Nowadays, most people know a friend or relative who's been laid off, or "downsized," from a job. It might even have happened to you. In today's job market, people of all backgrounds and experience levels have faced the frightening prospect of unemployment. With national unemployment hovering around 10 percent, it can take months, or even years, to find satisfying full-time work.
The slog to full employment can be tough to go through alone. That's why one local human resources professional known on Twitter as @HRMargo
started a movement called #HireFriday, which in a few short months has gone international with a focus on job seekers.
The woman behind the avatar is Margo Rose, a Hyde Park human resources professional who runs her own HR consulting business. She started #HireFriday
in February 2010, as a spinoff on the popular #FollowFriday Twitter trend where each week Twitter users recommend other users to follow to get interesting content.
She began #HireFriday by tweeting the names and qualifications of friends who were looking for jobs. Many of the 5,700 people who follow Rose on Twitter are Human Resources and recruiting professionals, which put those friends in front of the very people who could help them find new jobs. That #HireFriday tag allows those specifically looking to hire to find all potential applicants in together on Twitter.
"I tweeted instead of #FollowFriday let's do #HireFriday, and put America back to work," Rose said.
Anyone looking for work can be part of HireFriday on Twitter. On her blog
, Rose asks job seekers to type the #HireFriday in their tweet, along with a link to a resume or LinkedIn profile. Margo and other #HireFriday users then will retweet that profile, potentially getting the person's professional profile out to thousands of people in a position to hire.
"If the tweet goes viral, it has the potential to get out to 40,000 to 50,000 people," Rose said. "It can really amplify a job search."
Rose estimates she has retweeted 50,000 times since she began #HireFriday. She personally knows of several dozen people who have gotten jobs by connecting through the Twitter stream.
"In fact, I know two new people who have gotten jobs just this week," Rose said.
The #HireFriday phenomenon has recently gone worldwide. There are autonomous movements in England, Canada, France and Switzerland, Rose said.
#HireFriday continues to grow because it focuses on people, not jobs, Rose believes.
"Our stream focuses on people, and isn't just another spammy job site. People tend to shy away from those because they believe they are relevant," she said.
#HireFriday has developed into a community, and includes an interactive LinkedIn
"This (LinkedIn) group is really an active, boots-on-the-ground group of people. They offer tweet critiques and advice on loading (online) resumes with key words. The Facebook group offers career advice," Margo said.
#HireFriday's focus on people and community is an effort to support those looking for jobs, and perhaps shake them out of their comfort zone by finding a new way to reach potential employers, Rose said.
"People get very weary in job hunting, especially if they have been out of a job for a year or more it's very discouraging. I really think #HireFriday can help," she said.
Writer: Feoshia Henderson
Source: Margo Rose, founder #HireFriday
You can follow Feoshia on twitter @feoshiawrites