Twitterviews are the new résumé

One tech company is asking for potential employees to apply in 140 characters or less.

The tech firm Enterasys started to ask for tweets instead of resumes from potential employees under the belief that the résumé is dead and social media skills override other qualifications. However, Graduate Assistant in Career Services and résumé critic Priciliano Fabian said he thinks this initiative would be used more as a branding tool.

Fabian said a tweet can essentially be used as a qualification summary. It’s just like a very concise cover letter, he said.

No matter the program, employers believe their employees’ social media presence should be strong, he said, and this is just one way one company is making sure of that.

Fabian said employers would be more likely to use a tool such as Klout, a program that scores an individual’s social media presence based on a user’s activity and how others respond to it. The higher the score, the stronger that person’s social media presence.

He said he anticipates employers using social media as a hiring tool more in the future.

“I could definitely see (using Twitter) as a trend,” Fabian said. “Social media is changing every day.”

However, Career Development Coordinator Jaime Conley-Holt disagrees.

“There are definitely going to be new ways to recruit employees, but I don’t think this will stick,” she said.

Conley-Holt said a tweet will leave out too much information employers need. However, employers do use social media, and the Internet is an online résumé, she said.

Networking is the No. 1 way to find a job, she said, and social media is a good way to connect job seekers to potential employers.

LinkedIn is the professional version of Facebook, Conley-Holt said, and she has seen employers use it as a hiring tool. She said she has also seen employers use Skype — a face-to-face communication tool — for online job interviews.

Conley-Holt said she has witnessed people get hired from these interviews, but she has never heard of a potential employee using Twitter to obtain a job.

“I don’t see how a couple of tweets is really going to get you very far,” said Conley-Holt.

Résumés are critical, Conley-Holt said, and she has witnessed people immediately obtain interviews because of alterations. Students can go from having no interviews to suddenly having four the next week because they changed how — instead of what — they presented about themselves.

Kazi Smith, a graduate student in media management from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, said he would approach tweeting to YouTube, his dream job, by targeting something about the company. He said he would choose a video and analyze comments, likes or other specific aspects to let the employer know how he could contribute to the company. This method is more effective in learning about the person than a résumé, he said.

Brittany Dickson, a senior from Marion studying psychology, said she would need at least a day to figure out what to say if a tweet meant she could obtain her dream job as a school counselor. She said she would have to weigh her goals and understand specifically what the employer expects before she sent anything.

She said she would have to make the tweet look professional without using slashes or numbers and ensuring her sentences are grammatically correct.

“I’m not sure if it’s doable, but if asked I would have to make it work,” Dickson said.

Scott Simon, a senior from Hamilton studying mining engineering, said he thinks applying for a job via tweet might be difficult.

“It’s a risky business strategy,” he said. “I couldn’t sell myself in 140 characters.”

Arwen McNierney, an Eastern Illinois University graduate student in English from Elk Grove and School of Social Work receptionist, said as a professional editor, her résumé is a sample of both her writing and editing. She said a tweet would represent her in the same way.

However, McNierney said a tweet would not provide enough space to demonstrate her skills, and she would be stunned to find an employer who requested one.

“I would think that they’re basically insane,” she said.

McNierney said 140 characters allow a person enough room to say only one thing, and she would find the whole process discouraging.

“I’d basically write off the job,” she said. “I wouldn’t think I would get it. I have enough trouble selling myself in a 30-minute interview.”

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