Twitter: Developing Your Online Brand

     
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As social media continues to infiltrate every waking minute of our lives, there’s no denying that it’s changing the way we connect and interact. From searching the web, to purchasing products and finding jobs, social media has its fingers in many proverbial pies.

In this article, I want to look at how Twitter can be used to develop a strong online brand and to explore its potential for finding work.

Below I’ve included some initial steps to follow, once you’ve set up a profile.

Write a professional bio

Your first port of call for developing a strong online brand is your bio. You get 160 characters to tell any potential employers what your speciality is. Quite often, a little injection of personality can go a long way; just don’t take it too far. Keep it professional, so an employer will want to connect with you.

Include your website or LinkedIn URL

If you have a website or LinkedIn profile, including this will help potential employers to access further information about you at the click of a button. Just be sure that the content you are linking to is of a high quality.

Include a headshot

Including a photo lets employers put a face to your name, making you more memorable, just be sure that the picture shows you in a good light!

Start following

Follow employers, institutions and influencers within your industry. To find them, use the ‘Twitter search’ to get you started, using keywords related to your industry and see what profiles come up. At this point I would say it’s useful to be a little choosy. Try to connect with regular users who post engaging content and employers that you are interested in working for, as it’s easy to get carried away and follow every Tom, Dick and Harry.

Build your brand!

One you’ve written your bio and followed influencers and employers, it’s time to delve in and start building your brand. Post links to interesting content related to your industry and find discussions that you can get involved in. Try to add insightful comments, spark debate and slowly you’ll be able to carve out a reputation as a thought leader.

For example, if you’re a material scientist, you might want to post links to articles about new developments, trends and technology. Over time, you’ll develop a reputation for being a useful Tweeter and organisations may even start to approach you for advice or to offer you work.

Using Twitter to search for work

Networking with the right people can be a great way to find out what positions are out there, often before they’ve been advertised. Let people know that you’re looking for work or ask whether they know of opportunities coming up. If you have a strong online brand, employers may even approach you. I’ve worked with a few clients recently, who’ve networked with recruiters for large firms and have been offered interviews for unadvertised vacancies, based on their reputation.

In addition, employers and recruiters also post links on Twitter, directly to their vacancies. Try searching for hashtags related to jobs you’re looking for, such as #GraduateJob #FinanceJobs #HRvacancy etc.

Give it time!

Like the marketing of any product, building up your online brand will take time and commitment. Using social media can allow you to connect with employers and industry experts that wouldn’t have been possible in the past. One word of caution though, ‘with great opportunities, comes great responsibility.’ Be careful what you put out there, as anything you do, can have an enduring effect.

Don’t forget the traditional strategies

Remember that a good job search strategy is a balanced one. Don’t forget the traditional strategies such as recruiters, industry publications and job boards like the wonderful jobs.ac.uk! Use all the ‘job search weapons’ available in your arsenal to ensure that you get a clear picture of all the vacancies on offer.

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