A propos the discussion of CVs for academics going on the job market, I’ve been meaning to post about the importance of having some Web presence, especially a homepage one maintains with information about one’s work.
I’ve been continually surprised over the years about how many academics fail to take advantage of the Web as a medium for disseminating their work. This seems especially important in the case of those actively seeking a job in the near future.
Whenever I go to a conference, I’m on the lookout for students doing interesting work. Recently, I saw a few impressive presentations and wanted to follow up by learning more about these students. I know we’ll be hiring next year and I wanted to share information about these potential candidates with my colleagues. I looked them up online so I’d have more to go on. Nothing. This is an opportunity missed.
What should a basic homepage include? It should have information that a CV would contain, but the nice thing about a Web site is that it can easily include additional information. In the least, abstracts of published papers would be helpful. Of course, most helpful is to have full copies of these papers. While copyright issues may arise, preprints are almost always okay to post.
Although I don’t encourage students to post too many details about papers not yet accepted for publication, it is possible to mention one’s areas of interests and expertise and that will give visitors a better sense of one’s work than no information whatsoever.