Will Blog for Food

In his post, “A New chapter for our Unwinders Management Book – Evaluating Candidates from their Internet Profile”, Will Manley raises some compelling questions regarding jobseekers on social media sites and blogs. Hiring managers are sure to perceive elements of a candidate’s public profile differently. Some, as Will suggests, may attribute varying degrees of conceit, narcissism, or calculation to a candidate’s activity on social media sites and as a blogger.

What Will wants to gauge is how people in Libraryland consider or would consider candidates’ social profiles when scouting resumes. Do you weigh social profiles heavily, lightly, or not at all? Given the opportunity, I would incorporate all available elements of social profiles into my evaluation of the candidate. And why not? Depending upon the information not veiled by privacy settings, a cursory look at a Facebook page or tweet compilation may expose character flaws or suggest endearing traits. What a candidate makes available for public viewing may also indicate her familiarity with social profiles and her ability to manipulate privacy settings, knowledge that all new reference and programming librarians should probably have.

More to the point, I’ve been thinking lately about recruiting practices in situations where new LIS graduates are competing with experienced librarians for jobs. The rookie librarian may have the experience of internship or volunteering or may have no practical library experience at all. She has her MLS, her relevant work experience and tech skills, and her vision. But vision isn’t tangible and won’t be much help to a discriminating department head or hiring manager. Unless, of course, she lays it out in writing–on a blog.

Narcissistic? Ego-driven? Some tenured LIS bloggers may certainly exhibit those traits in their writing. After all, many use the blog as an engine for professional critique–to share opinions. But when it comes to rookie librarians, I can tell you from experience that Joe Jobseeker’s ego classification rates somewhere between Beta and Omega male. Again, different hiring managers and HR people will perceive each person’s cloud profile differently. Still, most job hunting “tips” lists suggest the inexperienced jobseeker be involved daily in professional discourse, whether advocating on social media sites, commenting on blogs and LinkedIn discussions, or writing a professional blog. Some, like me, write LIS blogs because they want to. They feel compelled to do it. It’s no strike against Judy Jobseeker that she blogs and Nings to exhibit some professional participation. She is calculating only insomuch as she is doing what she was told to do to aid her prospects. Given this, I have to think that the consensus sentiment among hiring managers regarding new librarians with book review blogs or LIS blogs is one of encouragement or, at least, cautious acceptance.

Thoughts on neophytes in the Libraryland job market? We’re always listening. Please share.

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About Steven V. Kaszynski
librarian, editor, contributor

One Response to Will Blog for Food

  1. Paul says:

    I don’t really get why anybody would just assume a blogger is an ego maniac. It’s like you said. All the job placement people tell us to write blogs and use Facebook and Twitter. Don’t even talk about Myspace which is total rot anyway. If I was trying to hire someone for a library job I would want to look at his blog to see if they had a brain or if he was just writing about his favorite cookies.

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