If you have access to the internet (which you probably do since you are reading this), you’ve likely heard of Twitter. You may even use the social platform to follow your favorite athletes or reality TV stars. But there’s more to Twitter than just keeping up with the Kardashians.
If used wisely, Twitter can be a great tool to network and even help find a new career opportunity. In today’s very competitive job market, your social media presence is your “storefront” into brand you
. How can you maximize that exposure to make sure the right employers or hiring managers see and want to learn more about you?
Follow these five steps and you’ll develop a basic Twitter presence that can help you get noticed.
Create your custom handle
The name you use to identify yourself on Twitter is known as your handle. You will want to pick something that is unique to you. Try to pick a user handle that’s as close to your real name or personal business as possible. Just note, Twitter will not allow multiple users to have the same handle. So if you have a common name like John Smith, you might need to get creative; however, you’ll want to avoid being too cute or funny. No one in the business world is going to take @Superman11111 seriously,
unless you’re a reporter for the Daily Planet.
Select your profile picture
After you’ve picked your professional handle, you’ll want to customize your profile and select a profile picture. If you don’t set a picture, Twitter will automatically assign you an image that looks like an egg. This is your chance to make an impression on a prospective hiring manager.
When selecting your profile picture, you should generally follow the same rules you would for your LinkedIn profile
– a professional looking image that clearly shows your face and doesn’t include a busy background or appear
to be cropped from a group photo. Just like LinkedIn and Facebook, Twitter allows you to set a banner photo. Use this area to showcase a hobby or experience that’s unique to you.
Build your bio
Twitter gives you a small area (160 characters) to create a biography about yourself. Make this area count! Use keywords that touch on both your professional and personal life. Feel free to let your creativity show if you think it will help you stand out.
Twitter also provides a few other fields that you can customize for your profile. These are optional, but you should include your location as well as a URL to link back to your LinkedIn profile or other professional page that you’d want people to click on to learn more about you.
Be a follower
Once you’ve created your profile, it’s time to start following other people or organizations to see what they are tweeting about. A good place to start is to follow industry leaders, and see who they are following as well. Once you start building up a list of followers, Twitter will actually help you out by suggesting other relevant people in the “Who to Follow” section. As you build your Twitter presence, this section will continually hone in on the people who you are trying to attract. Once you start tweeting, some of these people will likely begin following you back.
Join the conversation
Now that you’ve started following relevant people in your network, it’s time for you to join the conversation. There are several methods you should use to communicate on Twitter:
- Retweet: If you agree with something an industry leader or organization has posted, simply retweet it. You can also add a comment to a retweet, which allows you to add a little of your commentary while at the same time sharing the original tweet.
- Favorite: This has the same effect as “liking” a Facebook post. It shows the person who tweeted that you like the tweet, but it doesn’t notify any of your followers.
- Reply: Respond to a tweet from someone you are following. With any luck, that person will engage with you, retweet your message or possibly follow you back.
- Create your own content: If you have something relevant to say, then say it! Try to keep your message relevant to your industry. You could also scroll through top trending hashtags and spend a few minutes developing some clever tweets.
Remember, you only have 140 characters to send your message (Twitter recently changed its policy
so this does not include any images or links you might include). So be sure to keep your message short and sweet.
You won’t build a massive Twitter following overnight. But if you dedicate a few minutes each day, you’ll eventually develop a solid core of followers. And when these followers begin following you and sharing your tweets, you’ll begin to get noticed by other influential people in your industry, maybe even your future boss.
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