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TCU 360

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Conquering Twitter is worth the trouble

You might think Twitter is stupid, but it could help you get a job.

Or, at least, such was the case for six lucky people who were recently chosen for internships at Campbell Mithun, an advertising and marketing firm. But instead of filling out tedious paperwork and getting reference letters, these applicants simply advocated themselves via Twitter.

According to a March 24 article from The New York Times, the internship competition, known as “Lucky 13,” asked that all applicants tweet 13 comments with the hashtag #L13, which “labels” the comments and makes them categorical within searches. Campbell Mithun, in turn, created an account to review the comments.

Of the 425 applicants who vied for the internships, 300 participated in the “Lucky 13” search. The top 32 applicants were interviewed in person or via Skype, yet another non conventional, up-to-date way the firm conducted their search.

Not only could the applicants directly communicate with Campbell Mithun’s Twitter account for updates and clarification, but they could scope out the competition and see what kinds of things their opponents were submitting.

Campbell Mithun isn’t alone — more and more companies are realizing the potency and relevancy of social media and are turning to it for new employees.

It makes sense, especially for those in marketing, technological and journalism professions. Social media isn’t going anywhere, so the ability for people to be able to effectively communicate and utilize them is vital.

Charlie Sheen, the actor who has captivated America with his apparent “craziness” and rash statements, is taking the same social media-orientated approach in the search of finding his next intern, the “Tigerblood Intern.”

Mike Vosters, a senior marketing major in the Neeley School of Business, is in that application process and uses Twitter as his primary form of self-promotion. He asks his “followers” — the equivalent of Facebook friends on Twitter — to help him out by sending Sheen tweets vouching for him.

Currently, Vosters has made it to the third round of the “Tigerblood” search process, and he had to answer the question, “If you were the Social Media Director for a major humanitarian aid organization, how would you create awareness and raise money via social media in the aftermath of a global disaster?”

As his response, he showed Sheen instead of just answering the question. Vosters launched an online campaign to see how quickly he could raise money for tsunami relief in Japan, powered by the sheer force of social media.

Within 36 hours, Vosters raised $668, all of which he donated to the Red Cross.

Vosters isn’t the only one at TCU who is ahead of the curve — the office of Career Services also knows that social media hold the key to future jobs. The office is advocating and offering free training sessions to help students utilize LinkedIn, a professional networking website.

Even if you are adamantly against Twitter with its 140 characters or fewer, confusing hashtags and silly “trending topics,” maybe it’s worth your consideration — and it might be how you’ll find your next job.

Emily Atteberry is a freshman journalism and Spanish double major from Olathe, Kan.

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