To Find a Job on the Web, Stand Out on Twitter

By Peter Weddle • November 4, 2014

This month, we’re introducing a Careers column thanks to our new colleagues at Boxwood Technology. Boxwood, now part of Naylor Association Solutions, provides online career and career-related services for more than 1,100 associations and their members. We hope this column will help you and your staff initiate conversations about professional growth and develop stronger member engagement tools. 

This first installment is by nationally syndicated author Peter Weddle, a recruiter, HR consultant, and business CEO turned author and commentator. Weddle emphasizes the importance of using social media to boost your profile among recruiters – great advice for anyone trying to land a job with an association, or looking to move up.

Not yet on Twitter? Read Association Adviser’s primer on how to get started here.  


  • 54 percent of recruiters are tapping into the profiles on Twitter to research job candidates.
  • On average, recruiters spend only six seconds reviewing your resume or profile—make sure your credentials stand out.
  • Research shows that 96 percent of recruiters use social media to search for candidates.
  • Make yourself attractive to recruiters by turning your Twitter profile into a personal billboard.

There has been an avalanche of articles, columns, blog posts, tweets, LinkedIn group discussions and Facebook notifications about how to use the Web to find a job.  It’s all been helpful, but almost always overlooks the single factor that is the key to success.  With millions of people now searching for employment online, the first and most important step is to stand out from the herd.  And now, Twitter has given you a way to do just that.

According to Jobvite, 96 percent of recruiters use social media to search for candidates.  That doesn’t mean they aren’t using other venues, but that social media is now an integral part of the mix.  And, according to the Society for Human Resource Management, 54 percent of recruiters are tapping into the profiles on Twitter.  Until recently, however, there was no way for a person to differentiate themselves from the other 645,750,000 people on the site or from the 135,000 additional individuals who sign up every day.

Why was that a problem?  Because recruiters’ workload has now reached monumental levels.  Employers have hired fewer recruiters than at any time in decades, and they’re working on 4.4 million or more open jobs.  It’s no longer uncommon for a single recruiter to be assigned dozens of open positions at the same time.  What does that mean for you if you’re in transition?  On average, a recruiter will spend about six seconds reviewing your resume or profile.

The key to success, therefore, is to make sure your credentials stand out and do so in the blink of an eye.  There are different ways to accomplish that goal at different sites, but Twitter is now an especially important place to start for two reasons:

  • First, more and more recruiters are recognizing the site’s value as a source of top candidates and, as a result, are spending more time there.
  • And second, the site has recently introduced several new features that are specifically designed to help you grab the spotlight and do so quickly.

How to Stand Out on Twitter

There are only two steps involved in using Twitter to differentiate yourself from other job seekers on the site.

Step 1: Tweet.  That’s what the site is all about–using 140 characters or less to describe and link to information that others will find interesting, useful or both.  Tweets are important in a job search because they are an effective way to get noticed by recruiters.  Tweeting regularly about articles and blog posts in your field – whether they’re written by you or someone else – tells a recruiter two important things about you:

  • First, you are engaged in your profession and actively looking for content that will keep you up-to-date and add to your level of expertise;
  • And second, that you are a team player and proactively share what you’re learning with your peers.

Those two attributes are like catnip for recruiters.

Step 2: Turn Your Profile into a Personal Billboard.  Twitter recently introduced two features that enable you to strut your stuff for recruiters: Pinned Tweets and Best Tweets.  Here’s how they work:

  • Pinned Tweets allow you to select a single tweet that best promotes your credentials or expertise and “pin” it at the top of your profile. That way, recruiters will get a clear picture of your value as a candidate even if they read nothing else in your profile.
  • Best Tweets are a way to highlight your tweets that were viewed most favorably by your peers (i.e., most retweeted or singled out as favorites). By placing these tweets in a larger font, you give recruiters a sense of your level of expertise and your stature in your field.

While there are many different ways to look for a job on the Web, the key to success is to differentiate yourself from everyone else searching for work.  And, Twitter now offers an easy and effective way to be seen as one-of-a-kind.

Thanks for reading,


About The Author

Peter Weddle, guest contributor, Weddles.com[/caption]“]Peter Weddle contributes articles regularly to Boxwood, and is the author of over two dozen employment-related books, including A Multitude of Hope: A Novel About Rediscovering the American Dream, The Career Fitness Workbook: How to Find, Win & Hang Onto the Job of Your Dreams, The Career Activist Republic, The Success Matrix: Wisdom from the Web on How to Get Hired & Not Be Fired, and WEDDLE’s Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet.  Get them at Amazon.com and at the all new Weddles.com today.