When using social media sites like Twitter for professional networking or to aid your job search, it is really important to develop and maintain a personal brand to set yourself apart. It is also imperative to identify to whom you want to market your personal brand.
Twitter accounts are much more effective when targeted towards a niche or an industry community.
For example, if you wanted to use Twitter to aid your job search in a certain industry of PR you could:
- Start a Twitter account with a handle that is industry-related. For example, if you’re interested in fashion, you can create a handle that reflects that (e.g. @FashionForward). This already indicates your interest in a particular industry and is more searchable for the target audience that you are trying to reach. However, sometimes it makes more sense to use a personal account — however, that doesn’t mean you still can’t share about what you love!
- Write a bio of who you are, your professional aspirations, and your interests. Include a link to a professional profile (e.g. LinkedIn), your personal site (Flavors.me), or your blog (wordpress.com).
- Begin tweeting, but stick to industry-related content. Don’t talk about your coffee order or your horrendous chemistry exam.If you’re into tech, tweet gadget reviews, digital media tips, etc. Industry content with with a fresh new take (and your opinion) will attract digiphile followers…and also potential employers.
- Once you have developed a good profile and some quality tweets, reach out to industry heads. Follow leaders in your category of interest: CEOs, journalists and bloggers from top media outlets, etc. You never know, they may follow you back… thus putting you on their well-connected radar.
- Start dialogues with your followers and retweet pertinent posts from other relevant tweeters (giving due credit, of course), this is another good way to expand your networks and increase your exposure. Make sure to also engage in conversations with these people. Social media is about being in a community. Show you care and a potential employer may even see your engagement and intellect when engaging with others — it could be the next step to that job or internship.
Twitter is an ideal informal forum to get your personal brand seen and heard. The pattern of this exercise can be used for any subject area or industry. It is an opportunity to express your opinions and insights, and if done well, it can show potential employers your initiative and passion for your chosen field, thus demonstrating just what a great job candidate you really are.