5 helpful Twitter job search tips

The Twitter homepage appears on a screen in Washington on September 3, 2010. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/GettyImages)
NICHOLAS KAMM

(MoneyWatch) In a highly competitive job market like this one, those seeking work will spend time revising their resumes and cover letters and money on new suits and commuting to interviews. But Twitter costs you nothing, and it's only as time consuming as you make it. Here are five smart ways to tweet up a new job.

Become an online 'brand'

Now you don't have to bill yourself as the next Oprah of your industry to get a new job. If you don't have the experience to back it up, such bravado can be off-putting. But everything from the language to the content of your tweets should reflect your interests, knowledge and personality. "Before you are even interviewed, you can demonstrate how much you know," says Kenneth Wisnefski, a social media consultant and CEO Of WebiMax.

Add value

Retweet where appropriate. Join a chat. Respond to leading questions. Twitter is a conversation, and to be effective, you have to join in. "We have hired people who consistently retweeted our tweets and added additional value to topics or discussions we have been engaged in," notes Wisnefski.

Ask questions

Sometimes, the best way to start a conversation with the company is to ask your own leading questions. If it's a smaller company, this may be especially effective. Your query may be a smart, open-ended question about your industry or a more direct request for an informational interview. You'll have to use your best judgment here, taking into consideration the industry and company. For some specific Twitter templates, read this.

Spell it out

Make it known to a potential employer that it's on your radar. "Retweet or tweet about a company you want to work for with something very positive that this company is doing," suggests Wisnefski. If you hear back after such flattery, he suggests your next reply might be, "This is the sort of company I would love to work for." Don't be surprised if, all of a sudden, your resume gets the green light for the shortlist (though at this point you may not need a resume to get an interview).

Don't put your foot in your keyboard

Steer clear of criticism about your boss or clients, profanity, or tweeting too much. You'll come across as irritating as well as unprofessional. To learn more about what NOT to do on Twitter when in search of a new job, read this.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons user Harumphy

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