I recently put out a call via Twitter for qualified professionals to contribute to BlackEnterprise.com. I thought it was a great idea since it’s quick, easy and the network is vast enough to get responses from many without having to send out or sift through multiple emails. There are many professionals who have shared success stories of getting the job or opportunity of their dreams simply by tweeting or connecting with a prospective employer via social social media.
After putting out the query, and witnessing a couple faux pas that immediately caused me to say, “Nope. Not even giving a second thought,” I decided to have a spirit of help — not insult. Here are the top most
annoying off-putting ways to respond to a job opportunity presented via Twitter (or any other social media outlet):
1. You—the offerer— do the work, not me — the person vying for the opportunity. I’d tweeted that I wanted a link to online clips or resume (I mean, I am a digital media professional), and one respondent used their 140 characters to remind me that I could look at their Twitter page avatar to know about them. Not a good look. You may not have much time (or space) to make a better second impression, so why not maximize the first with useful information that makes it easier for the person you’re trying to work with— not the other way around.
A Better Response: “I’m (professional title here) specializing in (buzz words here). My Website: (Website link here). My clips: (Website link here.)
2. Let me flood her timeline with questions about whether she got my tweet or info. This is not only annoying but shows signs of personality traits that may be unattractive in a working relationship.
A Better Response: Give the person ample time to get back to you— at least 24 hours. If they don’t, follow up with an inbox message or DM. Hey, you could take it a step further and find out their work or professional e-mail info. Mine is on my About.me page, easily visible and accessible.
3. Sure she asked for (insert qualifications/instructions here), but I’m going to respond with something totally unrelated anyway. True, you gotta get in where you fit in. Maybe a query for a social media expert could be your foot in the door to contact a prospective employer with a tweet about your awesome fashion blog. But there’s a risk there that might not be worth taking. Many who are offering opportunities are focused on a goal, so anything outside that goal turns into unwanted distraction.
A Better Response: Find out who, whether a coworker or company peer of that person, you should be contacting instead. True, there are other peers on our team looking for skilled writers, interns and journalists, so it might be better to do a little digging and directly Tweet at or contact them. Maybe even inbox or DM the original person to say, “My forte is not Career but I have awesome (insert unrelated skill set here). Let me know if I can ever be an asset to your company.”
4. I’m going to recommend my fabulous friend or family member. Again, this is another risky one. It’s like when mom shows up with daughter or son to a job interview—a big no-no. The message this can send is that the person you’re recommending doesn’t have the initiative or self-starter attitude to go for what they want on their own.
A Better Response: Relay the information to said friend or family member and have them contact the person directly—for themselves.
Hey, I know some things many consider “common sense” can be subjective, so I offer these tips out of love and hopes for success for anybody out their making boss moves or learning how to tweak their approach. I’m constantly learning every day myself.
How effective do you think job searching on social media is? What are your success or failure stories? #Soundoff and hit me up on Twitter @JPHazelwood.