Earlier this week, I read Pamela Slim’s Body Of Work. The text comes at a perfect time, as my students are currently working on their Visual Resumes. As opposed to creating a visual resume, in the future, Professional Communication and Presentation students will work on a Professional Persona Project which will expand on the Visual Resume using Nancy Duarte’s Resonate and Slim’s amazing book. My review of Slim’s text will appear on Creating Communication next week, but until then, I wanted to share my “Body of Work” with all of you. While my path certainly won’t work for everyone, it is one example of how you can create the identity you want online.
As many of you know, I deactivated my Facebook account years ago, and I no longer use Twitter. I find most social media to be superficial and petty, and I would waste hours each day distracting myself from more important things. Since deleting my Facebook, I found I had ample time to dedicate to reading, writing, keeping up my blog, and creating my body of work online.
First, I joined a few networking sites that did contribute to my body of work: LinkedIn and Slideshare. I find that LinkedIn is a good social media website that promotes me, my work, and my brand in a positive, professional way. Slideshare connects me with some of the presentation pioneers in my field and allows me to share my presentations with others.
After joining the social media sites that worked best for my goals as a professional, I spent four months creating my visual resume. I uploaded this to both LinkedIn and Slideshare and included a copy on my blog.
Next, I made a commitment to consistently posting on Creating Communication. While I’m certainly not the best blogger in the world, what I do here allows me to read and research; to push myself to gain additional knowledge in my field; and to share my passion for communication and presentation with others.
Finally, over my 2013 holiday break, I created my online teaching portfolio. This website includes my story, teaching philosophy, a visual version of my teaching philosophy, CV, and work from my campus and online classes. When applying for teaching jobs, I will put a link to this on every cover letter and resume I send out, and prospective colleges can get a clear picture of who I am and what I do.
Now, after three years of careful and diligent work, when you Google “Alex Rister,” you can see my body of work as I’ve designed and shared it with others. Though I am far from finished, I am proud of what I’ve accomplished so far.
How did you establish your body of work online? What tips would you give students just getting started? What advice would you give people like me who are a few years into their careers?