Monday, September 12, 2005

How blogging might harm your job prospects

An article in The Chronicle oh Higher Education on the downside of blogging produced a lot of criticism and another article by the initial author (who uses a pseudonym, Tribble). The author gets into the issue of googling of job candidates, and dismisses the issue of false positives. When I was in science, a certain person benefitted mightily in science citations by virtue of a more prolific author of the same name. At least two institutions (one a major university in Canada) never caught on. So when Tribble says his committee had "no trouble", I would be a little skeptical. People can easily say "no trouble" when they are not aware of the problem. Remember Jan-Hendrik Schon?

from Tribble:

The title I settled on ("Bloggers Need Not Apply") was attention-grabbing and hyperbolic, as were some blogs' subsequent calls for my head, I assume. But of course our committee didn't use blogs as a disqualifier, as my column made clear. Lots of bloggers still misread that and assumed we had.

I stated that several committee members had reservations about hiring a blogger, which many respondents dismissed as irrational. I can't speak for every committee member's reasons, or every blogger's good judgment.

Another issue that emerged is whether it's acceptable for search committees to Google job candidates. My guess is that that practice will become commonplace, as the Internet is more integrated into our professional lives. We all share the same electronic atmosphere. Kirschenbaum and his respondents seemed to want more, rather than less, use of the Internet in the hiring process.

A number of respondents worried they could be mistaken for an unhirable doppelganger on the Web. I can't speak for every committee, but ours had no trouble distinguishing our candidates from the semi-pro hockey players, quilt-store owners, marathon runners, and grade schoolers that Google turned up.


Post a Comment

<< Home