Just how important can one tweet be? Believe it or not, an insensitive tweet can instantly break your career. In many cases, some jokes may be viewed as derogatory against certain groups, even if you’re just trying to brighten someone’s day.
Here are some tips on how to best use Twitter for networking and new opportunities:
Be positive. Posting negativity on Twitter is never a good decision. Don’t use your Twitter account to vent about anything — including your previous employers and any frustration with your job search. Even if you’re tweeting to a specific group of followers, there’s still a chance that prospective employers may view your tweets when your profile is set to public mode.
Don’t speak poorly of anyone, especially those in your work field. Doing so may give recruiters, coworkers (or worse, your current boss) an impression that you have an attitude problem, and it could turn into a huge setback.
If you feel you need to express your thoughts uncensored, create a separate Twitter account, set it on private and use a pseudonym for your username.
Avoid controversial topics. Skip topics that may draw a heavy emotional response or hurt you during a job search. Don’t align yourself with a point of view that may cause people to question your character and companies not to reach out to you.
How do you know if certain topics are appropriate to talk about? Consider the “Thanksgiving rule” as your guide. If you shared the topic at the Thanksgiving table, would it be uncomfortable to talk about? If so, it’s not appropriate for social media, either.
Watch your comments. Don’t post comments that reveal too much information about your personal life. This is crucial, especially when you’re looking for work. A negative comment can be perceived as a reflection of who you really are.
Always think twice before you tap or click the Post button. Every comment you make represents you. Also, watch what you retweet and make sure it is something you want to be associated with, especially when taking into account the views of recruiters and potential employers.
Avoid going to red-flag issues. Always think about the message before conveying it. Are you retweeting too much about your favorite television show? Perhaps you’ve been posting about medical issues, a relationship crisis or even money woes. These topics should be avoided — they reveal too much information about your personal life.
Before sending a tweet, make sure it is something that will benefit you during the job search process. Look at your tweets and put yourself in the shoes of a recruiter. Your professional life will benefit.