More Employers Demand Twitter-Like Brevity On Applications

Woman and man looking at paperworkBy Jen Glantz

The days of lengthy cover letters and bulleted resumes are fading as employers ask job applicants to present their case in a modern and challenging way -- by describing themselves and why they are a perfect fit for a job in 150 characters or less. Borrowing from the style of Twitter (which maxes out at 140 characters) and similar to a quick-and-to-the-point elevator pitch, this new request forces you to carefully select words and summarize your most important skills. Not sure how to condense your experience into 150 characters? Use these four tips to pull it off:

1. Break your 150-character 'about me' into three parts. Describe yourself with a title based on your most recent work experience (Social Media Connoisseur, IT Project Manager, etc.). If you just graduated from college, use "Recent Grad" and add additional flair by indicating what type of position you're looking for. Perhaps add a word or two about where you'd like to specialize in your future career. Or mention your area of study or the type of degree you earned.

Next, showcase your personality and wit with a unique line about what makes you stand out or why you love the work you do. Get creative here and add a few words about interesting hobbies or passions. It's important to make yourself stand out in a well-rounded and unforgettable way. Tie it all together at the end with a final line about why you're a perfect fit for the company and the position.

More: Is Twitter Killing The Resume?

2. Remember, every word counts. Choose strong verbs and carefully select powerful and eye-catching adjectives. Always look for shorter synonyms for longer words and take out filler words that don't need to be in the sentence. Avoid the abbreviations or online slang often used when writing for social media, but do keep contractions. They're more conversational-and they're shorter!

3. Quadruple-check your grammar, punctuation and spelling. One of the main reasons employers incorporate this new request into online applications is to measure your written communication skills alongside how well you're able to brand yourself and showcase your personality. Though space is limited, the rules of grammar, punctuation and spelling definitely still apply. Read your 150-character "about me" out loud to make sure it flows and to verify that correct punctuation is placed where it's needed.

More: Grammar Lessons All Job Seekers Should Know

4. Write without thinking about the 150 character limit, then revise and cut. The best way to pull apart your resume and cut it down to 150 characters is to write a quick bio about yourself. Once the words are on paper, then you can begin to cut it down. Make a list of important points, accomplishments and skills you mentioned throughout your resume and cover letter. Next, cross out words and phrases that you deem unimportant and replace long words with shorter synonyms.

Jen Glantz is a New York City writer who is the brains and beauty behind the website www.thethingsilearnedfrom.com. Jen is a proud graduate of the University of Central Florida, where she received her B.A. in both Journalism and English.

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mansonjak

Cover letters and resumes are very important to have when you are wanting to get hired at a new job. They need to know what you are capable of and know what you have done and what qualifies you to get this job. I know that a lot of people do not know how to make a resume or a cover letter. but they need to and if they do it raises their chances of getting the job.
Jak Manson | http://www.itech-ny.com

January 27 2014 at 2:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
charlietime7777

This is really interesting. The desire for brevity makes sense though, especially when you think about how fast paced our economy has become.

http://www.creativecarpetinc.com/services/hardwood-flooring.html

January 17 2014 at 3:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bill

Screw these pricks. You get my education and experience. Hire me or shut up. I'm sooooooo glad I'm out of the new 'job' market. I feel sorry for today's job seeking youth!

May 21 2013 at 3:44 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
dr scott kanner

Work for yourself...you will never regret it.

May 21 2013 at 3:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dr scott kanner's comment
Brutal

Agreed Scott, but before you can build your own company, you have to secure a job to pay the bills why you are doing it. Once I finally figured out that anything worth having was worth working hard for, I figured out the right way to do it. I got a job managing a restaurant. I worked second shift and took my two days a week off in the middle of the week. What that allowed me to do was to get up in the morning and have 4 or 5 hours to work on my company plus two full days during the week to apply to my goals. I worked 50 hours a week for the man and another 30+ hours on my company. It took me about two and a half years to get my company to the point where it could pay the bills and support itself at which time I resigned from the other job and the rest is history. I have been self-employed with a successful company for 20-years. I tell this story because so many people decide to start their own business and before they can get it to a point of self-sufficiency, the bill collectors put them back to work for the man. I would advise anyone who wants to have their own company to make sure they understand it does not happen over night and the bills never stop coming due.

May 21 2013 at 3:43 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Brutal

I’m a recent graduate facing the reality that a position related to my field of study is not likely to be available at this time. I am unwilling to sit back and complain about how tough life is and instead would choose to take a position in another field. I’ll take the lemons sitting on the table in front of me and make lemonade. If you enjoy lemonade, I pledge to make you the best glass of lemonade you’ve had in a long time. I have no problem starting where needed and working my way up the ladder. My talents and abilities can be applied to a wide range of jobs in a wide range of professions. I would greatly appreciate an interview to present myself for consideration of employment with your company at your earliest convenience. Sincerely, Fresh Out Of College And Eager To Go To Work.

May 21 2013 at 2:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
realrambo

Did you notice they no longer use their name to write an article but hide behind ana - cro - nism .
ana =
cro =
nism =

May 21 2013 at 1:12 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
realrambo

May be we should also pay these employer the same way , for instance your insurance premium from $ 4000.00 a year to become $ 40. or mortgage from $3500 to become $ 35
Hey I tweet the nation out of the recession .
If an employer is not interested in reading a resume , will they ever listen to your opinion , clearly no . It is the basic of communication . Stay away .....
If it look like a rat , smell like a rat , eat like a rat , squeak like a rat , it is a rat .
Sound like AIG'S CEO......

May 21 2013 at 1:08 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
hswremann

This one "Quadruple-check your grammar, punctuation and spelling" That goes for the Employers or HR department or a recruiter for a company ,as well If someone from their company doesn't know how
to spell or use spell check on their computer and use proper grammar says a lot about the company as well .( Or if a Job posting is miss spelled it maybe a sign of a Phishing or Job Scam looking for someone to Inadvertently give out their personal Information when seeking a job so BEWARE ) First impressions are a lasting impression that is for sure .

May 21 2013 at 12:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pistolpete58

the only problem with this is interviewing etiquette 101
which nobody has these days

May 21 2013 at 12:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
toddisit

Twitter resume, still $9 an hour jobs, more demands, same pay!

May 21 2013 at 12:04 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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