tweets is good, make sure to do so in moderation. #Hashtagging #every #word #in #your #tweet #is #not #necessary #and #looks #spammy.

Unlike other social media platforms, like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram, things move much more quickly on Twitter. For this reason, it is perfectly acceptable to tweet multiple times a day — even right in a row. (Especially if you’re participating in a Twitter chat or tweeting during a live event.)

Another feature on Twitter is direct messaging. However, you can only direct message people who follow you.

Setting Up Your Twitter Profile

Unlike a LinkedIn profile, there are far fewer components that make-up a Twitter profile. Here are some of the important ones you should familiarize yourself with.

  1. Bio. Your Twitter bio is like a jumping off point. It’s limited to 160 characters, so you can only say so much. Make sure to include what you do as well as a bit of your personality. Have some fun with it!
  2. Profile photo. Nothing says “amateur” like the boilerplate egghead photo that comes with every new Twitter account. Make sure to upload your own photo.
  3. Your location. This is especially important to include if you're looking for opportunities in your area.
  4. Website. Make sure to add your portfolio website or blog. If you don’t have one yet, you can link to your LinkedIn or Github instead. This gives people a chance to learn more about you.
  5. Cover photo. While this is not necessary, it is an opportunity to let your personality shine.

Trouble choosing a Twitter handle (aka username)? It’s best to use your name, or something close to it, if possible. That way, you’ll be easier to find.

Who to Follow

There are no set rules on who you can and can’t follow on Twitter. (Unless their account is private.) Below are some suggestions of who you can follow:

  1. Peers who are also in your industry
  2. Influencers you admire (like Elon Musk)
  3. Companies you’d like to keep tabs on (aka dream companies you’d like to work for)
  4. People you want to keep tabs on (aka managers at that dream company)
  5. Blogs in your field of study
  6. Job forums

Engaging with People on Twitter

Again, Twitter is like a cocktail party or networking event. It’s perfect for short conversations. There’s no need to be too professional.

One of the great things about Twitter is that you can tweet to anyone, and they’ll get a notification. This differentiates Twitter from other social media networks. However, just because you can tweet anyone doesn’t mean you should. Always be respectful. And don’t bombard people with Tweets. Especially someone you have never “met” (or spoken to) before.

One Twitter hack you can use is turning on mobile notifications for when certain people tweet. When you do this, you’ll receive a notification whenever they tweet something.

Here's a use case of this: You want to get the attention of a certain influencer...but they have thousands and thousands of followers. When you set up a notification, you can be one of the first to reply to their tweets. (For instance, if they ask a question.) When you reply right away, the chances of them seeing it are higher because they obviously are on their Twitter account at that time.

Aside from engaging with others, you also want to tweet interesting/relevant things. For instance web development tips, industry news, pictures from an event, etc.

Here are some of the ways you can engage on Twitter:

Mentions (@) - How to reference another user by using their handle in a tweet (e.g. @FlatironSchool). When you mention a user, they are notified.

Retweeting (RT) - Another hallmark of Twitter. It’s like resharing another user’s tweet.

Hashtagging (#) - A way to denote a certain topic or conversation. Makes it easier to follow certain trends. (Like #GameofThrones or #RubyonRails)

Liking - When you “like” someone’s tweet, it shows that you appreciate it.

Replying - When you respond to another person’s tweet with your own tweet. It begins with the @username of the person you're replying.

Check out this helpful Twitter glossary for more.

On Twitter, be mindful of having an appropriate mix of content that you tweet yourself, retweet from other users, and content you “like”.

Final Thoughts

Twitter is like a cocktail party. It allows you to chat with others, and jump in and out of conversations. Twitter can also serve as a way to stay current in the tech industry by following news sites, thought leaders, and more.

In the end, always try to bring your Twitter conversations off the platform and into your inbox, on the phone/Skype, or a face-to-face coffee meeting.

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