As you probably know by now I am launching a post-ac branch of The Professor Is In, dedicated to advice and information for people seeking jobs outside the academy. I’ll be posting 2 post-ac posts written by my team of experts early in the week, and maintaining my usual academic-job-market post schedule on Fridays.
Most Fridays I’m going to be re-posting posts from the past 3 years that are relevant to the season of the job market cycle.
But today*, I want to pass along one piece of information that I learned while at the MLA meeting, where I spent time hanging out at the Chronicle Vitae booth. I am a regular columnist at Vitae, where I do a weekly advice column. Need job market advice? Please put it in the comment thread right here on this post, and you’ll see the answer up on Vitae very, very soon. (Please help—I really need questions for the column!)
Anyway, I like Vitae because it hosts some amazing news and advice by columnists like Rebecca Schuman, Sarah Kendzior, Josh Boldt, William Pannapacker, Joe Fruscione, and many others too numerous to mention.
However, it was at the MLA that I learned the most important thing that Vitae does for you, the job seeker: it hosts a completely free dossier service.
Yes, you can use Vitae as a replacement for Interfolio, and it’s free.
I hate Interfolio and said that in this blog post. I should clarify, I don’t hate Interfolio per se, so much as I hate what it represents: more professors who do even less to assist their graduate students, more professors too lazy to even write original tailored letters for each job to which they apply. I don’t approve.
But the evil of dossier services exists, and if you must participate in it, well, Vitae is free.
Vitae has other capacities that also allow you to host your CV and publications and so on, making it also a replacement for academia.edu (about which I have no feelings of any kind positive or negative). Vitae is, I think, more multi-media friendly than academia.edu, and can host a range of content, including videos of your teaching, for example, more easily or at least in a more accessible and visually appealing way. And it allows for social networking in a way reminiscent of LinkedIn, but less weird and alienating than LinkedIn.
I want to be clear: I am paid to write the advice column for Vitae, but I am not getting paid to promote Vitae. I was never asked by anyone at the Chronicle at any time to promote Vitae in a blog post, and I never intended to do so.
However, sitting at the Vitae booth at MLA and eavesdropping on the information they were sharing about the free dossier service and Vitae’s other capacities (which I want to say to Vitae designers and promoters: you haven’t done a very good job of communicating to the public!!) I was impressed. And because the cost of applying for jobs is one of the scandals of the job market as it’s currently constituted, I want to encourage everyone to check out Vitae and its free dossier service.
*OK, so technically I missed Friday this week. I was BUSY what with making chocolate-covered bacon rose bouquets for the family, and baking gluten free pumpkin bread for the high school teachers Valentine’s Day breakfast. What can I say?