Wednesday, February 18, 2009

7 Do's and Don'ts for Twitter Job Hunt

There's been a lot of buzz about using Twitter to find a job. An earlier post here in The Job Lounge talked about how this social network is finding its way into the mainstream of many job searchers' lives. But there are few things a job seeker needs to be careful of when using Twitter for his or her job hunt. Here are my Seven Twitter Do's and Don'ts for Job Seekers:

1. Get a dedicated Twitter account for your job search. If you want to tweet with your friends about non-professional stuff, create a personal account for that sort of thing. No recruiter or employer wants to "listen in" on personal chit-chat about your kittens, who you're dating, or any of that.

2. Add value to your professional conversation every time you tweet. Your Twitter followers will take notice if you have something relevant to say. If you don't have anything valuable to say, find a relevant blog post or online article, and reference that in your tweet. Or, find a relevant tweet and retweet it. If all else fails on a given day, don't say anything rather than blather on for the sake of having your name on your followers' pages.

3. Immediately before and after you click "follow" for someone who might be important in your job search, tweet about something highly relevant to your occupation. When the person you're following gets an email alert that you're following her, she's likely to check out your profile and your most recent tweets. If she likes what she reads, she may follow you, which could be a really good thing for your job hunt.

4. Don't tweet or retweet (RT) too often! If you take up too much of your followers' pages, they'll see you as a motormouth, which probably won't make a good impression and could cause you to get "unfollowed." One to three tweets a day shows you're in the game without being a Twitter hog.

5. Don't blurt out inappropriate stuff. For example, mid-day don't tweet something like, "I feel like taking a nap." or "I'm on my 16th cup of coffee." Who would want to hire someone who gets sleepy during work hours?

6. Don't tweet details of your job search. Announcing every move you make toward getting a new job isn't what recruiters and potential employers should hear. For example, you could shoot yourself in the foot if you tweet, "I'm sitting in the lobby of XWZ Company waiting for my job interview." If another potential employer reads it, he may assume you no longer need a job.

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