Question

I wanted to get your perspective on trying to use Twitter to get attention from a hiring manager. I’m interested in a role that is a great fit and have tried networking but thus far I haven’t been able to get introduced to him by anyone at his company.

I put together a slide deck discussing ideas for growth opportunities tor the company (It’s a strategy role). I am thinking of sharing the slides and introducing myself on Twitter. I’ve never done something this bold before but am really interested in the role. What are your thoughts? Should I share the slides and indicate my interest in the role, then wait (hopefully) for him to ask me to send him my resume? Or should I share both the slides and my resume?

Nick’s Reply

twitter hiring managerThere has been a spate of articles online about how to use Twitter to get a job. It just seems so reductionist — cramming what you want to say into a tweet.

Worse, you’re exposing your entire pitch to the world. How does that get you an edge? It might get you more competition. Just because a hiring manager you want to work for is on Twitter doesn’t mean that’s the best way to address them. (You can “direct message” a manager only if they follow you, or if they accept DMs from anyone, which is unlikely.)

You could try it, but putting my little critique aside, the real problem is that Twitter is just another indirect communication layer you have virtually no control over. Why not go direct?

I’d find the manager’s e-mail and send him the deck you prepared. Better yet, track down someone the manager works with and trusts — and get introduced. This is a different kind of “communication layer” because there’s nothing like a personal referral, even if it’s someone you only just met. You said you’ve unsuccessfully tried networking your way in.  It’s not hard to engineer such meetings. Try a method I call “triangulate to get in the door.”

I admire your creativity. Just because I’m not a fan of addressing a hiring manager publicly on Twitter doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it, but I’d do something more personal than hang yourself out on a social media platform.

The reader responds

Nick,

Thank you so much for your response, and your insightful advice. I actually did as you suggested and drafted a “pain letter,” showing what I understand about what the manager needs help with. I sent it along with the slides and my resume directly to the hiring manager. (I spent a couple of weeks on the deck to make sure it was relevant!)

He responded and I’m “in the door!” So this stuff actually works! Thanks!

Nick’s Reply

Yah, this stuff actually works. Managers are often startled by people who skip the job applications and instead jump right into “doing the job.” Glad you tried it! Even before a job interview, you’ve started demonstrating what you know about the job and how you’re going to do it. That gives you a substantial edge.

Please let me know how this turns out!

Have you ever used Twitter to get a job interview? What did you say in your tweet? How about other social media? Does this work any better the other way around — have you been recruited via Twitter?

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4 Comments
  1. Any diplomatic & reasonable way you can get the attention of the direct hiring manager & start a dialogue is a good way.

    And I think there’s a real challenge but one with a payoff. The challenge of finding out, and making use of, the hiring manager’s preferred form of contact, & of course their handle (address).

    I’ve never seen this discussed, or suggested, but think about it. The ultimate form of contact is face to face. All other forms of communication are substitutes, electronic, smoke signals, flags, texts, intermediaries.

    But in my experience, and personally, people favor, some to the point of exclusive use of, particular substitutes. My preferred substitute is email. I’m an emailer. You can always reach me on email. And I’m not alone. My career was steeped in Engineers. Even in house, where you could walk over an aisle & talk to them, lots of luck with that, & don’t bother with phones. Hell would freeze over before your call would be returned. You emailed them. And I guess it rubbed off.

    Yes, follow the advice for direct contact per Nick’s recipe for making a contact, but if all else fails & you’re still interested, get creative with other tools like Twitter. Apply your networking, or a friend(s) networking skills and see if you can find out the HM’s preferred method, & use it. Don’t worry if it doesn’t seem “professional”. You can bet that back in the day when the telephone went viral, people fret that using it defied the convention of writing a proper application letter.

    And definitely don’t reach out and provide your secret elixir for success for everyone else to see. This dates me, but social media is like being on a party telephone line. When you open a social media channel to read or hear what you’ve been sent, assume a zillion others are too. Be creative with a one slide teaser that shows you know your stuff, which will be more fully revealed when we meet.

    And try one other thing. Send a letter. It’s so antiquated, it’s now unique. As a hiring manager, I’d get calls, emails, piles of applications via job postings, the whole arsenal. But once in awhile, a direct old fashioned hard copy paper letter. A guaranteed stand out. Too tempting not to read. And if wisely composed, it will also be aware that it’s likely the manager will have an admin assistant who will read it first. Please them both.

    • I can attest to using a letter. That’s how I got a discovery call with a company’s CTO in October.

  2. I’ve had success using Twitter to reach hiring team leaders, but only when the principal has posted an opening and requested a “DM” (direct message).

  3. I would seriously maybe try LinkedIn.

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