ATLANTA -- Lauren Smith has been out of work since December, when her non-profit employer lost federal funding and had to downsize. But she hopes to find a human resources job in the private sector, using her masters degree in HR management and TweetMyJobs -- a new online service that aggregates and communicates employment opportunities using social media.
"I love Twitter, and I want to use that as a tool to find jobs," Smith said. "It's very easy and you get tweets saying that this job is available."
In January, Atlanta became the first city to sign up for the service. Mayor Kasim Reed hopes to use it to reduce the city's unemployment rate, which was 10.6 percent in December.
"There are more than 87,000 job openings in the metro area," Reed said. "I want people to know what those job openings are and how to access them. And I want them to be able to do it in a convenient format."
Thursday evening, Newark, New Jersey, which had a 13.9 percent unemployment rate in December, announced a similar partnership with TweetMyJobs -- becoming the second municipality to sign up for the platform.
"One of my favorite elements of it is the ability to use your Facebook network as a reference base for job positions," said Newark Mayor Cory Booker. "You can find out who among your Facebook friends -- the average person has hundreds -- are working for companies that you might be interested in. And therefore you can do what is one of the most powerful ways to get a job -- use a reference from someone who is already an employee."
TweetMyJobs offers a free mobile application. Using a GPS-enabled smartphone, users can walk down a sidewalk and see job openings appear on a map or video of surrounding buildings.
"It's kind of replacing the 'help wanted' in the window signs," said Robin Richards, CEO of TweetMyJobs.
According to Richards, the service levels the playing field for job applicants.
"Not everybody has a beautiful computer sitting on their desk," he said. "Pretty much everybody has a smartphone."