It’s no secret that job hunting and filling have been revolutionized by social media, but it’s unlikely that even the most dynamic and progressive of social media mavens saw this coming – replacement of the resume by the 140-character tweet.
Now, before any of you prospective job-seekers older than, say, 45, throw up your hands and decide in frustration that your job-seeking days are finished, don’t be alarmed. While an increasing number of companies are looking to Twitter to help evaluate job prospects, the use of the tweet as an outright resume replacement is still a ways off. That said, its use as one component of a prospect’s application is growing, and, in some cases, it IS being looked at as a substitute for a resume, at least for the proverbial act of getting a foot in the door.
“Twitterview” is the name that has been coined to describe the process of reviewing a “resume” and conducting interviews over the Twitter platform. It’s worth noting that the companies that have tried this are specifically using Twitter to act both as a resume substitute and engage the candidate in a back-and-forth that serves as a form of interview, rather than simply use Twitter solely as a resume substitute. Many companies have decided that the brevity of Twitter, and the ability to communicate effectively through that constraint, requires a special skill set that may not necessarily reveal itself through more traditional job-seeking rituals and practices. Enterasys Networks is a Salem, NH-based company that offers services related to both wired and wireless network infrastructure, and earlier this year used only Twitter to recruit for a social media marketing position. Interested candidates had to tweet that interest using hashtag #socialCV, and in order to make the first cut, each respondent had to have at least 1,000 Twitter followers of his/her own. Additionally, The Marketing Arm, a marketing and promotions agency based in Dallas, Texas, used Twitter to hire five summer interns. Specifically, the agency posed five questions through Twitter…one each day for five consecutive days…and the interested candidates had to respond to the tweets with tweets of their own.
The good news, for people who are not in tech-oriented careers and don’t think much of what they’ve read so far here, is that the vast majority of professions do not currently lend themselves to job-filling processes that are reliant on Twitter. Plus, even for those companies that are officially incorporating Twitter into the employment process, Twitter is so far being used only to conduct what amounts to initial screenings. Still, the ability to “come alive” during this initial screening and really stand out is something that more companies may look to, now that the Twitter mechanism is with us. Although there are stories of companies having hired exclusively through Twitter, those have been unusual cases where the company rep. doing the hiring just had an especially good feeling about someone in particular through the Twitter exchange. In other words, hirings that take place entirely through Twitter are an anomaly, and will likely remain so. Nevertheless, this activity represents another evolution of technology that is effectively changing the way things have been done since the advent of modern business rituals.
The lesson here is that if you expect to remain a part of the business world, regardless of your age, it is imperative that you recognize the seismic shifts taking place and reposition yourself and your skills accordingly. Learning social media is by no means difficult, but it is growing in importance for those who aspire to work in an increasing number of career fields, so those for whom this is relevant are hopefully paying attention.
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