Thursday, November 13, 2008

Want to work for President-elect Barack Obama's administration?

CNN's article titled, White House job application leaves no stone unturned has people conducting personal inventories. While many people cringe about filling out a form or application like this, any one with a security clearance will tell you 7 pages, 63 problem.

Article highlights:
· Would-be presidential appointees must fill out 63-item questionnaire
· Questions cover resume, affiliations, finances, personal relationships
· Vetters want to know about Web pages, blogs, links to mortgage giants
· One section devoted to domestic help, a trouble spot in past administrations

It also asks about writings, speeches, testimony, online communications and even personal diaries.

This is a great time to create a "Me Folio" and teach our children how to document themselves, promote digital citizenship, and personal e-responsibility.

I give a participative scholarship workshop at the local library. One of the first activities participants conduct is to Google themselves and review the search results, images, maps, and news.

Some participants are surprised about the information that is available, some find people with the same name different state or country, and others have even found information on family members. If someone has no information available, the next activity has them entering names into CVGadget.

I also encourage our students (young and adult) to create and write outside of course assignments which allows them to supplement what we refer to as their "Me Folio".

I encourage them to build a collection documenting every accomplishment from the 1st grade perfect attendance, best reader in 3rd grade, news recognition, spelling bee awards, years selected to honor rolls, student council positions to community services. The workshop requires students to use the computers to create, share, and modify Google Docs, share knowledge on scholarship search engines, and explore opportunities from corporations, local agencies, and personal networking.

Keeping documents available through Google Docs allows the participants to quickly access information if they are completing applications for extra-curricular activities, college, and job applications. Over time they learn to review their personal writing styles which allows the students to see how they improve, self assess, and with Google Docs sharing capability an opportunity to have mentors and community leaders to provide assistance. I encourage participants to build their "Me Folios" so when they are given that one question that many people choke on during interviews, "Within one minute, tell me about yourself".

So whether you are applying for a cabinet position in Obama's administration or applying for a volunteer, job, or college position, be a master of your data.

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