Virtual Job Seekers and Electronic Front Porches
A Conversation from Both Sides of the Hiring Process
Clearly this notion of front porch raises significant implications for the job seeker and prospective colleagues. Surely someone will ask: "It's hard enough to be a good academic citizen, corporate mover, social activist (or all three, increasingly) and now you want us to code webpages?" Perhaps in the future, HTML editors will be more proficient than FrontPage, PageMill and similar bloatware. But now, we might as well conclude, "yes." Visibility in the job hunt requires a presence in the hall of mirrors. That presence is fleeting - a phone call here, a rushed interview WAY out there. . . To fix our identities, to store them and shape them, we must simulate them in some way. We can't be in more than one place at once - not yet anyway. So, we end where we began, sitting on our mythical front porch and sipping some lemonade. It appears that both of us, recent hire and recent survivor of the hiring process, find value in the construction of online personae, if only because they appear to be inevitable. We want to enjoy that illusion of control - even more so, of course, when we on the job hunt. In that way, we both can meet on our virtual front porches and get to know each other a little better.
[Legal and Political Dimensions]
Dr. Andrew Wood and Dr. Stephanie Coopman - last updated April 13, 1999