Marketing Your Skills - Getting that promotion: the role of Web 2.0

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

With only 17 days to go until the start of the BIALL Conference. The BIALL Blogger got the lowdown from Nicola Franklin of Sue Hill Recruitment about her Conference Session and some of the weirdest things people have put on their CV's.

BB - Nicola your session is called Marketing Your Skills - Getting That Promotion : the Role of Web 2.0. How important is it for Law Librarians to use Web 2.0 tools?

NF - I think that the rise of interactivity, as opposed to static web content, is a great opportunity for Law Librarians to demonstrate their vital role both within their firms and to the wider legal community. The overload of information that is available to lawyers and the ease of searching the free web and finding (and relying on) un-validated information are both prime examples of where Law Librarian's skills could save precious time and also achieve a better quality result for their users.

Web 2.0 gives the chance for Law Librarians to be a part of the onversations happening online, whether through LinkedIn discussion groups, Twitter, legal blogs or other means. For example, a quick search comes up with over 80 UK based blogs by or about law and lawyers - that's a lot of conversations going on out there that librarians could be contributing to via comments or links from their own blogs. Being seen to have access to information, to have something to add to the discussion, to be contributing is a great way to build credibility and reputation.

BB - The job market isn't great at the moment because of the recession, but are Law Firms including experience or use of an understanding of Web 2.0 tools within their job adverts or requirements?

NF - While job descriptions this year haven't specifically mentioned Web 2.0 skills, they have called for things like "Development of "self-service", portal-based, knowledge products" or "Experience of web publishing and intranet content management", whereas other roles we
receive details for are more traditional and describe duties such as "maintenance of the Information Services web page and to the firm's Knowledge Base"

BB - If you were to recommend one Web 2.0 tool for Law Librarians to use, what would it be and why?

This really depends on where a particular firm is already with its utilisation of know how tools - a firm that has invested a lot in an all singing-all dancing Know How Portal, taxonomy, etc will have a very different platform and also skill/expectation base amongst users to work from, than one whis is still struggling to get the library catalogue up on the firm Intranet.

For personal use, I would say being involved in blogging (either with your own blog, or using an RSS reader to keep up to date with a range of other law librarians and lawyers blogs + adding comments to these) has to be the key tool to use - at the moment at least; who knows what new tools will come along in 6 months or a year or so?

BB - There are many misconceptions about how Web 2.0 are/could be used what is the worst one you've heard and what role do you think Law Librarians have in changing individuals attitudes to some of these tools?

NF - 'It's all just a fad; its OK for social use but has no place in business' is probably the worst. Wikis, blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube - they are all being used seriously by many organisations, public and private sector - burying your head in the sand and hoping it will all go away is probably the worst thing law librarians could do - making sure you are relevant & involved is vital.

BB - Sue Hill is well advanced in its use of Web 2.0, you have a Blog and RSS Feeds for new jobs. Will we be seeing any more use of Web 2.0 tools by Sue Hill?

NF - LinkedIn is another tool we use a good deal - it is a great way of being involved in discussions as well as finding people to talk to who might know someone interested in a vacancy we have.

BB - I've got to ask the following questions, what's the weirdest thing you've ever read on a CV...

NF - well its quite a about:

  • Interests - 'I'm into the occult';
  • 'I have my own house'
  • 'my favourite colour is...'
  • A full A4 page of personal statistics (height, weight, eye colour, national insurance number, etc)
  • 'I have a wife, xxx, two children, yyy and zzz, and a dog called

...what's the weirdest thing someone has told you in an interview?

NF -I was once told by a man I was interviewing that the gap on his CV was due to time served "at her majesty's pleasure" because he had murdered his wife... That one had me reaching for the panic button under the desk!

BB - Finally what session are you most looking forward to?

I have to say I haven't had chance to really look through the rest of the programme as yet.

Many thanks to Nicola. I still haven't stopped laughing about "being into the occult" yet!

Posted by James Mullan at 10:00  


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