Muschamp Rd

140 Characters to Rule Them All!

May 19th, 2010
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So it is Wednesday and I pick up the Globe and Mail and to read at Subway, I get to the Careers section and what does it advise? Tweeting! I’m still trying to blog my way to a better career, now I’m supposed to tweet to my army of fanatical followers about needing a job. Color me skeptical.

They even trotted out a Vancouverite, of course she tweeted her way to a job in online marketing. Telling online marketers to tweet, that’s like telling fish to breath underwater. It would have been more impressive if someone had managed to tweet their way to a job in taxidermy. How many taxidermist tweeters are out there? I’d wager less than tweet about online marketing.

Who knows more about the technology behind online marketing than me? Not many I imagine. I remember the Internet pre-Yahoo before the phrase “monetizing eyeballs” was on everyone’s lips. I remember when search engine optimization was all about Alta Vista. I remember when AllTheWeb was the next great hope, hell when OpenText was a public search engine. I’m still not convinced 140 characters is sufficient to convey the brilliance and depth of say a Stephen Hawking or an Immanuel Kant. Kant was too long winded for Twitter, a priori his exactness obsession. I’ve written extensively about online marketing, or marketing with social media, and let me tell you few people noticed. Important people notice sometimes, but not recently, I’ve ended up too far along the long tail for my own good perhaps…

Update(s)

As someone who has spent way too much time hunting for a job online, every few days (hours) I see a story or a blog post about Tweeting your way to a new job or blogging your way to a better career. I keep updating my collection of links to ‘expert’ advice, but having written over 1000 blog posts, let me tell you,  it is far from a guarantee or a foolproof means of achieving success. Jobs get posted to Twitter. I have applied for and  interviewed for jobs posted on Twitter, but it is better to get an actual referral from a person you know in the real world.

The latest thing at least one company is promoting, the Twesume, a 140 character version of your resume and a public appeal for someone to hire you. I gave it a go, but my tongue was firmly planted in my cheek.

The very next day I notice another Twitter account I follow as part of my job search, tweeting the advice of Amy Levin-Epstein, who when writing for CBS Moneywatch, gives examples of Twitter templates you can use to ask your Twitter followers for a job or help finding a job. Given the number of spam accounts that follow you when you Tweet a certain #hashtag and the general disconnect between what I tweet about and what my followers tweet about. I’m not sure how effective this will be. I definitely think Twitter can be a tool to build your personal brand online, but you have to both show restraint, creativity, and you have to define yourself and your expertise.

Focus + Repetition = #winning on Twitter and elsewhere online when it comes to building a brand or attempting to do well for a certain keyword or phrase in the search engines. My lengthy unemployment has resulted in quite the collection of links and blog posts related to looking for work and managing your online reputation. Klout OG Badge

As of May 2nd 2012, you can apparently tweet your way into an MBA program in Iowa, but as someone who has had extreme difficulty finding a career after I completed my Sauder MBA, I’ve read far too many career advice articles. Another new trend is rejecting candidates because their Klout score is too low. I wrote about Klout long before the mainstream media and let me tell you their algorithm was flawed, it was very much possible to game the system at least in the early going. The algorithm has been revamped but still does not measure a lot of what people do online. Time spent on niche sites where experts often are found, doesn’t increase your Klout.

An example of the flaws in Klout, just by tweeting about bacon, didn’t make me an expert in the production and cooking of bacon, yet according to Klout I am influential on that topic. Just because my Klout score isn’t 60 doesn’t mean I haven’t spent far too much time online. I know how the Internet really works, most don’t.

I still haven’t managed to tweet or blog my way to a better career, what can I say, completing an MBA degree didn’t help either. I even started on the CFA Charter but that was perhaps yet more unnecessary stress added to my life so I took a break after I passed the first exam. All I have to show for it is a bunch of strange keyword referrals that I don’t even blog about anymore.

Word continues to spread through the blogosphere, the twitterverse and even USA Today about the importance of tweeting for job seekers, and I seem to be living proof that it just doesn’t work for all people, in all situations, in all industries. Of course sensational headlines sell papers and get the clicks, along with kittens and boobs…

Here is a headline from AOL:

This Man Got A Six-Figure Job Through Twitter (No Resume Required)

I think it could have used at least one exclamation mark, perhaps a hashtag, and a “FTW”.


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