If you search for the term “personal assistant” on Twitter, you usually find one of three things: people complaining about how busy they are and wishing they had an assistant, people complaining about being unemployed and saying they’d love to get a job as a personal assistant, and people tweeting at celebrities, offering to work for them.
Stephen Mayes (@stephenmmayes) of Idaho Falls, Idaho, fits into the latter category. He routinely tweets at celebrities like Lady Gaga and Kristen Stewart, offering up his services as an assistant. In addition to running a movie blog called The Getting Spot, he purports to be a social media expert and notes on his Twitter bio: “Get to know me I am cool!” A dad of three who was laid off his job as a medical records clerk nearly two years ago, he dreams of a job that’s interesting and glamorous. “It would offer a better opportunity to travel and meet other people,” he told The Observer, “and maybe a better income than what I would have living in Idaho.” So far, none of the celebrities has taken Mr. Mayes up on his offer.
But he is far from the only person who has tried to hit up their favorite star for a job using social media. Twitter user @alxvergara lays it out there in his own bio, explaining, “I’m not playing the hand I was dealt, I’m chasing my dreams.” His strategy for chasing those dreams involves tweeting at football player and reality star Chad Ochocinco, touting his skills as a bodyguard, assistant, and Spanish translator in exchange for a mere retweet or follow.
Twitter user Lorin Dufresne (@lorinnx13) decided that she wanted to be a celebrity assistant and just started tweeting at as many country singers as she could think of. Although her efforts have yet to yield a job offer, Ms. Dufresne remains undeterred, continuing her Twitter campaign. In April, she targeted Chuck Wicks, asking if he’d tweet at her as a birthday gift. (He didn’t.) Then she upped the ante, proposing marriage. So far, no response.
Twitter creates the illusion of closeness between celebrity and fan-if you can find out what Alyssa Milano is eating for dinner or what Neil Patrick Harris is watching on TV, then why can’t you also ask them if they have any job openings on their staff? And for people who have no other knowledge about the entertainment industry or how to break into it, tweeting at a famous person seems much less risky than, say, moving to LA without any contacts.
Although Twitter has made a few fan wishes come true (most seem to involve Diddy), it tends not to work well for landing assistant jobs. For one reason, most celebrities hire their assistants through private staffing agencies, and often they request candidates who are not fans of their work in order to keep the relationship more boss/assistant and less star/fan.
Finally, while a few celebrities actually run their own social media accounts, many delegate an employee to tweet on their behalf-often, a personal assistant. And odds are good that an assistant who updates the boss’ Twitter account won’t actively reach out to people offering to replace him or her at work.
Lilit Marcus is the editor in chief of Crushable.