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Say that I had written and/or edited a few good Wikipedia articles. Would it be appropriate to put this on my CV or mention it on job interviews?

  • What sorts of jobs are you applying to? Would it be relevant? – David K Jun 11 '19 at 15:24
  • I´m not personally applying to any jobs. I was just wondering about this. For example, writing good articles on Wikipedia (not necessarily related to the job that is being applied to) is an indicator of a good mind imo. However, it somehow feels inappropriate to me to put it on CV or mention it in interviews, that´s why I´m asking. – DerBlauePanther Jun 11 '19 at 15:31
  • I'd say it's probably only relevant if you're applying for a job with Wikipedia, as far as the resume goes. But it might not hurt to mention it in an interview if it came up, to just mention it in passing. – Keith Jun 11 '19 at 15:51
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    What is the skill or competency you are trying to demonstrate by mentioning it on your CV, and is that relevant to the job? – DeltaLima Jun 11 '19 at 16:02
  • Even if irrelevant to the job, it may be interesting to put in a hobbies section to round yourself out or worth mentioning when asked in an interview what you like to do in your free time. However, its relevance will be highly dependent on how much and how often you edit Wikipedia. – Jonathon Vandezande Jun 11 '19 at 16:03
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Say that I had written and/or edited a few good Wikipedia articles.

As Wikipedia describe themselves as:

the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.

The mere fact of writing or editing a Wikipedia article itself is completely unremarkable. It's kind of on a level of putting "I can tie my own shoelaces" on your CV.

Would it be appropriate to put this on my CV or mention it on job interviews?

If the job you're (hypothetically) applying for is one that:

a) Involves writing non-fictional content or,

b) Involves the subject matter of these articles

Then it may well be worth including as examples of said content or demonstration of your grasp of the subject matter. But you'd have to be clear about what content in the article was yours - wiki articles aren't the same as published articles (e.g. blog posts) in that the content is ever-evolving and collaborative by nature and the last thing you want is to give the impression that you are claiming the credit for someone else's work.

If you can't satisfy one or both of the above criteria than it's a hard no IMO.

6

written and/or edited a few good Wikipedia articles

Unless this is particularly relevant to where you're applying (say, you're applying for a position at Wikimedia itself) or you have a particularly compelling reason for doing so (say you won some kind of prestigious award for your work) then no.

This is nothing remarkable. If I saw this on a CV, I'd assume that you were struggling for content and just padding it out - it'd work more against you than it would for you.

2

Resumes are sales tools. You're selling yourself (your skills, experience, and capability to do work) to an employer. Decisions about what information is included should always be made with this in mind. You want to be able to show off your skills, but you also want to do so in a way that's predictable - which is where Wikipedia may be an issue.

Wikipedia articles can be updated, deleted, replaced, or otherwise edited after they're submitted. Yes, you can look at an edit log and see the version you had submitted, but would you want to risk sending an employer a link to Wikipedia as an example of your work, only to find that someone else had edited the article before the employer got a chance to look at it?

Besides the concept of ensuring the content is stable, there's the question about whether writing about a subject online is really relevant to doing a specific job. On the one hand, many jobs require skills and knowledge, and if you've got that knowledge, you may assume that writing about it is a good way to show off. On the other hand, consider that the employer is probably not hiring you to write Wikipedia content - instead, they're probably hiring you to get work done - using your resume to talk about actual work you've done, problems you've solved, and projects you've completed is probably much more relevant than showing that you wrote an article about something.

The one caveat to that may be if you're actually applying for a writing job, writing reference material about a specific subject. If that's the case, and you're convinced that your online writing is worth including in a resume, there may be better alternatives than Wikipedia. For instance, if you're an expert in a specific field, you may have papers published in an industry journal that's accessible online, and you can use those instead of Wikipedia. Or, a blog or website that you maintain personally.

  • I had a few articles completely rewritten in a different style. Be careful about mentioning specific articles. – Enric Naval Jun 18 '19 at 7:09
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I would not cite Wikipedia articles for no other reason than that it's not a professional forum. Just like I wouldn't cite answers I've posted to forums on Stack Exchange. But more important, you can't control Wikipedia. so it's a double edged sword.

You could write a fantastic article on a pertinent subject, but anyone can later add, remove, or change it and mess it up. Now when interviewers read the article, it's got misspellings, inaccuracies, etc. I guess someone could even make your work better, instead of worse, but that is no longer your work, so it's a false representation.

If the sources you provide on your resume are not predictable, then leave them out.

1

Only if it helps you to demonstrate a particular skill that is appreciated for the position.

In my case. English is my second language. Many people in Spain have low level of English, so having high level is an advantage.

I never got around to obtaining official certificates, such as Cambridge's CAE. So, I have to prove my long-term domain of English via other ways.

Making 30.000 edits to English Wikipedia is a quick way to show that I have a very high level. However, I didn't put this on the resume and only mentioned on the interview. If the interviewer had a different attitude, maybe I wouldn't have mentioned at all, or I would have mentioned instead my reading of books in English.

Think deeply of what skills you obtained by editing Wikipedia, how those skills are selling points for your employer, and how to showcase them in a short and impressive way. Editing articles means nothing by itself, you need to be more specific.

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