Underway Now: Jobs Conference Is a Twitter First

Jul 19, 2011
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

The American Jobs Conference is underway right now and let me tell you, the conversation is vigorous.

I don’t know how many participants the conference has, but the tweet stream is moving fast, especially at the start, when the tweetnote speaker, Republican presidential candidate and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, started tweeting.

His 16-tweet conference opener was a Twitter first. Not only because he was the first presidential candidate to keynote a conference via Twitter, but also because conference organizers say it’s the first conference to be conducted entirely via Twitter’s short messaging.

Being a first didn’t count for much among the conference followers (#Jobs4US) who took Pawlenty to task for delivering a political address and challenged his record when he was governor. This one got loads of retweets: “Number of ppl that can fit in the Metrodome (home of the MN Twins): 64,000. Number of jobs created by @timpawlenty: 6,200.#jobs4US

Things picked up when he got to answering questions. Tweeted one participant, Oh! @TimPawlenty is answering questions on #jobs4US — this is much more interesting than the speech. I hope it lasts a bit.”

It did, briefly. Pawlenty took a handful of questions, answering most with some variant of this: “My priority is getting the economy moving again — we must create jobs by cutting taxes, and controlling spending.”

For the record, I tracked down a few of the tweeters and found staffers from Pawlenty’s primary opponents online and a few Democrat staffers, too. But whatever your politics, the next sessions were laser-focused on offering job seekers advice and helping them with problems as specific as how to go about approaching your network contacts for help.

That one, to Career Diva Eve Tahmincioglu, got this answer:

reaching out to someone on twitter who really doesn’t know who the heck you are is dumb

start by contacting your inner networking circle, those people who know you, your work, and most importantly…

..reach out to people you know like you. please! i hear horror stories about references that end up dooming job seekers

The followers in this sessions, currently underway, retweeted that advice asking such follow-ups as what to do when you don’t have a big network, and how to get people who do know you into your network. Tahmincioglu, the session leader, is getting plenty of help from recruiters and experienced job seekers, who are responding to questions as soon as they get asked.

“Why not help out at a local business chamber or at your child’s school – even form your own networking group,” was one suggestion for a seeker who’s network, they said, is fairly thin.

You can find the conference agenda here. I suggest using the interface you’ll find on the site, as it’s easier than going directly to Twitter. The American Jobs Conference, which I discussed in a post last week that also talked about tomorrow’s nationwide virtual career fair, is sponsored by TweetMyJobs and CareerArc Group, which acquired the jobs distribution service earlier this year.

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