I just read a few articles about Excitingly Maverick Tips and Tricks to help you Get A Job. I hope you can sense the dripping sarcasm – I tend to feel that when there are thousands of us graduates clogging up the job market, no-one’s approach is likely to be ‘innovative’, if only because several hundred other graduates across the country have probably had the same scintillatingly new idea, and things that are getting written into articles about how to get a job are almost certainly ideas that, whilst not being what your parents are advising you to do (nothing wrong with parental career tips, but…), have gained a certain level of establishment.
For example: use your online presence. The obvious bit of that is make your facebook private. There’s nothing embarrassing on my facebook to the best of my knowledge, but all the same I don’t particularly want any employer to know what I was like when I was seventeen (the answer is eyeliner and alcopops in case you were wondering).
The less obvious bit is ‘what do you let them find’? For example, blogs. If I’m going for jobs in medical writing, I ought to be able to demonstrate that I can write. Or at least edit. So I can tell them about the publishers and journals I’ve worked for and they can either recognise the names I’m listing, or go and look up the journals in question, and be quite reassured – and that tells them that I’m good at dealing in academic English. What that doesn’t tell them is whether I can only write and edit within those parameters, or whether I have some other tricks up my sleeve (medical writing covers all kinds of interesting bases).
I’m almost beginning to wonder if it’s time I tidied up this blog, and then put my name to it. So that if some day someone Googles me, they find me here, among other things, and realise that this is a perfectly edited, hilariously written, pleasingly styled wonder of a site which is in fact everything they want to see from someone they want to employ.
Better still, perhaps it’s tiem for a new blog (where I don’t let things like ‘tiem’, ‘hte’ or ‘becuase’ slide), regularly updated, full of bits and pieces I read in the news and then comment on myself (or shamelessly bowdlerise from Ben Goldacre if I’m feeling like going for that ‘maverick’ edge…), to dazzling effect.
Or maybe I just stick with the ‘traditional’ approach: tell them I am brilliant at everything, give a few examples within the text of my CV, and hope they don’t think that ‘evidence-based’ is a meaningful concept in any context other than the scientific…?