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Size Matters: Job Seekers Measure the Size of Your Social Graph


Employers are seeking candidates with established relationships in social networks, complete with a portfolio of individual and career defining social content – in the form of blog posts, videos, comments, and thoughtful updates.

In some cases, size matters.

Electronics retailer Best Buy recently posted a job opening for Senior Manager-Emerging Media Marketing. The role was described as, “the primary lead for the Best Buy’s mobile, social, and video marketing & media efforts to drive in-store and online sales, create sustainable word of mouth evangelists, and brand loyalists.”

Job qualifications required for consideration include a Bachelors degree, two years of mobile or social media marketing experience, four years of people or resource leadership experience and one year of active blogging experience.

In addition, the applicant was required to have at least 250 followers on Twitter.

Although this particular job was eventually filled, the published criteria, the ensuing public discussions, and the corresponding interviews set a precedent for other organizations to follow and also push forward.

We are in fact defined by the size of our social graph. Size isn’t the only thing that matters however. Always an interesting statement to make of course, but in all seriousness, our experiences and resulting circumstances, possibilities, and options are defined by how we uniquely engage and participate throughout the social Web. Yes, it’s all in how we us it. To put it another way, our interactions and contributions earn keys that unlock the doors to future opportunities.


Thought I share this list with you from CNN that also shows how Social Media can also help you lose your job.

Paul Wilson, a freelance/corporate Web marketer and blogger, uncovered several examples of Tweets that contributed to the firing of individuals who didn’t think before publishing their thoughts on Twitter.

Top 10 Tweets to Get You Fired:

1. “hate my job!! i want to tell my bosses how dumb they are and how meaningless this job is, then quit, and be happy!”

2. “So my job was to test all the food at the new resturant, can I just say, ughew. I’m going to taco bell then twistee treat.”

3. “Workin… This job sucks worse then the economy!”

4. “I’m going to work! Walmart! Must find better job! I hate it when chicks there have a deeper voice than me and refer to me as foo!”

5. “Also I’m really bummed that I’m working today, i asked off so i could study but my boss is a ******* **** ***** ***** who can’t read.”

6. “Coworker smuggled out a chair for me. Currently being paid to SIT around and listen to John Barrowman on my iPod. I don’t hate my job today!”

7. “having sex dreams of people you work with makes for an awkward day.”

8. “smoking weed at work is so [EDITED] great :)”

9. “It’s bad when you overhear the n00b programmer say “I used to work at McDonalds with him” and you wonder if he is talking about the CEO…”

10. “Huh, with my boss on twitter, maaaybe I should take down that sexy picture of her… but her reaction will be priceless!”

Sometimes in social media we forget that we that we need to employ restraint and invoke our  inner monologue skills as much of what we think may not be safe, suitable, or strategic for public consumption.

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64 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Size Matters: Job Seekers Measure the Size of Your Social Graph”

  1. Rob Ungar says:

    As a former Best Buy employee, I’m a little disappointed that Big Blue thinks that having a certain number of followers denotes some sort of skill or connection.  While you can certainly argue that only requiring 250 followers is better than someone who has 5,000 where 4,990 are useless, what’s to say that only having 150 active, engaged followers isn’t better?  Best Buy would be better off looking at that candidate’s followers and seeing if the are actually engaging with them.

  2. kayjay15 says:

    While size can matter, shouldn’t the quality, not the quantity of followers be more important? I keep my number of followers low by constantly culling out the spambots. I also recently cleaned out the ‘followers’ who tried Twitter a year ago and haven’t used it since. Have I cleaned out all of the non-quality twitterers, no, but for the main part I feel having less is more. As Rob has already stated ‘engaged followers’ are better.

  3. Sonny Gill says:

    Not sure if you saw but shortly after, a rather large discussion came about regarding the requirement to have a certain number of followers for this role. Given all the feedback, Best Buy ventured out to crowdsource the job description, as they were open to the community and hearing their input on the role:

    I think Best Buy and other companies realize that it’s the experience and results that matter versus the number of people you’re ‘connected’ with. Anyone can coin themselves an expert and ready for a corporate role because they scrounged up 10k followers, but what have you done with that? Have you built communities outside of your personal use? What did it equate to? What needles did it move? A few questions that companies need to be asking themselves and the candidates they come across.

  4. Guest says:

    while this may be the defining factor for this 1 single job and maybe 10 more like it, by and large your online social standing is meaningless, it does not count for anything but a waste of time that could be more productivly spent doing actual work!

  5. JamesBruni says:

    😀 Number 8 is precious.  I love this post.  It reads like a David Letterman Top Ten (“Ways to Get Fired”).

  6. Michelle says:

    I’m seeing variations of this on more and more job listings, even for positions that don’t explicitly involve Twitter-based community-building. It strikes me as such an arbitrary measure of a candidate’s potential worth.

    What if most of those followers are spam-bots? What if the candidate has decided to focus his/her Twitter feed on a specific area of expertise and thus is participating in one high-quality conversation with a few dozen people as opposed to hundreds of mid- to low-quality ones with hundreds of people? What if a candidate prefers face-to-face networking, or prefers not to publish his/her networking contacts publicly?

    It seems to me that the Twitter count is merely a way for overwhelmed recruiters to quickly weed out job candidates, but I suspect they may be inadvertently tossing out solid workers whose quality networks happen to exist on platforms other than Twitter.

  7. Pingback: size matters

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