USING YOUR TWITTER ACCOUNT

This section of our guide is meant to help you use your Twitter account to find a job, make new connections, and maintain your already-existing network. View The Career Counselor's Guide to Twitter to find out more information on how to use Twitter to help you with your job search.

Tweets

Tweets are the statuses that you post on your Twitter account. A tweet cannot be longer than 140 characters. When tweeting, you want to discuss a wide variety of topics. Obviously, you can include professional content, including links to interesting articles or updates on your work or school experiences. You can also tweet personal (but not unprofessional!) updates and news articles. The key is to diversify your tweets so that they remain interesting to your followers.

When tweeting, the most recent tweet will always appear at the top of your profile. However, you can create a static tweet that will always stay at the top even after you tweeted something more recently. This can be helpful for letting people know that you are job searching or for giving extra information that did not fit into your bio.

One way that people organize their tweets or make their tweets more concise is to use a hashtag. Hashtags are created by using the '#' sign and then using characters to follow it. (Ex: #isthishowyouhashtag). When a hashtag is clicked on, you can see all of the tweets associated with that hashtag. This allows people to easily search for groups of items. One hashtag that you can look under is #internship. By using the #internship hashtag, you will have the opportunity to find internships that others (i.e. company recruiters) have posted on social media. It will also work the other way around: recruiters will know that you are looking as well. Other career-related hashtags include #resume, #jobs, #jobsearch, #prjobs, #engineer, and #jobhunt.

The final thing to know about using tweets to help you professionally is that retweeting can help you make and maintain connections. Retweeting is exactly what it sounds like - you repost someone else's tweet. By doing this, that person will become aware of your retweet. Whether you are following a perspective employer or a new contact that you made, this can be a helpful way to help your name stand out and to show your passion.

Following other Accounts

Following other people's Twitter accounts is a very important way to stay connected with your contacts and to stay up-to-date on companies and trends in your industry. To maximum this effort, make a point of following companies, professionals, and others in your industry. It's okay to follow strangers! By following these people, you are more likely to learn about openings in perspective companies and more likely to understand a company's culture/challenges (which can help you stand out in an interview!). It also is beneficial to follow career-related Twitter accounts (check out the Career Development Center's Twitter feed @UARK_CDC). You also may want to see if a perspective company has a specific recruiting Twitter account. For example, Microsoft has a Twitter account (@Microsoft) and a Microsoft Recruiting Twitter account (@MicrosoftJobs).

Strategy

One way to get the most out of your Twitter account is to develop a social media/Twitter strategy. This strategy should include what your goal is (finding an internship, expanding your network, staying up-to-date on your industry) and what steps you plan to take to achieve it (who will you follow, how often will you tweet). By taking the time to develop a strategy, you are more likely to achieve your professional goals through Twitter. Twitter has a few features that can help you stay organized with your strategy, including a list feature. This feature allows you to add Twitter accounts to lists and view them easily in one place. This can be helpful for finding trends and aggregating information. Twitter also has an advanced search feature that makes it easier for you to find information that you are looking for.