A Twesume? Are You Kidding Me? Think Twice Before Creating a 140 Character Resume

April 29, 2013

Twesume: Why Not to Submit a 140 Charcter ResumeI believe our contemporaries have gone a step too far with the Twesume. In case you are wondering, no, that’s unfortunately not a typo. A “Twesume” is a the catchy contraction of Twitter and resume. It’s a real thing, and if you look closely enough at your Twitter feed you may be surprised to find Twesumes are even going around your company.
Over the past few months I have noticed an uptick in individuals who utilize LinkedIn as their resume, and now it looks as though we need to be concerned about the Twesume. A Twesume consists of stripping your resume down to a mere 140 characters allotted by Twitter. The term was coined in 2008 by Richard Skaare, a communications consultant. Skaare argued, “forced brevity sharpens the mind and quickens the soul.”
Forced brevity does allow for an element of simplicity and accuracy when delivering information — you really need to boil all elements down to the most important aspect. No fluff. No flowery language. These elements I like. But this is no elevator pitch, this is you and your experience in 140 characters. I am not buying it.
Here is an example I came across while researching Twesumes:
John Smith: Performance Consultant & Corporate Trainer. 20+ years Training & Development experience. Seeking a challenging position in the Contact Center industry.”
Is it just me, or does this read like an objective at the top of someone’s resume? I do not want to click the link to your resume, because in effect, you have given me no reason to. 140 characters is not enough space to show your experience, personality and objective. 140 characters just seems lazy.
Beyond that, here are three additional reasons submitting a Twesume may be a bad idea:

  1. It may save you time as an applicant, but it’s actually more work for HR: The advice across the board is to include a link to your actual resume, but whatever happened to applying through a company’s website and including your cover letter, resume, and filling out an application? HR needs this information anyway, so by tweeting your resume you are only adding unnecessary steps.
  2. Your Twitter feed may not be the best vehicle for a good, professional first impression: Think about what you have tweeted and whom you follow and the pictures you have up on Twitter — is all that something you want a potential employer to see? You have less control over your first impression when you create your Twesume and tweet it out.
  3. The lifetime of a Tweet is measured in seconds: Think about the sheer volume of Twitter traffic. It is much more likely that your Twesume will be buried in someone’s Twitter feed, or overlooked, or deleted.

The Twesume concerns me as much as the LinkedIn resume. It appears the workforce is taking short cuts to attain jobs, and that is personally not a quality I want in the employees at my company. I want candidates who take the time to write a personalized (albeit brief) cover letter that shows me they know what my firm does. I assume — at least to some extent — every other hiring manager would want the same.
140 characters will get you noticed if you are a Kardashian, but not if you are applying for a VP of Sales role. It is important that the workforce continue to create resumes that showcase experience. But if somehow, despite all this, you still have your heart set on creating a Twesume do yourself and the hiring manager a favor and follow up with a regular resume submission to the company website.
Let’s not get lazy here, folks.
What are your thoughts on the Twesume?

Senior Corporate Recruiter

<strong>Lindsey Gurian</strong> is the Senior Corporate Recruiter at <a href="http://www.acquia.com">Acquia</a>. She was previously a Senior Talent Specialist at Sonian, responsible for recruiting initiatives at both the firm and its portfolio companies.