Career Advice, Watercooler

Twitter Rules Every Job Seeker Should Follow

How should a job seeker craft effective, meaningful Twitter messages that resound with an appropriate, yet impactful tone? Sometimes, the Twitter stream is a smooth rivulet, offering calm conversations, inviting chatter and encouraging words. In other instances, a strongly worded and edgily toned message causes the water to roil.

As a job seeker determined to add and receive value from the always moving Twitter stream, I suggest carefully crafting your messages to assure you create positive waves in the stream versus churning water that may offend others or even worse, shipwreck your career.

In that I’ve browsed dozens of articles opining best practices to craft a meaningful Twitter message, I think that, though rules of thumb exist, you really should maneuver your own messages in a way that feels intuitive to you. Really, there are no rules, well except for these few musts:

  • Use correct spelling. Misspelled words immediately subtract from the intellectual impression you make and also may imply carelessness, an unattractive trait to display, especially when job seeking.
  • Punctuate correctly. Although fudging a bit with the rules may sometimes be appropriate to fit the 140-character dimensions of Twitter; e.g., omitting a comma here or a colon there, the general rule of thumb is to respect the rules of punctuation.
  • Don’t over abbreviate. Spelling out words versus truncating and abbreviating content until it’s nearly indecipherable is highly encouraged. Insights crammed into the Twitter stream quickly sink and disappear.  Which reads better?

Ldr shd b beacn of lght who stops/ask fllowrs if on rght pth. (sink)

Leader Should Be “Beacon of Light” Who Stops to Ask Followers if They Are on the Right Path. (swim)

  • Focus on content value. Some communications and social media experts suggest only using 120 characters of your 140 characters in order to ease the job of those retweeting your message (i.e., they need the additional characters to allow for their user ID and your user ID to be displayed in the retweet). Though I think this is a nice rule of thumb, I often don’t heed it, as the appeal of maximizing each and every character, from 1 to 140 is so strong to me. Job seeker, if this is the least of your challenges, then do not despair. Remember, content value is the main objective.

Regarding composing meaningful content that exudes your merit, keep in mind that trolling others’ Tweets and discovering links to career-relevant blog posts often will fire up your Tweet message ideas.

Moreover, have a look at your own resume, your own knowledge and contributions and leap off of those to appeal to your followership. For example, if you perform in an administrative role in healthcare, how can you distinguish your message? As one example, you might wrap your insights around your particular process prowess in smoothing out the transition throughout the patient admission process. Tweet your wisdom on the how and why this is possible. Show, don’t just tell, potential hiring managers your achievements stories, in 140 character micro-messages.

Moreover, after scouring for blog posts that support your learnings and accomplishments, Tweet custom introductions to those links. Build a value proposition through information sharing that is targeted to your future goals. What type of individual, hiring manager, recruiter or human resource professional might be intrigued by your insights? Then, wrap your words around their needs.

Through an effective Tweeting process, you will create unsinkable Tweets that provide a peek behind your career curtain.