SmartRecruiters Blog

How to Evaluate a Twitter Profile

Twitter is where the news breaks.  News of Osama bin Laden’s death were tweeted unknowingly by a writer who was spending the weekend in the mountains of Afghanistan. Over 340 million tweets are shared on the world’s second most popular social network every single day.

Twitter is also easy to use but overwhelming at the same time.  A new account can be set up in under 5 minutes. This makes the platform appealing to almost anyone from celebrities to politicians to the average Joe. While this type of diversity of users makes recruiting on twitter essential, the open accessibility also makes Twitter a target to spammers, adult entertainment companies, and internet marketers looking to drive website traffic and make a quick buck.

Those users that weather through find that Twitter offers amazing networking and business resources because users are so open and willing to connect.  For recruiters and hiring managers looking to take advantage of Twitter’s open network as a candidate sourcing tool, it can be very rewarding.  When evaluating Twitter accounts in order to connect with people who are relevant to you and your business, it’s important to look for these 4 characteristics:

    • Complete Avatar and Bio. What’s your first impression of their profile? Look for accounts that have a photo of an actual person with a completed bio, including url on their Twitter profile.  Every serious Twitter user drops the standard Twitter avatar, which is an egg, and add their own personal touches.  With so little space to describe the self (a thumbnail picture, a background image & 160 characters bio), each choice is very telling.
    • Two Way Conversation. Is this person having conversations? This is key. See who they are talking to; read their tone. Recruiters connecting with job seekers on this platform can provide passive job seeker recommendations, especially for those hard to fill and extremely competitive positions. Realize that conversations can be faked in any environment, especially Twitter.  A quick visit to a user’s Twitter bio can give you great insights into the user’s tweet patterns and levels of engagement.
    • Savvy Hashtags.  Is this person actively trying to reach relevant audiences? Twitter is as much about jumping into the conversation as it about listening in on the conversation.  Key influencers and industry professionals can provide you opportunities to connect with new conferences, and niche communities all through the power of the hashtag. People learn from them. See which influencers this person is following and retweeting.
  • Quality Content. What’s this person reading/commenting on? Another benefit that Twitter provides is the opportunity for articles and blogs to be shared quickly and easily in 140 characters or less.  Active Twitter users share content and grow their status within their own ecosystem by sharing content to build respect from peers and to serve as a content channel for others.

When evaluating a Twitter profile, examining their avatar/bio, conversations, hashtag usage, and quality of content will give you insight into the depth and authenticity of their perspective. Is this person jumping into conversations, sharing content, being open to new connections while focusing on information relevant to you and your business?

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media.  She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. On Twitter, Jessica has over 100,000 followers. Also, connect with her on Pinterest @blogging4jobs. Photo Credit Puppetuts


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.