Following Doesn’t Equal Friendship

Following Doesn't Equal Friendship

Originally published on Ebony.com on February 13, 2014.

There are some basic rules to courting important people on Twitter and none of them include assuming followers are friends

The scenario: You heart Twitter. It keeps you informed with a simple swipe of your finger. Need to subtweet your trifling ex? Done. Want colorful commentary along with your reality show ratchetness? Hashtags will give you life. Must shadily gossip about the engagement ring of that girl from your 10th grade biology class? Twitter’s got you.

Yes, Twitter can often challenge your path becoming a better person. But for all its faults, it can also give you first-person access into the mind of the boss at your dream job. Let’s call her @HBIC. Because of Twitter you know how old @HBIC’s kids are, her favorite color, how she takes her coffee, and that she questions the intelligence of some in her industry. Oh, she’s also  Rt’d you and replied to one of your tweets, which, of course, practically makes you besties. (This is sarcasm.)

Your current boss just tap danced on your last nerve. The. Very. Last. One. You want out!  Then you get what you think is a bring idea. Your homie @HBIC may be able to help. You tweet her.

@HBIC Hey hun! You hiring?

Or.

@HBIC What’s your email address? I want to send you my résumé.

Even.

@HBIC http://www.myportfolio.com

These are all wrong, wrong, wrong.

The issue: @HWIC isn’t your hun. Nor is she your boo, girl, sis, or homie. Using terms of endearment when addressing a perspective employer assumes all the wrong things.Twitter may feel personal but you’re lying to yourself if you think you have real insight into a person by their tweets alone. If your dream job is hiring, it’s likely on their company website. Check there first. Never ask questions that can be answered through a simple Google search. It’s annoying and makes you seem lazy.

Uh. @HWIC didn’t ask for your résumé. Why are you sending it? Plus she doesn’t want her email address floating around on Twitter. Also company email address formats aren’t rocket science. They’re usually first name initial, full last name, @, company name, dot com.

This is just rude (and looks like spam). You should offer some type of explanation before sending a link, @HWIC didn’t ask for.

Unless @HWIC tweets specifically about looking to fill a position, I wouldn’t inquire about employment through social media. Why? Most people use social media as a way to escape. I’m really not trying to discuss work on a Saturday night when I’m out drinking with friends. And depending on how many drinks I’ve had might determine what type of answer you’ll get.

The alternative: Incorporate some of the work related (nothing too personal, like her children) tidbits you’ve learned from @HWIC into an introduction email after you’ve connected with her through LinkedIn.

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