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Just the job: the tweet CV - applying for work in 140 characters

By Alicia Wood
Technology

Could you sell yourself in 140 characters?

Microblogging site Twitter is favoured for its brevity, but it could also land you a job.

The Guardian reported this week that media executive Alan Geere asked budding reporters to apply for a job by tweet.

In his blog, Mr Geere said: "I'm fed up wading through turgid 'letters of application' and monstrous CVs outlining an early career in retail handling and a flirtation with the upper slopes of the Andes."

Greg Jericho, perhaps best known by his Twitter handle @GrogsGamut, knows the value of Twitter in wrangling a job offer.

He has more than 8000 followers – among them politicians, journalists and academics – and has attracted praise as well as censure for his incisive political commentary.

Last month, he quit his job as a public servant, and will soon begin working as a researcher for the new Chaser project – The Hamster Wheel.

He credits Twitter with getting him the job.

But it took much more than a single tweet.

"I think the best thing about Twitter is how it can be used to build relationships – that's how I got the job," Mr Jericho said.

"I'm not sure how useful it is to go out cold and seek applications. But you can find people who are tweeting and blogging and, in effect, it is an interview over a long process where you see what they tweet about or blog about," he said.

Campaign strategist Mark Textor said he had hired two people to his firm Crosby|Textor in the past year through social media

And he would do it again – calling Twitter a better process than the sometime "torturous" experience of going through a recruiter.

"It saves a hell of a lot of time," Mr Textor said.

"It is a very efficient means of filtering in, or identifying talent, quite early.

"You still have to go through due diligence, but it narrows down a better shortlist more quickly," he said.

"The ability to communicate, in 140 characters, what is or is not the essence of an issue is a talent."

James Griffin, from the social media analysis firm SR7, said that, although Twitter was not designed for recruitment, it is on its way to replacing traditional job seeking methods.

"We are still in the early days of seeing how social media will impact recruiting companies, but we have seen examples of companies like UPS attributing 955 hires last year to social media," Mr Griffin said.

Mr Griffin also points to the popularity of US sites such as Tweetmyjob.com, which shows individuals how connected they are to employees in their preferred fields.

Companies such as Sony, McDonald's, Starbucks and Motorola are all hiring on the site.

Marcus Sandmann, the head of marketing for recruiter Michael Page in the Asia Pacific region, said the site could not take the place of traditional recruiting methods, but it could supplement them.

"I don't think it is a formal channel to apply for roles. Applying for a job is still about a personal touch. A recruiter is able to match the suitability of a person to a job," Mr Sandmann said.

"But social media is something we are actively engaged in, and I think a candidate can use it as an opportunity to promote themselves."

Published: 15 September 2011


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