Right, chaps.

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…?



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5 responses to “Thoughts…

  1. Lucy

    I’ve voted for “don’t do anything”. By all means start compiling a medical writing portfolio. But I’m of the rather cynical view that if an employer wants you then they’ll want you regardless and if they don’t then even a particularly snazzy internet presence won’t change that.

  2. Flix

    I’m all for making fresh starts. The problem is that they come with such expectation and the idea of starting a new blog for a purpose could very well come across as contrived. I vote for, write more, in general. Use this as your experimental space so it doesn’t matter so much if no-one sees it or it gathers no interest.

    Having said that, I just searched your full name and I had no problem in finding an easily accessible link to this page, if I so wished to find it.

  3. Jenny

    I would like to write more. I suppose perhaps there’s a middle way, in which I make this blog no more searchable (I tried to find it by Googling myself and got nowhere…!!) but to try to write more often?

    I see what you’re saying about ‘snazzy internet presence’, Lucy, but equally without actually throwing a link or two into my CV (definitely *not* part of the plan!) it would nonetheless be great if potential employers Googling me found positive things that contribute to them wanting to find out more about me, rather than either completely embarrassing things (I’m sure a search of the depths of facebook could be pretty terrible if my profile wasn’t as private as I know how to make it) or things that just make them go ‘meh’?

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