Speaking to Academia.edu users, I often hear stories of a spike in profile hits just after applying for a job, but this is the first instance where I have heard about Academia.edu’s role in job applications from the other side - the hiring committee.
Jill Burke is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of History of Art at the University of Edinburgh and has recently been on the hiring committee for a faculty position in her department. Although none of the applicants shared any of their Academia.edu stats, many have an Academia.edu profile. Additionally, as History of Art is a small field, Jill was already following and familiar with the work of some of the candidates, even though she did not know them prior to connecting with them on Academia.edu.
Jill finds that Academia.edu profiles are ideal places to access and assess research. Candidates often upload many papers to their profile, which saves the interviewers lots of time compared to tracking papers down on various journal websites, navigating complicated log in systems on each one.
“Universities are often overwhelmed with applications, especially in the current hiring climate, so the easier applicant makes it to assess their work, the better.”
“Displaying their papers on Academia.edu shows the applicant is driven to reach audiences to share their research.”
Jill couldn’t say whether Academia.edu profiles positively influenced her choice of candidate, but it seems likely that (even subconsciously), applicants whose research is easily accessible and whose names and research are recognised from a connection on Academia.edu may have some advantage with the hiring committee.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any tips to share about how to get your Academia.edu profile to stand out to prospective employers, it could be a blog post one day!