I can’t type much without my left shoulder hurting tremendously, so I’ll keep this short and sweet.
Twitter isn’t a miracle cure. It is a one-to-many messaging service that allows you to cheaply and easily connect with people. For those who invest in its use, it reduces barriers of entry in forming relationships or communicating, but it isn’t a golden egg or magic pill. If you take poor skills/knowledge/execution and introduce Twitter to the mix, you’re not going to suddenly get a great outcome.
I keep seeing news stories about people who got jobs through Twitter, and I see exponentially more people trying to get jobs (or start businesses, or relabel themselves as “marketing consultants”) through Twitter, but there’s something that the news coverage and mass hopefuls seem to be missing. Twitter is just a tool, and there’s nothing magic about it.
Connecting with a potential boss through Twitter to let him know about you is no different than calling, showing up at the office, turning in cover letter and resume over and over until you finally get the job. It is another avenue for communication and it certainly makes it easier, but just because you’re on Twitter doesn’t mean there will be a positive outcome.
If someone got a job through Twitter, it’s because they deserved the job, not because Twitter is fantabulous. Rather, it’s akin to cold calling, which is something a lot of people seeking work don’t seem to do anymore. They don’t work to find a job, instead passively putting out resumes and hoping someone will pick them up. Out-of-workers will post on Monster.com, reply to ads, and hope for the best, whereas the people using Twitter tend to be more forward. They actively contact executives and say, “Hey, I need a job!”
Twitter makes cold calling less intimidating by providing the foolishly false sense of anonymity and comfort that only the Internet or a dark room can provide. But if someone looking for a job were to start actively calling around, hammering at people, and more aggressively pursuing work (even though vacancies weren’t available at the time), they’d get a job more quickly. Twitter establishes that communication line, but it doesn’t do any good if you’ve got nothing to say.
The news hype of, “Sally Sue got a job by posting on Twitter!” is stupid. There’s no story there, other than that they used a suddenly popular tool to connect with an employer. The problem is that these stories make other people think, “Oh! If I use Twitter, I’ll get a job too!”
If you’re qualified and ambitious you’ll get a job, because when you get those two qualities together, you have a person who is willing to go out and push buttons to get results. They know they can do the job, they know they deserve the job, and so they’ll find a way to get it. Qualifications don’t come from being on Twitter. Twitter doesn’t get you a job.
It’s all about qualifications and connections. There’s nothing new or awesome about that–that’s just the way things work, and have for millennia.