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Advice / Job Search / Finding a Job

The 3 Twitter Bio Phrases That Turn Off Hiring Managers (and Offend Real Ninjas)

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Today, the possibilities of job hunting through Twitter are almost endless: You can follow your favorite companies, connect with the heads of HR, and show that you’re a valuable candidate through your industry-specific tweets.

In fact, hiring managers are on there right now looking for potential candidates. And before reading your tweets, they’re checking out your Twitter bio. In other words, you have 160 characters to make recruiters love you—or hate you.

We’re here to make sure it’s the former. While there’s no perfect recipe for crafting the bio that will make hiring managers want to shoot you a direct message (though here’s a good start), there are certain ingredients that turn them off pretty fast. If any of the following phrases look familiar, be prepared to make some changes.

1. Anything Ending With “Expert/Guru/Ninja”

Experts never call themselves experts—they let others give them that praise. And unless you’re a Hindu spiritual leader or trained in martial arts, don’t say you’re a guru or a ninja. If you truly have extensive knowledge on certain topics, show that expertise through your tweets. Recruiters will be much more impressed by your engagement in professional Twitter chats and your thought-provoking questions than they will by your self-acclaimed titles.

And, because hiring managers won’t always read your tweets, consider replacing the “expert/guru/ninja” phrase with your job title using the common “position @company” format. I don’t know about you, but I’m much more likely to follow “Tech Reporter @Publication X” or “Content Marketing @Company X” than I am to follow a “technology expert” or a “marketing guru.”

2. “I Follow Back”

Do you now? What does your Twitter feed look like from following 11K people? Even if your main purpose for using Twitter is to increase followers, you don’t want to advertise it to the world. Sure, you might have thousands of followers because of fellow #TeamFollowBackers out there. But announcing it tells recruiters that you’re the kind of person who values appearances over everything else. And quality should always be more important than quality when it comes to Twitter—and your career.

3. Phrases With Hashtags in Front of #Every #Single #Word

I’m glad that you’re passionate about #media #startups #tech #design and #healthyliving, I really am. But all of these hashtags make your bio look like a spam account. By using more than one hashtag in your bio, you transform from looking like someone who gets how the platform works to an overzealous user who didn’t take the time to figure it out. Yes, hashtags exist. But no, you don’t need to use them on every single word. Remember: You only have 160 characters for your bio. Remove those hashtags and make each character count.

Are there other Twitter bio phrases that you avoid at all costs? Let me know on Twitter!