Recently, the Wall Street Journal wrote that Twitter is increasingly preferred by recruiters rather than a standard résumé. While the idea is interesting, it’s unlikely that Twitter will singlehandedly eliminate the traditional résumé.
Obviously, reading a candidate’s tweets will give a recruiter some idea of the knowledge level, experience and personality of the candidate. However, in most cases, Twitter alone doesn’t provide enough information for a recruiter to make a job offer.
Unless the job is specifically in Social Media, it’s virtually impossible to adequately “vet” a candidate based on 140-character quotes. A recruiter has a responsibility to the company which requires their due diligence in selecting a qualified applicant. Education, experience, references and demeanor will generally be evaluated by traditional means. So, you still need to be prepared with your traditional record of qualifications, education and experience.
Some companies may advertise for a position on Twitter. Again, for certain jobs, this may be appropriate. For many positions, a company can capitalize on the exposure a tweet can bring. This is good for them. However, this exposure could result in a flood of applicants that will all be in competition with you. Where you need to focus is on making yourself stand out from that crowd.
Where Twitter can benefit you most is in making connections with hiring managers and other industry professionals. These connections can lead to interviews, and/or demonstrate your unique “voice” to a recruiter making hiring decisions. Use Twitter for conversations, not to merely broadcast tweets about your skills without interaction. Get to know people, and allow them to know you.
Most importantly, remember that social media is your voice in the world, and what you project is what others see. If you want to be considered a professional in your field, make sure your Twitter timeline reflects this. Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want a recruiter to see, avoid spamming people with tweets about your qualifications, and use Twitter to network wherever possible.