While 140 characters might feel bookmarked for sharing spiced coffee pictures in quirky cafes and re-tweeting hilarious one-liners, they can also help you land you a gig. You can use Twitter to find a job, and that's in between you posting your amazing lunch sandwiches and live-tweeting Stranger Things. With the use of short snappy messages, you can assert yourself as a key professional in your industry, spread your own content, flush out your niche, and develop your own voice that will turn itself into an impressive personal brand. As you can see, a handful of words can go a long way when it comes to your career.
But with like most things, Twitter is the most effective when it comes with a strategy. You can't just go in there and begin re-tweeting random people's articles and cross your fingers that opportunities start knocking. You need to be prepared to engage in a way that makes your voice rise above the clatter. It's not enough just to blast your foghorn and catch people's attention — rather, you need to attract that attention in a good way. Below are 11 tips on how to use Twitter to find opportunities — go and make the platform work for you and your goals!
1. Break Industry Leaders Into Lists
If you feel like your feed is an unholy mess of brands, articles, and random followers every time you log in, you need to tidy things up by using Twitter lists. "You can make the list public or private, then continue adding companies or people relevant to your job search. This will give you the ability to pare down your noisy Twitter feed and allow you to interact with those companies specifically, retweeting their content and/or replying to their tweets," Nina Radetich, Marketing Consultant at Radetich Marketing + Media, shares in an email interview with Bustle. It'll make interacting so much easier.
2. Start A Conversation With Key Players In Companies
If you have favorite brands or are keeping your eye on a company, seek out who the influential people are and get on their radar. "What's great about Twitter is that employees will often tag or state the company they work for in their bio. Along with interacting with the company's Twitter, you can also start conversations with executives and employees at the company to create a more personal connection with the people behind the brand," Kayla Hollatz, a Community Coach for Creatives, suggests in an email interview with Bustle. This could easily lead to job opportunities.
3. Make Your Bio Work For You
In order for those key players to know who you are and what you focus on, you need to tell them. "A lot of us like to be cute and fun with our Twitter bios, but if you’re using Twitter to find a job, you want to make sure your profile has an up-to-date headshot and a specific description of your current position. Think of it as your 15 second elevator speech," Radetich explains. Use key words in your bio so if someone searched "freelance writer" or "illustrator," they'd find you immediately.
4. Add Your Websites
Twitter allows you to link a website to your bios so utilize that option. "If your LinkedIn profile is optimized, add a link to it in your Twitter bio. If you’ve got a personal blog where recruiters can learn more about you, link to it," Radetich advises. Another option is to create a portfolio if you're in a creative field, which easily displays your past work in a glance. Or if you're in a more traditional industry but want to offer more than a Linkedin account, start a blog that lets you share your expertise.
5. Post Things That Contribute To Your Industry
While you can be true to your personality and post fun, personal things to your account, try to keep the mindset of an industry expert. You want to post things that prove that you're well versed in your niche. "Keep in mind that everything you tweet lends to — or takes away from — your online persona. Whether or not you're searching for a job, make sure your Twitter stream represents you as a professional individual that has important and unique thoughts to contribute," career writer Erica Swallow from Mashable advised. Make your content work for you.
6. Hunt Down Relevant Hashtags
Hashtags not only help recruiters find you, but they also help you find relevant job openings. "Many recruiters are also using hashtags to make sure their listings standout. A recent search on the hashtag search tool, Hashtagify.me, revealed the top 10 hashtags related to 'jobs' on Twitter. They include: #hiring, #job, #TweetMyJobs, and #jobsearch," Radetich explains. You can use that tool to find the most popular hashtags related to jobs in your field, or use it to see which phrases would be most optimal when tagging your own work.
7. Try And Meet Your Contacts IRL
If you're in a constant conversation with someone in a company in your own city, don't be afraid to take that connection offline. "I can’t tell you how many people I’ve 'met' on Twitter… and that relationship turned into a 'hey, let’s get coffee sometime.' Twitter can accelerate those personal connections," Radetich offers. Taking it offline can strengthen your connection and make it easier to be referred opportunities.
8. Join Twitter Chats
Are you having a hard time finding the head honchos in your niche? Join Twitter chats to meet more like-minded professionals and contacts that can help you build your place in the industry. "Getting involved with industry chats is a way to show your industry in a particular field and represent yourself as a knowledgeable person," Swallow concluded. It's an easy way to connect with a lot of people.
9. Use Your Network To Find These Chats
While joining into a chat with brilliant comments is an excellent idea in theory, it might be hard to find once you get down to it. If you don't know where to begin in that department, ask your network. "Check to see if anyone you follow participates in Twitter chats that are relevant to you or ask your followers for their Twitter chat recommendations," Radetich suggests. A good percentage of your followers should be from your industry to begin with, so not only will you get reliable replies, you'll also have a chance to better connect with them.
10. Reach Out Directly
After you've interacted a few times with a potential employer, move into the final steps of your tap dance and see if they'd like to work together. Susan Adams, an entrepreneur writer at Forbes, suggested phrasing it along the lines of, "I like what you’ve been saying on Twitter and I agree with your approach. If you’re ever looking to hire someone, give me a shout. I’d love to work for you." You never know if they have something available at that moment!
11. Mention Your Chats In Your Cover Letter
If you had a fair amount of interaction with the company or one of the head honchos on Twitter, mention it in your cover letter when applying for a position to establish rappore. "Conversations started on Twitter can always continue offline. Consider referencing your Twitter conversation in your cover letter or when reaching out to that company. It’s a strategic way to make an initial connection," Radetich explains. It will also help you stand out from the rest.
Now that you're well equipped with an arsenal of tips, get to tweeting!
Images: @inkwellpress/Instagram; Bustle