Twitter Can Help Your Job SearchIt is becoming a common practice among companies to use social media as a method of viewing potential leadership qualities and assessing industry knowledge. Recruiters do not just look at LinkedIn or Google for information; they are viewing Twitter accounts as a way to check out candidates for job openings. What your online presence says about you speaks volumes to a potential employer.

Look at this scenario from a hiring manager’s point of view. You have two somewhat equally qualified candidates. One doesn’t have a Twitter feed or have much of an online presence at all but graduated from an ivy-league school. The other has 30,000 followers on Twitter and may not have quite all the qualifications requested with a mediocre educational background. What does that tell the company? The opinion of Sarah Robb O’Hagan, president of Equinox, is that this person has identified something about leadership. “He or she could be the one to lead our business forward.”

Make Twitter work for you in your job search.

Start with research

Follow the influencers in your industry. Understand these people—get to know their backgrounds (check them out on LinkedIn) and identify those that might help you connect to job opportunities. These people often post relevant information and even job postings on Twitter.

Criteria to choose whom to follow

What makes a person an influencer in your field? Is it their knowledge of the industry? Is it their connection to other influencers? Does location have anything to do with their impact on others? A rule of thumb is to find people that tweet articles about your industry with between 500-5,000 followers and over 5,000 tweets. This tells you they are experienced with a good platform.

Use hashtags to find content

Hashtags are keywords that can be categorized on Twitter. If you want to follow a conversation string on Twitter about job search you can find these conversations by using the hashtag #jobsearch. The more specific the hashtag, the easier it will be to drill down to specific topics that you can follow, and contribute to. When posting, use appropriate hashtags.

Start tweeting

Start a real conversation or chime in to one that is already in motion. Knowing you need to keep each tweet to 140 characters or below keeps the conversation succinct. It is okay to ask for tips or advice. For example, “Can I get your opinion on this?” Company executives want to know how you think, how you solve problems, and what you would do in certain situations. Tweets can reveal some of your thought process to them and may position you as a great candidate for their job opening.

Get people to follow your posts by sharing items you find professionally relevant to your field. You will find that as you gain followers, you will discover a network that can provide you with information on job openings, seminars, conferences and industry news.