Job-seekers should be careful that they limit their initial involvement with companies on Twitter to a simple "follow" or "retweet," says Tom Gimbel, founder and CEO of staffing agency LaSalle Network.
When you find the company or hiring manager you are trying to get the attention of, don't harass them or be a pain. Social media is the new voicemail. The job candidate has to ask themselves: Would they leave a recruiter a voicemail three days per week? When you come across as desperate, that's when they will shy away.
Gimbel advises using Twitter the same way you would use Google (GOOG) or the company's Facebook (FB - Get Report) page -- to find out more information on the company, its executive team and the hiring manager. And keep in mind that just as you may be using social media to find out more information about a company, they may be using it to find out more about you.
"If you know what to look for and how to evaluate it, you can tell a lot from someone's page, whether it's the candidates level of professionalism -- their picture, Twitter handle, etc. -- how active they are with retweeting and involvement in conversations and how they communicate, whether it's personal or professional," Gimbel says.Even if your social media persona is on the shy side, don't let that stop you from joining in the conversation and seeking jobs when you can. Jay Meschke, president of CBIZ Human Capital Services says that "no rock should be left unturned" when it comes to your job search.
"Yes, definitely, job-seekers should be utilizing Twitter if they are in an industry or field that values social media and Twitter," Meschke says. "Progressive and creative companies are having success with Twitter. Targeted positions tend to be entry level up to mid-level management posts. Think of it as a tool for the TED & SXSW set." No matter how much social media job hunting you find yourself doing, keep in mind that it's probably not enough if it's all you're doing. "More commonly, we're seeing employers incorporate social media into their recruiting strategy. While Twitter is not the most popular social media platform for recruiting, it is beginning to make a name for itself within particular industries and career fields," says Amanda Augustine, job search expert for The Ladders. Augustine says she typically recommends that job-seekers use Twitter for "reconnaissance" only, adding that they should make certain they interact with companies using their professional Twitter persona -- not their personal one. And for job-seekers who may be planning to Tweet their way to the top, Gimbel advises not to get too excited just yet. "Are companies only using Twitter? No. Hiring managers don't rely on one medium to end their candidate search. Other factors are still important, and in social media, LinkedIn (LNKD - Get Report) still holds its rank as the dominant source when seeking candidates," he says. "The traditional hiring practices of submitting resumes and conducting in-person interviews will always be relevant because certain communication skills are needed to land the job, and those are primarily revealed in person."