Get A Job Faster

The defining characteristic of the Great Recession, and the Great Depression before it, is joblessness. U.S. unemployment stood at 9.8% in September, the highest in 26 years, as the economic downturn has eliminated an estimated 7.2 million jobs, The Associated Press reports.

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Nervous, credit-checking employers aren’t helping those numbers. But Americans are still finding jobs. First-time jobless claims last month fell to their lowest level since January, according to government data. Twitter, the billion-dollar social-media sensation, could be helping.

“Twitter is to Craigslist in 2009 what Craigslist was to classifieds in 1999,” says Shel Israel, author of Twitterville: How Businesses Can Thrive in the New Global Neighborhoods.

In the book, Israel describes how faceless corporations have built relationships with customers using the microblogging service. And relationships can lead to job offers and an improvement in one’s personal finance.

In one case he cites, analyst firm Redmonk hired a fourth analyst via Twitter. In another, Israel profiles how food services firm Sodexo uses Twitter as a recruiting tool. Social media — and Twitter, in particular — is the new mixer for the out-of-work club.?TwitterJobSearch.com says that more than 319,000 jobs have been posted to its site over the past 30 days. A map of job-related tweets that the site tracks shows most offers originating in Europe, and almost none from South America.

Related sites include TweetMyJobs.com, a job board that operates on Twitter, and @microjobs, a Twitter bot that allows recruiters to post jobs through its feed. (Tweet a reply to @microjobs to post a listing.)

Recruiters aren’t likely to be surprised by these numbers. A recent study from researcher Jobvite found Twitter to be the third-most popular social network for recruiting. (LinkedIn was the most popular; Facebook was second.)

Remnants of The Great Recession is still here, and it’s still taking jobs from Americans. But for those searching, the tools for finding employment have never been richer or more widely available. You can thank Twitter for that, and you can thank your personal finance software for providing the information on your past income and other data you need to get the very best job offer.

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