This weekend I went back to my CV for the first time in a year and a half, condensing it down from nine pages into two pages for a particular application. Any work on it is always a strange and alienating experience. As Barbara Ehrenreich has put it, CVs “should have an odd, disembodied tone, as if [your] life had been lived by some invisible Other” (pg 28). This is even more the case when it comes to condensing what you have done. Selecting some things to make the cut while abandoning others in a process that abstracts even further from why you did these things and what they meant to you. A CV is a uniquely alienated and alienating form of life writing.

It once more made me think about how social media can function as a living CV, documenting the qualities which structure and convention obscure in the formal document. It provides background and context, reconstructing the lived engagements which are lost when they are reduced to a single item in a last. The ensuing living CV isn’t a document which can be scanned in one go, hence the problem when it is treated like this and superficial judgements of someone’s recent posts stand in for a sustained engagement with their online activity. But there’s something interesting here about how we represent ourselves in professional settings, as well as how others interpret those representations.

These are the four options I’ve suggested in my chapter on this:

  1. Listing blog posts as individual publications under a specific subheading of your publications list e.g. giving ‘blog posts’ the same status as ‘conference presentations’ or ‘book reviews’. This might be most suitable for people who primarily submit guest posts to other websites.
  2. Listing your blog itself as a form of professional service, alongside reviewing positions and study group positions (etc). This probably necessitates that your blog actually does provide a service though.
  3. Listing your blog or blog posts under a section on ‘media and impact’, framing it as a tool used for disseminating your research findings and connecting to broader and non-specialised audiences outside the academy.
  4. Listing your blogging under hobbies & interests if you have such a section on your CV (which I’m guessing most people probably won’t).

Has anyone seen any other ways in which blogging can be incorporated into a CV? In the chapter I’ve focused on the strengths and weaknesses attached to each of these strategies – I found it quite interesting to think through because it helps disaggregate the category of ‘academic blogging’ and highlights the different uses which can be made of blogs by academics. In my current CV I’ve listed blogging under ‘media and impact’ – I haven’t updated my CV properly for far too long though and I might change this when I do. Perhaps I’ll use a subheading in my publications list but only a representative sample of the longer posts that are more like working papers than most of what I write online e.g. I obviously wouldn’t include a 280 word post like the one I’m writing at present in the publications list.