How I got my job in journalism via Twitter – Tom Hasson

14 01 2011

If I was asked, “What is Twitter?” I would find it difficult to know where to start, writes Tom Hasson. It is a fantastic application that can be used in many ways; it’s a marketing tool, an agent for free speech, a way of keeping in contact with your friends and even a new way to contact celebrities.

Twitter describes itself as having endless possibilities, and a few weeks ago I came across one of them. Twitter can get you a job.

Since completing the NCTJ-accredited course at Brighton Journalist Works in March 2010 I have taken on several freelance roles with various publications but I was constantly searching for full-time employment within journalism.

I came across a job advertisement on the Wired Sussex website; a web design agency called Bozboz was seeking a “Self-Facilitating Media Node” – a reference to Channel 4’s 2005 sitcom “Nathan Barley” that at first didn’t seem to describe the role at all. After thinking about it, I realised it was describing it perfectly; they wanted someone who had good copywriting skills as well as a full knowledge of digital media, and more specifically, social media.

The job description ended with the usual ‘Send us a copy of your CV as well as a covering letter’. It also said ‘Alternatively, you can apply via Twitter.’

The task seemed impossible. How on earth could I apply for a job if I could only use 140 characters? My address is at the top of my CV and that takes up 48 characters alone.

After a bit of thinking I came up with the idea of using a web-link in a tweet to get more content across. Simply putting a link to a copy of my CV seemed boring though – I might as well send the CV as it is. Instead I wrote myself a short script and set up a video camera. I filmed myself talking about why I’d be good for the job as well as a brief outline of my experience and interests.

After a bit of video-editing, the basics of which I had learned at BJW, I uploaded the video to Vimeo.com, then minimised the link using bit.ly and sent a tweet to Bozboz saying simply ‘I’d like to apply for the role of Self Facilitating Media Node’ followed by a link to my video.

A week later Bozboz phoned me to say that I’d been the only person to apply via video and, because of this innovative use of Twitter, they would like me to come in for an interview.

A couple of days after the interview I received another phone call to tell me that I’d got the job. I asked them what it was that set me above the rest. They told me that it was all down to my application via Twitter.

What is Twitter? Twitter can get you a job.

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3 responses

14 01 2011
Chinedu

Good thinking.
Good luck in your new job

Chinedu – Current Journalism Student
London College of Communication.

14 01 2011
Rosie Rogers

What a brilliant story – I have heard so many stories of people finding excellent opportunities via twitter, but this one is probably the best yet. Good luck in your new role!

10 07 2012
How to get a job on a national newspaper days after graduating.. «

[…] at the Daily Telegraph, said Josh’s talk was inspiring.  He also knew of BJW graduate Tom Hasson who got his job via twitter (see earlier BJW blog) and said that could be the future of job-hunting:  blog your way to a job. Share this:Like […]

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