To follow or not to follow – tips for Twitter job hunters

by K B , updated on November 6, 2010

Sometimes I love Twitter. I love it because it buzzes so much with people, ideas and connections – kind of like a networking event on steroids. People pop up, answer a question, crack a joke or two, then they move on. But at times I loathe Twitter for exactly the same reasons. It is so easy to get lost in all the chatter, and to think you’re making worthwhile connections, when you’re not.

As a business owner I’ve experimented with Twitter for the past nine months or so. I’ve wanted to keep a conversation going as it’s an easy platform to keep connecting with people who may help my community. I look for people who may have interesting ideas I can share; people who might add to the conversations on my blog; and people who might in turn share my ideas.

It’s been a learning journey. Along the way I’ve become much more discerning about whom I’ll follow for conversations. This post is aimed at Twitter relatively newbies and people who may want to use Twitter to build connections to find a job. If you’re a Twitter sophisticate, as I know many millions are, and you have some better ideas for my readers about conversing in the Twitterverse, I’d love to hear them,  on Twitter or otherwise.

Here’s what I look for when I look for people to follow.

I take a look at people’s bios. I pass on the network marketers, crystal healers, cliché peddlers and herbalists and focus on people who have similar interests to me. It is very easy to go down the path of thinking “I’ll follow that. They sound fun. That could be useful” but my advice is skip it. I’ve found when I have moved away from my fundamental interests, I’ve had way too many spam type direct messages land in my inbox and a twitter stream that’s clogged with useless junk.

I look for plenty of @ signs, and preferably a few @ signs where someone is sending out others’ information rather than only a conversation between two people. I also look for RTs. If someone is a sharer of other people’s stuff I’ve figured they may well share mine as well.

I look to see acknowledgments and “thank yous.” That tells me there is a person behind the tweets who may want to talk to me.

I look to see how sophisticated the tweeter is. By this I mean if they know how to use hash tags or shortern URLs. I’m guessing if they use these simple tools, they’ve probably spent some time working out how Twitter can work. I also check out whether the tweeter lists people. That tells me they are likely to be sorting their conversations into some sort of order.

I look for a link back to a blog or a site that’s updated often. I do this as I am looking for interesting stuff to share with my followers or comment on, again as a building block for a relationship.

Finally I look for a person tweeting, rather than a machine, and someone who may make me laugh. All this tweeting does have a point. That’s to turn online connections into offline conversations and beyond.


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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

StacyZapar November 1, 2010 at 9:30 pm

RT @InterviewIQ: #Twitterjobs #jobhunt Twitter job hunting tips – to follow or not to follow?

Donna Svei aka AvidCareerist November 1, 2010 at 6:07 pm

Hi Karalyn,

Great tips!

I also avoid people who send several tweets all at once — no matter how good their information is. Twitter is a conversation. I appreciate people who let others get a word a two in between their own tweets.


InterviewIQ November 1, 2010 at 8:37 pm

#Twitterjobs #jobhunt Twitter job hunting tips – to follow or not to follow?

Felice Lam November 1, 2010 at 9:19 pm

Great points. I do the same things and as general rule, I look for a complete profile.

Karalyn November 1, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Thanks Donna.
I must admit I am probably guilty of doing that myself. I do go on a bit of a Tweeting rampage at times!

Karalyn November 1, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Ta, Felice. I also like something personal in the profile as well. But that’s just me.

Ed Han February 16, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Karalyn, I don’t know how I missed this before but you are absolutely right. Well done!

Leonie Smith September 5, 2011 at 7:38 pm

Karalyn looks like you have a good system there. I don’t auto follow back either, I look for similar interests also and prefer people who don’t tweet a lot of quotes. There are programs that auto tweet quotes itS a way of people increasing Klout and followers. If you use Twitter for Buisness don’t forget to follow possible clients! Not just people who are in your own Buisness! Good tips here!

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