If you’ve just been using Twitter to post photos of your cat or complain about how hungover you are, it may be time to think about giving your profile a professional makeover so you can use it to build relationships with people who could help you land that elusive graduate job. You could even set up a new Twitter account specifically for this purpose.
Twitter can be used for more than just hunting for job opportunities: it can be an effective tool for networking, gathering information and engaging in conversation on topical issues in your field of interest.
Getting started on Twitter
If you’re new to Twitter or are setting up a new account, it’s well worth investing some time thinking about your profile. Rather than rushing through the setup process spend some time thinking about your Twitter profile. Consider it your shop window – your twitter handle, bio, header image and profile picture will be the first things people (including potential employers) will see. Think about what impression you want to give. For example, if you want to project yourself as a young professional committed to a career in finance @partyanimal123 probably shouldn’t be your Twitter handle.
Your bio should contain a snapshot of what you do or what you are interested in doing. It should be a professional description of yourself that makes use of key words so that your profile is picked up in searches. It’s also a good idea to include a link to your blog, website or LinkedIn profile if you have one. If potential employers do visit your profile, they can then click through to see examples of your best work or to just find out more about you. You only have 160 characters for your bio though, so keep it concise.
Use Twitter for industry information
Following people and organisations that interest you will help you to sift through the white noise and tailor your newsfeed. Remember relevance is key. For example, you might follow industry organisations and training providers, employers that interest you and individuals working for these employers. Following people is your chance to keep up to date with topical issues and trends, see what influencers think and also to observe the connections between key people in your field.
Using Twitter to network
Don’t get hung up on follower ratios and try not to get lost in the popularity battle. Instead, focus on tweeting meaningful and interesting content and building up relevant contacts. Join the conversation! Tweet about issues in your field, retweet relevant articles and other topical content and try to establish a regular dialogue with others in your industry.
Take opportunities to offer congratulations to an employer you’re interested in, for example, if they win an industry award. Keep an eye out for media mentions of significant individuals or organisations and tweet a comment about it using the person’s Twitter handle and a link to the article. Twitter is a great way to bypass the gatekeeper and connect with people directly.
Look out for relevant trending topics and if you think you can contribute something that will enrich the conversation or debate – tweet it! Often, organisations run hashtag campaigns to make their presence felt. If you spot one run by an organisation you’re interested in, try to take part.
With around 500 million tweets sent every day, hashtags are also an effective way of finding content that interests you and exchanges that you can become a part of. If used well, they can also help you to expand your Twitter audience.
If you're attending a graduate careers fair, you could also browse the hashtag and tweet potential employers before or after the event. But you should remember to keep your tweet relevant and professional. See our other tips for attending graduate careers fairs.
Using Twitter for self-promotion
If you produce content elsewhere that you want to promote – for example, if you have a blog – then Twitter is a good way to push it out to people who might be interested. Don’t do this relentlessly though – people will get fed up and probably unfollow you.
You can flag up your own content to a particular person or organisation by including their Twitter handle in your tweet. In many ways your tweets can tell a potential employer much more about you than your CV or a reference can.
Remember: you are what you tweet.
- Do say more with less – it’s good practice.
- Do make use of applications such as Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to organise the people you follow into columns.
- Don’t click on dodgy links as you may get hacked.
- Don’t plagiarise or retweet anything that might be libellous or offensive.
Check out TARGETjobs on Twitter!
Looking for views, news, tips and chat about graduate jobs? Why not check out TARGETjobs on Twitter? Our main feed is @targetjobsUK.
Interested in a specific profession? You’ll pick up lots of useful updates from our expert sector editors. Connect with them via our sector feeds:
@TjobsMarketing for news and advice about internships and graduate careers in marketing, media, publishing, advertising and PR.
@TjobsLaw for news and advice about careers in law, covering training contracts, pupillages and work experience.
@TjobsFinance for news and advice about graduate careers in finance, with the latest on internships and graduate schemes in accountancy, investment banking, financial services, retail banking, audit and insurance.
@TjobsEng_Tech for news and advice about graduate schemes, placements and internships in engineering and technology.
@TjobsConsult for news and advice about graduate careers in management consulting, with updates about internships and graduate schemes.
@TjobsBuilding for news and advice on graduate careers in construction, building services, property, civil engineering and surveying, and the latest on placements, internships and graduate schemes.
You can also keep up with the latest on internships, placements and work experience via @TJobsInterns. For quick tips on getting hired and reminders of when applications for graduate jobs are opening and closing, make sure you follow @Targetjobs_jobs.
Thinking about postgrad study? We’ve got that covered too, over on @TARGETpostgrad.
Stop by and say hello – we’d love to know how you’re getting on. Happy tweeting!