When Twitter Becomes More Important Than Your Résumé

Twitter has made its fair share of noise on the net this week as rumors circulate that the company may soon be going public, but the social networking site has also been noted in the past few days for other things as well, particularly its ability to get you a job.

"Tomorrow, my newest hire starts here at The Atlantic," wrote Alexis Madridgal, senior editor of The Atlantic. "Robinson Meyer is his name, he just finished up school at Northwestern, and he may be the only college kid to actually get a job because of how good he is on Twitter. He's so good that I've been wanting to hire him since he was a sophomore."

With articles circulating the web advising everyone how they can do just about everything, you'd be more than likely to find, for instance, the "1o ways you can start your career using Twitter." Interesting points are bound to be presented in such lists, but you'd be highly optimistic to expect to find anything practical or proven. Here, however, Madrigal provides us with an example that's sure to be on your mind the next time you express yourself in 140 characters or less.

Madridgal wasn't impressed with his newest employee's amount of followers or number of retweets, rather, he was impressed by his newest employee's ability to connect with others throughout the journalistic community.

"The tools and culture of Twitter allow you to see how, over time, people respond to the world," he said. "You can carry out a longitudinal study in someone's attitude and disposition. And from what I've seen, the physical person that shows up when you meet someone you know from the service is pretty much what you expected."

The story of how one writer impresses an employer with social media presence is certainly a situation that might be exclusive to one type of profession. A CPA is unlikely to impress an accounting firm with the way he or she tweets about taxes. But what this story does prove is that there are indeed ways of self- presentation, particularly on social networks, can be a bigger reflection of your qualification as a future employee than whatever a piece of paper says.

Just take it from Madrigal, who has been more than pleased with his recent hire.

"I'll tell you this: I know a lot more about Rob from his Twitter usage than I could ever locate on his college transcript or resume."