While nobody wants to hire the world’s most boring tweeter (alright, some people might) it’s worth seeing if your profile looks anything like this one we’ve created. While it may not be an exact replica, it might be worth tweaking a few things to make sure potential employers aren’t totally put off. If it’s an exact replica, go take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror, give yourself a pep talk and start a new Twitter account.
BEHOLD, THE TWITTER PROFILE OF (JOBSEEKER) DOOM:
1. Have a profile picture
Eggs are for spam accounts, bots and breakfast – if you don’t have a Twitter profile photo, you’ll look like a novice who doesn’t know what social media is, regardless of how excellent your tweets are. It’s like not having a Facebook profile photo – one of my friends at uni didn’t have one and everyone thought he was a total weirdo. He was actually really cool which just goes to show that, while you should never judge a book by its cover, people still do anyway. So make sure your cover isn’t an egg.
2. Have a name
If your handle is a bit wacko (see below) you need an actual name to cement you into the world of the Real. It makes you look like an actual person who is looking for an actual job as opposed to some sort of intangible concept (names like “YIPPEE DAVE-O” aren’t great either).
3. Avoid having a totally insane twitter handle
No, it doesn’t have to be your full name, but try to make it at least partially related. Remember, this is how people will see you, this is how you’ll come up in notifications on future employers phones – do you really want your first impression to be “@bigscone14 has liked your tweet”? Good if you’re applying for jobs in the food industry, not so great if you’re interested in finance.
4. Put what you’re doing, or hope to do, in your bio
Work or freelance for a company? Include their handle and the fact that you work for them. It doesn’t have to be boring, but people should be able to see at-a-glance the sort of thing you’re interested in, and the sort of career you’re aiming for.
5. Link to your work
Or, if you don’t have any work, link to your amazing LinkedIn profile. Or anything that shows you off and promotes your (deep breath, serious voice) Personal Brand (…and relax). Having a link to two otters holding hands on Buzzfeed is charming but not hugely helpful in terms of the job hunt.
6. A lack of tweets shows a lack of interest in Twitter
As does only following 30 odd people. Sure, you may totally hate Twitter but you want to appear like a plugged in dude who knows what’s kicking (sorry, I’ve not had any coffee), it doesn’t look proactive if you tweet once a month while following your mum, friends and Miley Cyrus (for the amusing open letters). Search for your interests and pull out accounts, companies and people who are influential and interesting. Follow them. Get into the habit of tweeting regularly, joining conversations and discussions and retweeting interesting articles. it gets better the more you put into it, honestly.
7. Have an appropriate profile background image
Nothing too gaudy, weird or drunken and it’d be nice if it sort of matched with the other background image – you wouldn’t send in a CV in Comic Sans with every line a different colour, right? Or, if you would, you shouldn’t. So think about how your profile looks, too.
8. Have a good background image
Again, this shows your engaged and it’s an opportunity to reveal a bit more about your personality than just the bio and profile picture image. No, it doesn’t have to be an image of your chosen career – display your other interests to make you appear like the well-rounded person I’m sure you are. Or just pick something that looks cool (see point 6).
9. Don’t misspell tweets
It looks lazy or, worse, like you don’t know that “so” and “bored” are two separate words. Or maybe you’re trying to say “sobered” which probably doesn’t look great either..
10. Don’t argue with friends.
Keep that on another communication channel (Facebook chat, Skype, gchat, texting, phoning, blogging on Tumblr etc) because arguing on Twitter is like shouting at each other in a room full of people over the top of their conversations. It’s TMI. Plus, it makes you look like a little kid.
11. You are what you RT
No, you didn’t tweet about throwing up on a man, but it sort of looks like that’s what you’re into. People make snap judgements, and you want those judgements to be “Oh he’s funny” or or “I want to meet her/him” and not “Did he throw up on a man or is that a RT?”
12. Don’t advertise your chronic lateness
Nobody wants to hire someone who can’t even turn up to a doctor’s appointment on time, even though EVERYONE is late for doctor’s appointments and most people in the working world always turn up about half an hour late to most meetings. We still don’t broadcast it because then everyone would freak out and not hire anyone ever. You’ve got to appear switched on. The world is an unfair place.
13. Er, don’t swear. Obvs.
And probably don’t, again, advertise the fact you’re a big mess. We’re all messes (see point 12), but not telling people about it is the unspoken (and unfair) rule of being a human being – unless you’re an actor, comedian, novelist or Caitlin Moran.
14. Don’t be a prick
Racism, sexism, homophobia and all that don’t go down well on Twitter, or anywhere. Even if it’s a joke, it could be taken seriously and will blow all chances of getting that job.
If you liked this article, why not take a look at…
- How to create an award-winning LinkedIn profile
- Nifty, super-quick programs, software and tricks to clean up your social media profiles
- Five golden rules for social media