Here are some suggestions on how to effectively leverage Twitter’s career-building potential:
Introduce yourself. Twitter gives you little space for your “bio.” With only 160 characters to work with, you need to concisely explain what you do for a living, your primary professional interests and what a follower can expect from your feed. Taking the time to condense your information into this field can pay off, though. Leaving your bio blank (which many people do) is a missed opportunity.
Be active and add value. Posting on a regular basis is key to building and maintaining a strong Twitter network. But remember that quality is more important than quantity. Rather than writing about the veggie stir-fry you ate for lunch, pass along a link to an insightful article, or “re-tweet” someone else’s thought-provoking post. One informative post on a payroll-related topic is better than 20 trivial tweets.
Follow the right people and organizations. Many leading accounting and finance trade groups now have a Twitter presence. Follow them. Also take advantage of Twitter directories such as WeFollow (found at WeFollow.com), which can help you locate specific topic groups.
Remember: It’s better to be safe than sorry. Make sure your Tweets are considerate and professional. Your goal should be to inform and encourage thoughtful dialogue, not stir up controversy. It’s OK to have opinions, but don’t be overly critical or snarky — particularly if you’re seeking employment. One ill-advised tweet can do significant damage to your reputation.
Don’t forget about in-person networking. Online interaction, though valuable, shouldn’t keep you from seeking some good old-fashioned face time with fellow payroll professionals. In a recent survey by our company, we asked chief financial officers about the best way accounting and finance professionals can enhance their professional visibility. “Engage through social media” had a strong showing with 22 percent of responses. But the top answer, with 28 percent, was “connect through professional/alumni groups or events.” Twitter should supplement, not replace, traditional networking efforts.
Accountemps is the world’s first and largest temporary staffing service specializing in the placement of accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The company has more than 360 offices throughout North America, South America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, and offers online job search services at www.accountemps.com.