Tweet Yourself To $500

Nov 18, 2009
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

In the wake of ERE’s Social Recruiting Summit Monday comes a contest to expand job seeker use of Twitter, while another quarter counsels caution in how job seekers use social media, but says it’s a must for 21st-century workers.

TweetMyJobs logoTweetMyJobs, one of the first job distribution services to use Twitter, is now using the service and its followers to promote itself.  TweetMyJobs is running a contest that has a plasma TV or $500 as its grand prize and the only requirement for winning is to watch a video and enter. So far, so traditional. Here’s where the social media aspect comes in: The winner will be the person who accumulates the most points during the contest. Points are earned each time a person clicks on a unique link to access the TweetMyJobs site.

Contestants are emailed a unique link that can be tweeted, posted to Facebook, and shared on over 20 other social sites. The more friends, followers, and connections you have and can convince to click the link, the more points you earn.

It’s a clever contest that TweetMyJobs founder Gary Zukowski says will cost him less than $2,500 and will “show just how powerful social media can be.”

“By using social media we will reach thousands of targeted individuals in a cost-effective manner. It mirrors the service we offer to our clients,” adds Zukowski. TweetMyJobs earns its money by tweeting job postings to job seeking subscribers for a fee.

Challenger Gray ChristmasZukowski’s contest comes amidst a boom in the use of social media for job hunting and branding. No less an authority than outplacement specialist Challenger, Gray & Christmas is counseling job seekers to profile, post, and tweet.

“We feel that these new networking tools are essential and now advise all of the job seekers going through our program to open LinkedIn accounts and to consider other services such as Facebook and Twitter,” says CEO John Challenger.

The firm cautions job seekers — and this is good advice for recruiters, too — that the various social media are not interchangeable. Nor, says Challenger, will they “replace the face-to-face connections that are critical to a successful search.”

The Challenger announcement cites a recent Jobvite survey that found some 80 percent of companies using or planning to use social networking sites for recruiting. LinkedIn is already heavily used for that purpose, but Facebook recruiting now attracts 59 percent of recruiters, according to the survey. Twitter is used by 42 percent of recruiters.

Because of the pervasive use of widgets and apps, it is possible now for a Twitter message to be simultaneously posted to dozens of sites. Likewise, Facebook status updates can be tweeted automatically, with apps then reposting the tweet to other social media including, say, LinkedIn.

Hence, the warning from Challenger that, “Social networking should be used cautiously.”

He also counsels that online networking is not the only tool. “These online connections are superficial at best. It takes a lot more work to turn them into meaningful relationships that can advance your job search. In the end,” says Challenger, “face-to-face meetings are still the most effective relationship-building tool available.”

Which brings us to Eric Barker. Remember him?  He’s the freshly minted MBA so eager to work at Microsoft that he took out an ad on Facebook to make his pitch. I wrote about him in May.

I got an email from him a few weeks ago. Still no Microsoft job, though he is optimistic: “Did hear from a MSFT recruiter. We’re trying to place me but we haven’t found the right fit yet.”

However he did land a leading role in Facebook Fantasies, an official anthology of Facebook stories, where he is the subject of one of the chapters. The book publishes in February.

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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