When I introduced the CogBlog the other day, at the end of my presentation I snuck in a couple slides about trends I saw with blogs that really were catching my attention. One is the idea of “the blog is the new resume.”
I’ve been in the position to hire folks a few times. Let me tell you—the process sucks. It sucks for the person looking for the job and it sucks for the person trying to fill the specific need. If only there was a better way to screen applicants. Phone screens help serve as an initial filter, but they still take time and effort to conduct and coordinate. Wouldn’t it be nice to have more than a vague bulleted list of accomplishments before actually picking up the phone to call the person?
There is. There’s blogging.
Blogging is the perfect way for a candidate to give an employer a more detailed sales pitch—to show they can “talk the talk” (as opposed to just fill a resume with buzzwords). I can’t think of a reason for any serious tech professional to not have a blog. Not only does it serve as an excellent notebook for storing ideas and links, but it can come in handy in a job hunt where what interviewers really want to just know what, professionally (and somewhat personally), engages you on a day to day basis. How often do you look at a resume and wonder what exactly the person’s role on a project was? Well, if the person blogged about it then you would have a better idea—and you would know if the role would fit in with your team.
This isn’t just about employees seeking jobs. My team recently bid for some web work. I found out which person at the other company was in a similar role as myself. I looked the person up and found that person’s blog. I read it. I found out what makes that person tick. I made sure to mold my presentation around what I knew was important in a subcontractor to that person.
This isn’t just about individuals having blogs, either. I feel the CogBlog can help attract talent to Aptima. If they can get a better look at the types of issues and ideas folks at Aptima are discussing, they can have a better idea of what type of work they may be doing on a day to day basis. Sometimes it can be hard to get that type of information in an interview. Heck, by leaving comments a candidate can gauge a company’s responses and see if their input is valued.
It seems a lot of tech folks just don’t care enough to blog. What is going to happen soon is that those people will not be able to land the really sweet gigs. Companies will be impressed by blogging candidates, knowing that they take their work seriously enough to document it and share it. Those who don’t blog will have to settle for the lackluster jobs. Maybe this isn’t a bad thing, since the sweet gigs often require a “way of life” attitude towards the work.
The resume just gives you that vague bulleted list. The blog? Well, here I’ve got detailed posts about specific project tasks, detailed posts about my thoughts on industry trends, documented experiences, photos and mockups, case studies, links to Technorati and LinkedIn profiles, a list of must-read blogs, my public bookmarks, links to what others are saying about me, home movies, etc., etc., etc…
Another Update: I’m no longer with BatchBlue. I’m now with PatientsLikeMe.