Out: résumés. In: tweets.
Several tech-forward marketing companies are going where few have gone before: they're ditching the résumé and the conventional job interview process for tweets. A simple tweet or two -- sometimes called Twitterviews -- can lead to a job. In a nation where unemployment stands at 7.9%, how you tweet can now determine how employable you are.
"The paper résumé is dead," says Vala Afshar, chief marketing officer at the tech firm Enterasys Networks that is in the process of hiring a six-figure, senior social media strategist based on tweets. Afshar refuses to even look at résumés. "The Web is your résumé. Social networks are your mass references."
Beginning Monday, job prospects can begin tweeting for the job, which he hopes to fill by April. "I believe the very best talent isn't even looking for work," Afshar says. "They're mobile and socially connected and too busy changing the world."
Think of it as a 140-character job interview. Even the folks at Twitter are a bit surprised. "I don't think we've heard of that before actually," says spokeswoman Alexandra Valasek in an e-mail.
But 22-year-old Kristy Webster totally gets it. She created and is coordinating an offbeat bid by her employer, The Marketing Arm, a division of ad giant Omnicom Group, to hire five summer interns based on how they respond to five tweets over five days. Those who respond with the best tweets will become job finalists. No one will ask them for résumés.
"We're meeting our potential talent where they live," says Webster, whose intern tweet-off will be March 4-8. "What's more relevant than Twitter to our interns?"
Hiring via tweets worked just fine for Aaron Biebert, a commercial director from Milwaukee. About 1 1/2 years ago, he hired a social media coordinator based on 40 public tweets -- with no in-person interview at all.
"It didn't matter to me what they're like in an interview setting," Biebert says. "All that mattered was their online personality." Although the employee recently left for a higher-paying job elsewhere, Biebert says, this is how he plans to conduct future hiring.
Tweets could quickly become the hiring model for companies seeking tech-savvy or marketing employees, says Jan Melnik, a career coach from Durham, Conn. "It's perfect for any company that want to take advantage of what Millennials bring to the marketplace."
Still, she adds, there are some jobs where tweets will never replace résumés and eye-to-eye interviews. "You won't see a CEO -- or a college professor -- hired based on a tweet," she says. Nor would she hire someone based solely on a tweet. But, she laughs, "I would hire someone on Skype."
By Bruce Horovitz