The 140 Character Resume

Could you express all that you need to say to get yourself hired in 140 characters? A Wall Street Journal article circulating on LinkedIn earlier this week asked that very question. So many more people are taking to social networks, particularly Twitter, to find employment opportunities and to connect with those in those offices. Is a shift toward hiring information as fodder for consideration be far behind?

I thought about what my “Twesume” would say; after several passes and acceptance of my need to use whole words (I’m a resume snob, I’ll get to that in just a moment), this is what I came up with.

Higher education professional, writer, & runner who wants to make you think. Powered by curiosity, conversation, student contact, & coffee.

Why do I like this final version?

It is composed with complete words and punctuation, something that was very important to me regardless of venue. Despite the debate over the importance of grammar and convention on Twitter, I’m still erring on the side of professionalism and detail-orientation. That’s who I am, and that’s what I want my resume to show- no matter where or how it is posted.

It lists my personal and professional interests. I am a strong advocate for the personal section of a resume, and I was able to indulge that urge here. I like those who work with me to know I have other interests; it serves the dual purpose of giving me a means by which to find common ground with those around me, and encourages me to have a “self” not solely defined by how I perform in the office.

It’s alliterative. I don’t like that in and of itself, of course. To me, it represents a playfulness that is evident in my daily work. I want others to know that about me, and I think this is a subtle way to show it.

My question upon reading this article is, “How far does the Twitter hiring process go?” Does this mean that I could send a follow-up Tweet with my references?

#FF Those Who Know My Work and Will Speak on My Behalf: @jeffyp2003 @JessaCarpenter @J_KellyWuest @rrezaei @kbf1230

Does that mean a reference check could show up like this?

T/F? MT @ammamarfo Higher education professional who wants to make you think. Powered by curiosity, conversation, student contact, & coffee.

Could a job offer eventually come in a brief statement, preceded by “D ammamarfo”?

And what does this do for the writers among us? While I welcome the challenge that comes with sharing content on Twitter, I feel that I thrive in the longer-form storytelling format that exists in the cover letter. A task that I used to dread became a fun challenge once I reframed it as an opportunity to tell a story, rather than a robotic recitation of items on my resume. Does a preference for more detailed writing hurt those who have to try and condense complex thoughts into a 140 character limit? The idea of Twitter as a submission venue is an interesting one, but could have its limits, just as the present system does.

I like Twitter a great deal for its flexibility as a social media platform. Where fields required by Facebook and Google Plus (yes, people use it!) skew toward the personal sphere and LinkedIn toward the professional, I appreciate Twitter a great deal for its versatility. It can be what you want it to be. Could it get you in trouble? Well, sure, and the article does discuss how having your resume as Tweet invites scrutiny of your timeline. But if you’re responsible, it could be a powerful way to get your message across. Short, sweet, and- perhaps one day – successful.

What would your Twesume say?

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