How To … Present Yourself Professionally (on a budget), Part II

Kara Hisatake's picture

By Kara Hisatake and Katie Trostel

(H-Net is receiving no compensation for reviewing the tools and platforms featured in the blogpost below).

How to Present Yourself Professionally (on a budget), Part II

Building an Online Presence: Personal Websites, LinkedIn, Twitter …

WordPress:

Both Kara and Katie elected to build their own, personal websites that highlight their scholarship and research interests using WordPress. This platform also allows for links to various other social media and professional platforms, including LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram. WordPress lets you to display your CV in a more dynamic manner. For example, you could provide direct links to the conference presentations you gave, URLs to video, examples of digital works in progress, links to articles or other types of writing / volunteering / beyond-the-academy activities that you participate in.

Example: You can connect your website directly to your Twitter feed. Buttons at the bottom of each of your site’s pages can connect the visitor directly to other social media and professional platforms.

 
Example: Display a wide-variety of your work
 
 

Twitter, Instagram …

Katie and Kara were both surprised by the network of scholars and authors available to them via Twitter and other social media platforms. By “tweeting” about their work, or virtually interacting with other conference goers at academic events, they were able to connect and “follow” contemporary authors and scholars directly relevant to their research. For example, because Katie studies contemporary Latin American writing, it became very simple to know when an author she is working on publishes a new novel or poetry collection - they often announce this news on Twitter! And of course, Twitter remains one of the most up-to-date sources of news and information available.

Facebook

Facebook can be tricky. You have to decide for yourself how you want to use your Facebook account--keep it personal and keep academia out of it, dive into the academic side of Facebook, or some combination of the two. Of course, always be careful of what information you share and monitor your privacy settings.

In case you are thinking about it, here’s how Facebook can be useful:

  • It can connect you to people and information you might otherwise not know about. Like Twitter, many academic journals have Facebook pages and might send out CFPs that can pop up on your feed. You can also make friends with people you meet while working on a journal article and academic conferences (i.e., academic friends!), or in our case for literary studies, make friends with artists and authors.
  • Facebook groups can also be helpful in navigating teaching or being a person of color in a white-dominated profession. There are several Facebook groups that serve as alternative systems of support.
  • You can create Facebook groups for your own gathering of graduate students in a specific field and share articles, drafts, or start conversations. Facebook makes it so easy to participate when academic universities means that people are physically distant.

LinkedIn, Academia.edu

Academia.edu, of course, is extremely useful for keeping up with the work of scholars in your field. You can bookmark their work or even download the articles, chapters, syllabi, or other publications of interest that they decide to upload. Regardless of the debate (see below), the site remains a useful tool, as sometimes scholars will upload their work, such as a chapter from an edited collection, that you could download when it might take you much more time to find the chapter physically at the library.

Do you use either of these platforms to highlight your scholarly work? Do you maintain two kinds of profiles - one with a more traditional academic / CV approach, and another with a resume style, beyond-the-academy angle? What do you think about the recent discussions regarding academia.edu?

… If you’re unfamiliar with the controversy, you can read about the issue here: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/02/01/deleteacademiaedu-controversy-debates-role-...

https://www.forbes.com/sites/drsarahbond/2017/01/23/dear-scholars-delete-your-account-at-a...

Connecting the Dots

At the end, remember to connect all parts of your web presence. Link your website with your LinkedIn, Academia.edu, Twitter, and more. Use a professional headshot and use the same photo for all your accounts, so that you become instantly recognizable. Keep it updated.

You’ll know it’s working because you’ll see that people are accessing your LinkedIn, Academia.edu, or Wordpress pages! For example, see one of the many emails Kara receives below, notifying her that she’s being searched. Some might find your page because they looked you up at a conference. Others might see a tweet and then look you up further--there’s lots of potential to introduce people to yourself and the kind of work that you do.

What other kinds of platforms do you use to share your scholarship?

Email us, (editorial-grad@mail.h-net.msu.edu) or join in the conversation on Twitter (@hgradlist).


 

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