Storying the Digital Professional: How Online Screening Shifts the Primary Site and Authorship of Workers’ Career Stories

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abduction, abductive analysis, antenarrative, career, cybervetting, employability, hiring, narrative, new media, online screening, personnel selection, social media, storying

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Employers’ use of online information increases the communicative demands and complexity of employability. For employers, gathering online information for personnel selection—a process called cybervetting—supplements or augments existing information acquisition processes. For workers, cybervetting’s extractive processes require considering potential and possible career stories employers might construct. Workers increasingly need to engage in prospective and retrospective storying to communicate and maintain employability and employment. Drawing on exemplars from employers’ reports, this essay highlights: (a) how employers report assembling and making sense of workers’ information during personnel selection; (b) the limitations of existing employability strategies; as well as (c) the increased and unequally distributed uncertainty and risk; and (d) the associated and different work expected of workers as the primary site and authorship of career stories shift.

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Applied Communication Research, v. 44, issue 3, p. 275-295.