The art of tweeting


Currently, Twitter is the career industry’s hottest tool for networking, job hunting and personal branding. But if you spend most of your time in the Twittersphere musing on Taylor Swift’s latest romance or what you nibbled on for an afternoon snack, you’re not posting tweets that can accelerate your job search or enhance your credibility as a professional.

Keep in mind that employers, recruiters and hiring managers are increasingly checking Twitter. What you post — however innocent or mundane it seems — may haunt you in the future.

If you want to access job leads, meet people in your industry and establish yourself as an industry expert, there’s a lot to learn about the fine art of tweeting.

“The key to writing great tweets is delivering tantalizing, powerful content in an engaging manner that makes people want to know you better — whether they are industry contacts, potential employers or hiring managers,” stress career-industry experts Susan Whitcomb, Chandlee Bryan and Deb Dib.

In their new book, The Twitter Job Search Guide, they reveal the key ingredients to high-impact tweets introducing a format they call the “On the N.O.S.E.” model. Using this model, people can ensure their tweets are Newsworthy, On-Brand, Strategic and Engaging. Whitcomb, Bryan and Dib further explain these elements below:*


“Tweets that are noteworthy are informative, important and repeatable,” Whitcomb says. “Ask yourself, ‘What do I want my reader to know and remember? Am I revealing fresh information that people will care about? Is it worthy of a retweet?’”

Below are a few examples that are not noteworthy:

Just finished breakfast. Love fresh-squeezed oj.

Overslept this morning after late-night speed-dating. Gotta figure out how to explain that one to my boss.

The following tweet, however, is informative, important and repeatable:

Chandlee: Fav. writing tip: “Your language becomes clear and strong not when you can no longer add but when you can no longer take away.” Isaac Babel


“At least 70% of your messages posted on Twitter should be on-brand. If you want to attract and retain followers, it’s important to tweet about topics that substantiate your brand. If you’re off-brand too often, followers won’t keep following you,” Bryan says. “Ask yourself, ‘Does this tweet substantiate my brand? Does it give my reader positive insights into my personality as a professional?’”

According to Bryan, the tweets below are great examples of what powerful, on-brand tweets look like:

InTheKnowCIO: The Convergence of Health Care & Information Technology

ExpatCoachMegan: Ask The Expat Career Coach: How Do I Make Sure I Get a Fair Relocation Package?


“Your tweets should strategically position you and move your career or job search forward,” Dib says. “Ask yourself, ‘Is this specific? Does it move my job search agenda forward? Is it salient? Does it showcase my strengths?’”

The following tweets are poor examples of how to be strategic:

Help! Desperate. Just got laid off. Anyone know of a job?

I just elbowed my competitor out of the way. She’s stuck in revolving door. Emergency crew on the way. I’m out of here!

Strategic tweets should be more positive. The following examples demonstrate how to do this.

Just earned my Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) designation! Long haul, but worth it.

Just registered for the #SXSW conference; great speaker lineup; spaces still available; early-bird ends on the 15th. Hope to see you there.


“One of Twitter’s biggest benefits is its far-reaching ability to create community,” Bryan says. “Your tweets can help foster those relationships when you ask yourself ‘Does my material make readers lean forward and want to respond to me or share my message with others? Am I seeing evidence of audience engagement through @responses?’”

The examples below are not engaging tweets:

Why are human resource managers so nonresponsive? I’ve sent out 100s of resumés and haven’t gotten one response!

I’m thrilled to have 5,000 new followers on the basis of my new automated bot! You should try it 2!

The following tweets are stronger examples of how to spark conversation, capture attention and share information that may be interesting and relevant to others:

Flying from CA to NYC/Manhattan Wed for plastics trade show. Anyone interested in lunch?

Excited about interviewing w/So Cal Edison tomorrow. Have done my research on co & position. DM me if U have insights on corp culture.

*Excerpted from The Twitter Job Search Guide: Find a Job and Advance Your Career in Just 15 Minutes a Day (JIST © 2010)