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Sorry Women, It’s Time for Binders Full of Jobs

Remember way back in 2012 when we had good old candidate Mitt Romney and his binders full of women to kick around?

Those were the days, weren’t they? Life was good, tweeting was easy and the cotton was high.

Romney offered up those “binders full of women” like a batting-practice fastball to a home run-starved big leaguer in need of a game-winning dinger. He made the gaffe during the second presidential debate, and by the following morning he had created a cottage industry of satire on the InterWeb.

Romney’s comment went from debate misstep to a viral sensation in the land of Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and all things cyber-ly considered as the phrase rose to cult status. By the next day, the Facebook page “Binders Full of Women” had 274,000 likes; Tumblr pages were created, at least one career had been saved and scores of tweets had been sent.

While there were binders they weren’t literally filled with women, what the Republican presidential hopeful so ungracefully referenced were the folders filled with the resumes of women that had been submitted to him as governor of Massachusetts when he sought out qualified female candidates for state cabinet posts.

Romney had unleashed Pandora’s can of worms, and the Internet loved it, especially the twick or tweeters who hang out waiting for such things to bounce into their bags of good fortune.

I have this ongoing love-hate relationship when it comes to Twitter, particularly when it comes to job seeking. While I fully embrace Facebook and LinkedIn as valuable tools in the search for contacts and job openings, with Twitter, the end-game is not so clear cut.

The example of Romney’s miscue brings up some good points, not the least of which is that you never know what will go viral. Twitter is the ultimate muse of the “look-at-me” generation of cyberwarriors, so I’ve come to the conclusion that it is a land filled with cults, causes, white noise and little else.

By cults, I mean cults of personality. A quick check of actor Ashton Kutcher’s Twitter account shows he has roughly 14 million followers. Should Ashton choose to tweet, I’m sure his voice would be heard, just not by anybody I know.

Now let’s say you are the average Twitter user with a couple of hundred followers and you’re looking for a job, a quick shout out about needing work isn’t going much of anywhere.

Which brings us to the causes category of our show. Much like #bindersfullofwomen took off overnight, many causes or events (re: #finalfour, #worldseries, #grammyawards) create these tremendous trails of followings. Many people and businesses try to anticipate what the hot hashtag will be and use it to their advantage by joining the slipstream created in the wake of the trending hashtag.

But I’m not sure what use posting links to your portfolio or Twitter handle might be in the midst of a conversation like #jodiariastrial or #TwitpicYourReactionIfYouWonTheLottery.

Now there are hashtag conversations set up for job-hunters. I’ve tried using some of these, and they can be useful in finding hints and tips, but they are also frequented by people preying on the unemployed and underemployed in an effort to line their own pockets or egos.

And then there is the ceaseless white noise of Twitter. Stop me if you don’t want to know that I’m in the drive-thru at Wendy’s or I saw this really funny sign and took a picture. Why is these folks can’t simply butt-dial themselves and share the word with … well … themselves?

So as a job-seeker, what’s your motivation in getting in this giant stream of information that is polluted with the white noise of everyday life? To borrow from an old saying, would you really want to work for someone who hires people based on tweets?

At the risk of sound like a crotchety old bird, I say stick to places like LinkedIn and Facebook where you know the hiring managers are hanging out. Maybe Mitt Romney will drop by with a binder full of jobs.

Find more of Greg’s witty musings here. To learn from a job seeker who has been there and done that, these are a few lessons learned.

photo credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com via photopin cc

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About G Peters

Life during the last five years has read a lot like a country song for Greg. Got laid off ­– got hired. Went to work, and then the new job expired. Went back on the street looking for work, but who’s going to hire somebody older than dirt? Worked the graveyard shift for a year or two, hoping against hope to find something new ­– and at long last did, working in communications for a university. Dream job is still blogger-in-residence for YourCompany.Com, but thankful every day to have a workplace to call home. Best advice: never stop believing in yourself. Check out Xogdog's blog at www.xogdog.wordpress.com/.