The Art of the One-Liner

By Danielle Savage / Created 2010-10-15

Are you tweeting yet? I thought I’d sit this one out, until I read an article specifically geared to reticent career development professionals such as myself by author Susan Whitcomb.

For the first two weeks, I had four followers, one of whom was a member of the Twitter staff and one who appeared to be trying to sell me something. But I persevered. I had a clear idea of what I wanted to be communicating and to whom, which helped keep me on track. Whitcomb’s article suggested I should create some content first, and then find people to follow me.

My problem with many Twitter-ers is that they can get – dare I say it – boring. Unless you’re a world-renowned superstar or in the midst of a fascinating life experience, not everything that you do or think makes for compelling reading. But it is a great way to share tips, insights, and breaking news, ideally in an entertaining or otherwise engaging manner, and to glean these from others. Twitter entries – or tweets – must stick to a set limit, which makes them kind of like a cross between a haiku poem and a text message. This imposed discipline can actually become kind of addictive. They’re also a challenge to read for those of us used to correct spelling and grammar.  But it’s amazing how much information can be conveyed in those 140 characters, especially if you use lots of abbreviations and acronyms.

If you’re using Twitter to look for a job, career experts warn that you should stay “on brand.” Keep in mind that unless you have protected your tweets or have not omitted your real name on your twitter account, your tweets are public and are directly linked to you. Do they reflect your professional interests and strengths? Is your tone engaging and dynamic (good), or is it rather ranting or whiney (not so good)? You probably want to make sure that your Twitter account is a showcase of your best self, unless your personal brand is all about being negative.

Yes, but will it get you a job? Using Twitter, you can identify people in your current or target profession who provide up to the minute data on hiring, market trends, recruiting policies, and more. These individuals may be professionals who can become part of your online community, and vice versa. Using hashtags (#) when searching online will allow you to identify all tweets that comprise that key word or phrase (e.g. Twitter #Marketing Jobs France). If it’s crucial to learn about opportunities before everyone else does, Twitter helps you do just that.

Follow the AUP Career Development Office on Twitter:

1 “Using Twitter Inside Organizations: Tips to Grow Your Career and Advance Your Organization with Today’s Hottest Social Media Tool,” by Susan Whitcomb, Career Convergence, National Career Development Association, Sept. 2010 (

Danielle Savage is the Career Counselor at AUP.