From the Archives: Getting a job 2.0

Aug 12 2009 Published by under academia, blogging, librarianship, social media, web 2.0

During my summer blogging break, I thought I'd repost of few of my "greatest hits" from my old blog, just so you all wouldn't miss me so much. This one is from October 10, 2008. It provoked a bit of angst out in the library student blogosphere, which is kinda what I was hoping.


It's interesting times in the world out there.

And not surprisingly, the world of the internet is thinking about the implications. One of the big implications is that it's going to be harder to get a job, and that's going to be true librarians as much as anyone else.

As it happens, I've been collecting some links on my FriendFeed lately that talk about getting yourself ready to find a job. (Not that I'm looking for a job myself, more from the point of view of someone who is occasionally on search committees.) How to prepare a CV, how to improve your online repuation, etc.

Robert Scoble's So, you need a job? Man, do resumes suck which has a lot of pointers for how to make your resume and job application stick out. The comments are great too. I'm including some of the main points, please read the whole very fine post for the details:

So, now how do you get into the final two or three pile which is what will earn you an interview? You need to stand out from the crowd somehow. Here's some ways to do that.

1. Blog. ... Make sure your blog's content matches the job you are applying for, though. If someone had a blog showing how to be a better administrative assistant you can bet that I'd read every word.

2. Include a customized video that demonstrates your skills and personality.

3. Demonstrate you did some research on us.

4. Make sure you write for a human, but include tags and things for electronic scanners too.

5. Don't just apply for the job, apply for the career.

6. Demonstrate that you'd be fun to have around.

7. Make sure your email[/cover letter] is perfect in every way.

Next up is Shannon Paul's Six Steps to Resume 2.0, which are also great suggestions. Here's his conclusion -- and since most libraries are at least trying to integrate social media into our offerings I think it's very relevant for looking for a library job:

My thinking is that if you want to work with social media for a living, showing and teaching others about your involvement will mean a lot more than another bullet point outlining your accomplishments. Waiting for everyone else to "get it" won't work.

What are some other ways we can build bridges for the uninitiated? Can you think of other ways to start tweaking your resume for Web 2.0?

Finally, Dave McClure's The 4 Things You Really Need: LinkedIn, Blog, Keywords, Social Media. These are great ideas, perhaps a bit too out there for the staid world of academia, but I assure you any one or two of these would make you absolutely stand out from most of the other applicants. The main ideas, with details in the post:

1) get a LinkedIn profile, and pimp it out -- HARD.

2) write a regular blog


3) ABSOLUTELY DOMINATE selected keywords (the ones that matter to you or others).

4) create notable online social media ( video, pictures, presentations, etc) relevant to your line of work and link [to] them / embed them on your blog, your LinkedIn profile, and other online sites.

Just today I got an email from someone who was asking about career opportunities in science librarianship. One of the great things about having a blog is that you do get these "out of the blue" questions, where people ask your advice and I think it's a privilege to be able to reach out and hopefully help someone. This is what I told her:

Also, in terms of making yourself more marketable, I would really try and get a solid online professional presence for yourself. It doesn't have to be a blog, but you really need to show that you're aware and interested in the new stuff that's happening. Nature Network, FriendFeed, LinkedIn and others are really valuable places to build your reputation.

And that's essentially the same advice I would give to anyone, particularly new graduates who might not have a lot on their resume yet. Any advantage you can give yourself is an edge. I've been on numerous search committees at my institution and it's always odd to see someone applying for a job in the 21st century for a technology focused job in a technologically focused profession who has no structured, consistent online presence. I want to know who you are, what you've done and what you think and even what other people think about you -- make it easier for me. Blow me away.

3 responses so far

  • Gray Gaffer says:

    Linked In. And PIMP IT! My current dream job - they found me on Linked In.

  • Nikhil Vaswani says:

    Great tips and very nicely written! Social networking will soon become the most effective way of building your professional career and creating a personal brand. However, one will have to invest time in learning the effectiveness of these sites and ways to use them properly.

    By the way, I am new to LinkedIn too and have found this resource quite useful. It is a new book called "How to REALLY use LinkedIn" by networking expert Jan Vermeiren. Check it out, you can find a free lite version at

  • hiphop says:

    McCulloch accuses Steig et al. of appropriating his ‘finding’ that Steig et al. did not account for autocorrelation when calculating the significance of trends. While the published version of the paper didn’t include such a correction, it is obvious that the authors were aware of the need to do so, since in the text of the paper it is stated that this correction was made. The corrected calculations were done using well-known methods, the details of which are available in myriad statistics textbooks and journal articles. There can therefore be no claim on Dr. McCulloch’s part of any originality either for the idea of making such a correction, nor for the methods for doing so, all of which were discussed in the original paper. Had Dr. McCulloch been the first person to make Steig et al. aware of the error in the paper, or had he written directly to Nature at any time prior to the submission of the Corrigendum, it would have been appropriate to acknowledge him and the authors would have been happy to do so. Lest there be any confusion about this, we note that, as discussed in the Corrigendum, the error has no impact on the main conclusions in the paper.

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