If you search for tips on using Twitter in your job hunt, you will come across a lot of great resources for using this social medium and the plethora of complimentary tools and applications available to create your personal brand and connect with potential employers.
However, while there is a lot of information out there about what you can do on Twitter to advance yourself and your job search, I think it is important to be reminded of what not to do on Twitter, for it doesn’t take much to undo everything you have worked so hard to build.
Here are some Twitter tips from veteran Tweeters for what not to do in your job search and personal branding efforts:
DON’T post anything online that you wouldn’t be happy to show a prospective employer. Many recruiters and managers actively use Twitter and other social media to tune into the buzz and monitor what people think about their company. There was a well-known case where someone interviewed for Cisco and then tweeted about how boring the job would be, and had a tweet back from someone at Cisco saying they were sure that their interviewer would be interested to hear that. This went global very quickly due to the viral nature of Twitter. – Claire Chapman, UKSocialMediaCoach.co.uk
DON’T forget to be sure your Twitter activity matches and validates your brand. Tweet about industry happenings, link to relevant blog posts, comment on recent events. – Laurie Berenson, SterlingCareerConcepts.com
DON’T mix business with pleasure. If you’re using Twitter to brand yourself in the market for a particular industry, then stick to updates about that and don’t add in unnecessary and extraneous information about your Saturday night exploits or celebrity crushes. If absolutely necessary, get two separate accounts! Add news and valuable information about your particular industry or expertise, you want to be ‘known’ for a particular expertise not the jack of all trades and master of jack! – Erica Moore-Burton, SpecialCounsel.com
DON’T forget to leverage your Twitter profile as a personal branding tool to differentiate yourself from other candidates and professionals. At a minimum, include a personal, yet professional photo of YOU, compose a 160-word bio that effectively summarizes your brand, titles, etc. and link out to whatever site, blog or profile best represents you and the value you offer. If you can, create and upload a custom Twitter profile background with more contact info and links included so to advance your brand to the next level on Twitter. – Chris Perry, CareerRocketeer.com
DON’T be boring. We all know not to post photos of ourselves doing body shots on the internet, but too many people take things too far in the other direction. If your Twitter feed is too professional and inoffensive, it’ll be lost. Put enough of yourself into it to keep things interesting and human. Think of it like adding spice to a soup: too much will spoil it, but none at all is just as bad. – Sierra Black, ChildWild.com
DON’T tweet anything political. Yes, I know, this is a free country, but if your soon-to-be manager does not agree with your strong political views, it is his or her “American Right” to pass on your resume. Yikes! – Ashley Money, Sapphire.com
DON’T be scared to toot your own horn occasionally (ex. Just finished my XYZ training and earned new certification). – Susan Whitcomb, TheAcademies.com
DON’T fabricate a title on Twitter even for a job you had several years back. While new employers are limited in what they can ask a previous employer, your title, salary, length of stay, and eligibility for rehire are all fair game. The last thing you want to do is stretch the truth in a public domain. – Debra Yergen, CreatingJobSecurity.com
DON’T direct message companies asking if they are hiring. An @reply saying you are now following them and they have unique sounding job opportunities is a better route. Don’t say “I need a job” or “I wish @company would hire me”. – Pam van Hylckama Vlieg, Bookalicio.us
DON’T listen to all the naysayers. Add an auto responder that links back to your portfolio, website, blog, or profile. This is a forever ongoing debate, because a lot of people deem auto-responders to be wrong. However, they do work. Think about it, if someone is following you because they find you interesting, don’t you think they might be interested to find out where else they can find you and/or your best work? Would you give up the chance to be able to talk to all your followers easily without wasting time by individually contacting them one by one? No you wouldn’t. And on top of that, you get to actually socialize with your more shy followers, because you are initiating the conversation with the auto-responder. Anyone who finds you interesting on Twitter will be glad to find a place where they can see what you’re all about, and whether they can work with you or not. – Arsene Hodali, DanceProof.com
Thank you to all of the experts who contributed to this wealth of Twitter insight!
Are there any other Twitter job search don’ts that you would recommend?