February 19, 2009

If you don't have a blog you don't have a resume (Part 3)

Yes, I know, I only planned two parts to this series but I have to admit that it's something that really interests me and I'm passionate about and I do keep finding more interesting posts to highlight. In that spirit, I hearby declare this series open-ended.

Once again, as Daniel Lemire so aptly puts it, Blogging is really part of our day jobs!:

I decided to copy Daniel Tunkelang’s idea and maintain a list of some people who read my blog. This is not meant to be an ego-boosting or name-dropping project. My goal is to prove that blogging is a serious business. Blogging is part of my day job! Indeed, this list proves that professional networking results from my blog.

Don't worry, I'm not tempted to start a similar list for this blog. But it you want to unlurk or declare yourself a scitech liblog reader, feel free to do so in the comments.

And speaking of students, I believe that blogging has a lot of benefits for building reputation at the very outset of a career, as it can really help to distinguish one candidate from another. In other words: Blogs as E-portfolios: Better for the Students, Cheaper for the .edu.
The original idea of an e-portfolio was to help students keep a record of the work they did. This was intended to help them learn and show progress (the faculty and institution value) and get a job (the student's value). While there is some tension between the faculty and the students with their respective values, both are good simple goals.

Companies were set up to build technology to facilitate this collection and distribution of information, but times changed and new methods have become clear, easier, more effective, and cheaper.

Blogs are a much better way to go.

A simple rule of thumb: it's not an e-portfolio if Google can't find it. (emphasis added)

There's lots of good stuff about the benefits of blogging for students as well as some discussion of possible drawbacks.

When it all comes down to it, this is all really about something called a Personal Marketing Plan. From an academia point of view, putting it that way can seem a bit crass and distasteful. On the other hand, it's also a reality that academia is about reputation and reputation management. And that's what marketing is about too.
Some think marketing yourself is what you do when you need a new job, but in fact that’s not the case at all - it’s actually about having a voice in our industry, creating a name and reputation for yourself, and shaping the future. Also, there is a symbiotic relationship between any company you work for and your personal brand. Smart companies embrace this behavior because they understand the value in nurturing talent. Ideally, all parties win.

Take on marketing yourself as your personal challenge and an ongoing project with no end date. If you were an interior designer, would you hire someone else to furnish your house? I doubt it, what would that say about your skills as a designer? An interior designer’s proudest work should be their own interior, just as you should be your own personal case study of success.

This post is generally excellent and I think well worth reading in its entirety and I think the final point is a very powerful one:
The real trick isn’t to make it about you

Here’s a hint: market others, share their content, put them in the spotlight - don’t even worry about directly promoting yourself. The smartest way to market yourself is actually to make it not about you.

It's our passion for our profession that builds our reputation, not the other way around.


Anonymous said...

Hey John - I read your blog!

And, as a librarian, you'll appreciate the self organizing nature of blogs.

The more students write, the easier it will be for them to find each other as they learn.

It could just be google, (search my school + my interest topic) or it could be RSS feeds into tag clouds that the school could present on their website.

And yes, it's great for jobs when they are ready.

Thanks for the link : )

Kevin Prentiss

John Dupuis said...

Thanks and you're welcome.

And as I guess you've noticed, librarians are all over the blogosphere!

Anonymous said...

Well, if you ever do start such a list, I read you!