Amybeth Hale – Research Goddess

Using Twitter To Connect With Potential Employers
September 18, 2008, 9:34 pm
Filed under: Networking/Social Media, Public Relations, Recruiting

I love Twitter – big surprise right! I enjoy seeing who in the PR world is out using it, and following them so that I can learn from them and, potentially, approach them about opportunities with Waggener. (BTW, we’re hiring from AC to VP level, so get in touch with me if you’d like to talk about some of our openings!!)

The other day I was checking out one of the folks I follow and I noticed an @ to someone whose name sounded familiar to me, so I clicked on the name and discovered that I wasn’t following this person when I thought I was. However, this individual had apparently blocked me from following their tweets! What’s more, this person is a recent college graduate from a university known for public relations, and is currently looking for work. I was shocked, and kind of miffed that I, a recruiting professional at a potential employer for this person, had been blocked. The nerve!

(Understand here that I respect the right each person has to decide who to allow to follow their tweets, I’m just using this example to make a point)

A bit irritated, I tweeted: “recommendation to graduating college students: don’t block ppl from your twitter updates who work at companies that might hire you. Bad form”

Within 5 minutes, I received this response from an inquisitive young PR graduate named Hannah: “@researchgoddess Question about your last tweet. If employees from companies you are interested in add you, how should you approach them?”

I read this message and thought, What a great question! So – here is my opinion on how to approach someone who follows you on Twitter and works at a company that you’re interested in working at:

My personal thoughts on using twitter to find a job, as well as to find potential candidates, are: pay attention to what the person you’re trying to reach is talking about or interested in. If someone from a company you’re thinking about applying to starts following you, there’s usually a good reason. Either they were following someone you responded to and they liked what they read about you, or they did some research themselves and felt compelled to connect. It’s good to thank them for the follow (using a simple salutation such as ‘@[name] Tnx for the follow!’). And follow them back, so you can DM and ask some more specific questions of them, for example “Are you hiring, and is that the reason for the follow?” or “Is there anything that I can do for you? How can I help you out?” Also, do due diligence and find out who exactly they are and the role they have within their company. This will give you some material to begin an intelligent conversation with a potential new employer.

Most people these days don’t just blindly follow others on Twitter. It gets overwhelming to follow too many so most folks are becoming choosy about who they follow. Just as an example, I personally follow PR folks almost exclusively, with the exception of a few people in the recruiting industry. I also don’t always follow back people who follow me. I look at their information and do further research to see what they do and where their interests are.

In summary,
  • Thank them for following you (publicly)
  • Do a little research on who they are/what role they’re in at their company
  • Pay attention to what they’re currently talking about or what their interests are
  • Follow up in a DM and find out if they’re hiring or how you can help them out
So – if there’s someone from a company you’re interested in who starts following you, it’s most likely for a good reason. Find out what they have to offer and let them know what you have to offer! Wouldn’t it be cool to say that you got your job via Twitter J

(by the way, Hannah was the one who recommended I turn this scenario into a blog post. Thanks, Hannah! You’re a smart gal…)


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