Friday, February 4, 2011

#jobsearchTweet and #EntrylevelTweet

Happy About Books has experimented with creating Twitter-style books of career advice. The books are limited to 140 statements and each statement is limited to 140 characters, similar to Twitter.

#jobsearchTweet is for any-flavor of job seeker from the entry-level to the laid off. The author, Barbara Safani, is the owner of Career Solvers, and the author of another Happy About book, Happy About My Resume. On the whole, I found most of the advice to be highly relevant and actionable, but one suggestion--add a chart to your resume--I think is an absolute no-no. Not only would an Applicant Tracking System not know what to do with your pretty chart, I can easily see an employer laughing about a well-meaning, My Awesomeness chart. Charts like these are better suited to a portfolio, revealed at the interview, and in relation to a specific question. If you use a chart, make sure it is relevant, objective-as in not about personal information, but about a project or sales data--and uses no confidential information from a previous employer.

#entrylevelTweet is for beginning job seekers and though I really liked the structure and progression of the resume advice, I thought the author, owner of Come Recommended, opened the book on a weak note by suggesting that the reader write a bunch of lists, seemingly for the purpose of listing-stuff. Yes, I know you could use them on a resume or to answer interview questions, but I don't think the new job seeker is going to get it. College students respond to suggests to write lists about themselves with put-upon eye rolling: they hate it, everyone tells them to do it, they never do, or get frustrated over what this magic list was supposed to do. Despite the weak start, the resume tweets were well done and I could see college-age students eagerly eating those up.

For both these books, I think they would have been better as ebooks only; personally I feel their layout is a waste of paper, and they also probably look better on a cell phone screen. I would recommend them for career counsellors that have thought about tweeting out advice and were not sure how to do it, succinctly and with relevance. I also think that frustrated job seekers, tired of too much advice, would find the format refreshing.

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