Agency Angle: Is Twitter the New LinkedIn?

April 12, 2013

It’s no secret to the job-seeking world that online presence is slowly replacing paper resumes. According to a 2012 survey by Time, 92% of businesses in 2012 already use or will use social networks for recruiting. Alongside profiles on LinkedIn and Facebook, however, Twitter resumes – or “twesumes” – are becoming a popular way for companies to spread the word about job openings and find new talent to fill them.

It’s an evolving idea, of course. Twitter isn’t currently specialized for career development, so many businesses – especially those outside the media industry – remain skeptical about using the platform as a job board. For one thing, most audiences don’t use Twitter for job-seeking in the first place. Also, industries or small businesses that don’t use social media are more likely to stick to traditional hiring methods. And what’s more – probably the greatest challenge – how do users accurately reflect the sum of their career experience, skills, expertise, and professional goals in 140 characters? Recruiters who rely solely on Twitter take a big risk of overlooking talented candidates simply because their Tweets aren’t well optimized.

On the other hand, Twitter provides quick, direct access between users, which means that recruiters and job seekers can communicate more easily with one another. Businesses can better target the right individuals for the job, including strong candidates who may not be actively looking for work. Unlike Facebook and LinkedIn, Twitter also lets users connect more easily with other users they don’t know. More than a few companies consider online personalities as better indicators of character than paper resumes, or even meetings in person – making Twitter a great place for job seekers to display their talents, skills, and interests. And as for the resume limit, avid Twitter-recruiters cite the 140 characters as the perfect screening tool. It not only helps weed out irrelevant twesumes, but tests each user’s ability to “sell” themselves.

Even for non-social companies, an online presence makes it easier to exhibit and discover new job opportunities. Twitter is far from completely outmoding traditional hiring – after job seekers and recruiters connect on Twitter, they’re still likely to link to resumes or longer profiles, followed by the usual phone calls or interviews. Twesumes are becoming an important step in the process, however. Where that process leads remains to be seen.

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