Monday, 12 September 2011

No mean tweet..

Law and education journalist Alex Aldridge caused a minor uproar amongst twitter's elite legal community when he published this article in The Guardian on Friday. The furor was sparked chiefly by what many perceived to be an attack by Aldridge on twitter regular, former TC hunter, current prospective trainee and all-round nice guy Ashley Connick - in particular: "Connick has found himself increasingly short of interesting things to tweet about now his hunt for a graduate job is over".

Founder of Twitter
I joined twitter just days before I read this article; when I first started reading it I was intrigued, even excited by the idea that I could further my profile and, what's infinitley more important, widen my job-hunting strategy via this relatively new and wondrous medium.

Blawging magnate Charon qc yesterday said of Connick: "[he] almost certainly got his training contract in a ‘magic circle firm’ by hard work and having the right qualifications – rather than his ability to tweet". While I don't doubt this for a minute, I feel it is inevitable that setting up shop in an arena where firms and other employers have a presence can get you/your blog noticed, for better or for worse.

That employers are looking to recruit via Twitter is a concept alien to me, and while firms might not be actively recruiting this way, making yourself known to them can't hurt. To my mind, what any prospective employer ought to look for is honesty, passion [of some kind], humour, and intelligence in tweets [as far as one can demonstrate intelligence in a 140 character snippet], and it is perhaps a sign of the times that suspicion is aroused when someone is also courteous and amiable on a social networking site; what's his game? what's he trying to get out of this? I am not speaking for Mr Connick here, indeed I haven't consulted him [nor anyone else] on this issue, but from my perspective, there is a discrepancy between being aware of your audience and modifying your online 'persona' to indulge or register with others.

I doubt this was mere posturing on Mr Aldridge's part; he seems smarter than this, and is in my opinion an excellent and incisive writer. But, on this occasion I disagree with him, as from what I have gleaned from my week as a twitter newbie, Mr Connick is a thoroughly interesting chap with plently to offer those who are wise enough to engage with him. If, as is being suggested by Aldridge, Connick's tweets were more insightful and interesting prior to the sun setting on his job-hunting days, then it is regrettable that I did not know him then.

If Connick tweeted then in the same manner he does now, it can only have been to his advantage. And while there is scarcely a substitute for hard-graft and sacrifice, at a time when the active, nosey kind of job-hunting is essential, we're all looking for new avenues to exhaust. This might be one of them.

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