By Andrew Grill
Andrew Grill is CEO of PeopleBrowsr UK, a high-tech social media analytic company. He is also a regular, and sought after conference presenter on social media, and digital strategy and is the editor of one of the world's leading websites on social & mobile networking LondonCalling.
In January this year, I was in San Francisco for work and tweeted "I'm in San Francisco for the weekend". I did not expect any sort of response but to my surprise, a fellow Australian whom I had never met but follows me and now lives in San Francisco replied and suggested we catch up for lunch. At lunch we got talking, and he suggested I contact the founder of PeopleBrowsr, Jodee Rich and let's just say the rest is history.
Now I use twitter pretty much exclusively for recruitment and this, I find is a very important screening process for employers in the IT and new media space. If a prospective candidate "gets" social media and how it works, then he or she will be active on the main networks such as twitter and it will show.
A piece of advice for IT candidates: ensure that not only is your LinkedIn profile current and comprehensive but also ensure that your twitter handle is linked to your profile as well as any blogs that you write. Employers see LinkedIn as an online CV and look towards blogs and social media to get a better sense of a candidate's "back story", what makes them tick and what their specialities are.
Before I meet anyone new these days, I always check their LinkedIn profile and hunt for their twitter handle. If I can find it easily, it means they want to be found and I can then find out more about their background from what they post on twitter. Absence of a twitter account (or if it is difficult to find) tells me they really don't get the social media space.
In IT, it is particularly important for candidates to differentiate themselves. Static resources such as your online CV make it hard for a prospective employer or a recruiter to understand you.
Before long, you will attract a small following of people who find your tweets interesting. They in turn will retweet and promote your excellent content. Many candidates may not realise that your twitter bio could be the most important 140 characters you write.
In my own personal experience, since I changed my twitter bio in November 2010 and added a personal short link that I can track directly, I have received more than 15,000 clicks through to find out more about me beyond the bio and tweets.
Andrew's top 5 twitter recruitment tips
1. Make your twitter bio your 140 character pitch to a new employer and make sure the link on your bio goes to your blog or LinkedIn profile. People will want to find out more about you if you are interesting.
2. Ensure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and links to your twitter handle (this can be done through your account settings).
3 Secure your name on twitter and with a website so that you are easy to find.
4. Be generous in sharing links and tweets from other people in your industry - this will not go.
5. If you don't already have a blog, set one up to prove to employers that you have a specific skill or area of expertise and over time others will acknowledge this.
If you'd like to share your thoughts on the benefits of twitter to jobseekers or if you're an IT professional with questions about getting a job in IT and how to optimise your job search with Social Media, feel free to leave your questions and comment below.