SmartRecruiters Blog

4 Clever Twitter Search Shortcuts for Recruiting

Twitter is the place where news breaks, sports fans congregate and job seekers flock.  It’s an easy social network where you can network and engage users in 140 characters and for most of us that is from your mobile device.  Tweets happen in rapid fire with Twitter now reporting more than a 500 million tweets per day. But how do you search through all this information?

Because of the ease of access when it comes to the platform and the sheer volume of messaging and users, Twitter is a great platform for recruiters to use to source candidates, build their brand or share their open jobs.  Twitter is fast moving and for new users, it is hard to cut through the noise and overlook the bots, porn and general nonsense that happens there.  Here are 4 clever tricks to cut through the noise and recruit on Twitter.

Twitter offers shortcuts or what the service calls operators to help you search Twitter quickly and without the hassle of opening a new window or using advanced search like I described above.  It’s like using Palm shortcuts to take notes or Boolean for Google (but on Twitter!).


  • Twitter RecruitingBy User.  Use “from:username” to search by tweets sent from user.  This narrows down the noise especially for a twitter profile like mine, where I receives sometimes hundreds of at messages on Twitter each day.  Recruiters can use to see who a candidate prospect is talking to or who the competition is courting.
  • By Keyword & Location.  Recruiters can use a shortcut to search by keyword and location making it easy to find job seekers who use technical terms and language that is specific to a hard to fill position you are searching for.  For example: “rails” near:”san francisco”.  Also consider searching for words commonly associated with a  rails programmer like “ruby” or “MySQL” to get a different set of results.
  • Recruit By Hashtag.  Twitter hashtags are the crowdsourced library of Twitter.  Users add hashtags or the pound symbol followed by a word or characters to sort and organize content by an event, topic, or keyword. It’s smart to contribute relevant content to hashtags where your candidates hang out, such as #blogchat for bloggers or #cmgrchat for community managers.
  • Keyword & Link Filters.  As a recruiter, maybe you are sourcing for candidates who are sharing their resume via Twitter either to connect with recruiters or as someone who is connecting with others on one of the many job seeker chats on Twitter.  For example you could use, “resume filter:links” to find tweets containing the word resume that include a link hopefully directly to the candidates LinkedIn profile or resume.


Sourcing Twitter for talent is not easy, especially since it is unreasonable to think you will always be trolling and searching Twitter.  But if you consider the parameters when searching, such as user, keyword, location, hashtag, and link filters, you will be a step ahead in the game of sorting through the daily 500 million tweets to find the talent you need.


@blogging4jobs blogsJessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. When she talks, people listen. 

SmartRecruiters is the hiring platform with everything you need to post a job, manage candidates and make the right hire.

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a HR consultant, new media strategist, and author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. Jessica is the host of Job Search Secrets, an internet television show for job seekers.