10 Ways to Use Twitter to Get Recruiters' Attention

by Salary.com Staff - Original publish date: January 18, 2012

Because more than a hundred applicants often respond to each online job posting, recruiters are rethinking their traditional practice of posting positions on career websites.

Rather than posting the jobs and dealing with an onslaught of random resumes, they've started proactively seeking skilled workers. And Twitter is fast becoming the top tool recruiters use to scout this top talent. 

This article shows you how to master key features of Twitter to attract recruiters' attention.

Begin with your bio

The first thing someone will see when they hit your Twitter feed is your picture, then your biography.Be sure your image is professional and matches your other online profiles. (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.).

You need keywords in your biography that line up with terms applicable to what you do. Whether you're a farmer, or a SQL server administrator, you have to get that across. 

You have 160 characters to fit in as many terms or keywords that apply to you and your skill set. The trick is keeping it from looking like a string of words.

Build a proactive profile

I fit five key phrases into my bio: Microsoft Certified IT Professional, Database Engineer, performance tuning, developing, and MSSQL. That's what I want recruiters to know about me in 160 characters. There are two ways to build your profile. 

First, find people in your industry to see how they've built their profiles. Use their biographies as guides. 

Second, look at a handful of the jobs you’ve applied for that you felt you were perfect for. Pick out the keywords that are common to those postings. The common keywords should appear in your bio.

Get your feed on

Your feed is the single most important tool for building your presence on Twitter. Your feed is a list of all the updates you make using Twitter. 

Most of your tweets should reflect who you are professionally. Some people will advocate only using Twitter professionally, but if you are all work and no play, your profile will be dismissed as fake. 
You need to balance your feed between your work and your play.

But always be mindful everything you post is recorded. There is no undo function on Twitter like there is with Facebook.

Share relevant content

How can you fill your feed with more professional content? Easy! Share articles relevant to your industry. Personally I use Google reader to manage all the websites I read regularly for industry information. 

Ive even added an add-in called Google2Tweet to make sharing easier.

You can also simply Google for terms popular in your industry and share those you think others would find interesting. Just be careful sharing old links. If you only read an article that was published three years ago, youll appear to be out of date.

Hashing out #hashtags

There is a way to use Twitter itself to find new articles.

Hashtags are like category markers for tweets. You can search Twitter to find hashtags applicable to your industry. Simply go to the Twitter search page, type in terms your industry uses, and look for terms beginning with the # sign in the results.

I use SQL Server Profiler in my daily job. If I want to see what hashtags are associated with that term, I search for it and find the hashtags: #sql, and #sqlhelp. Both of those hashtags bring back several pages of tweets.

"Pleased to tweet you."

If you start following those hashtags, you'll see others sharing articles. If you read one you think is applicable to others in your industry, you can simply hit retweet and share that via your feed. 

This will do two things for you. First, you're adding related content to your feed. Second, the person you re-tweet will see you've retweeted them. Do this regularly enough, and they'll often follow you back. At the very least, it can start a conversation between the two of you.

You'll also want to tag your own tweets with hashtags. This will introduce you to new people.

Follow industry leaders and recruiters

When you're reading tweets for a hashtag, notice those people who are most active. These are probably your industry leaders. Follow them. It's the first step to creating a relationship. Retweets and mentioning them will help further that relationship.

You should also follow recruiters in your industry. When you follow them, they'll get a notice about it. This will catch their attention and they'll view your profile. When they do, there's a good chance they'll follow you back.

Make sure your bio and feed are ready for their scrutiny. They'll only look at your page for a minute at best. Make that minute count!


If you tweet it, they will come... eventually

Don't expect people to follow you immediately. Mention them in tweets positively. Retweet updates they make that you feel are important to others in your community. It takes some effort.

Don’t be afraid to put in that time. It will be rewarded.

When those recruiters do follow you, you then get an extra channel of communication with them.

Message recruiters directly...

When someone is following you, you can send a direct message to them. Direct messages are private, only you and the recipient can read them. 

This is where you can really conduct your job search if you're trying to be discreet. You're building your online presence for a certain skill set. And you're starting to look to make a move.

Say you have four recruiters in your industry following you...

Chances are, they'll message you back

Say you have four recruiters in your industry following you...

Simply pop off a quick 140-character tweet letting the recruiters know you're curious about opportunities. Since they're only obligated to give you a 140 character reply.

You're far more likely to get a response than if you had emailed them. If they say they have some opportunities you'd fit, they'll ask you to take the conversation offline. You're in the door!

The key to Twitter: The more you give, the more you'll get back

Learning to use Twitter efficiently is key. Once you really get going with it you will want to get a 3rd-party application to manage all the feeds you are interacting with.

I currently use the free application tweetdeck. It allows me to keep track of multiple "channels" at once. I can keep track of my LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter activity all at once.