About six weeks ago, I wrote a short piece called The Blog is the New Resume. It didn’t generate any comments, just some good off-line discussion between my friend Ed and I. Yesterday, however, I was in a meeting and just checked the ol’ WordPress Dashboard and… “whoa.”
Turns out, Joshua Porter of Bokardo—a great guy and super-talented social web design expert I finally got to meet in person at SXSW—echoed the idea and added his own (far more organized) list of ideas. Let’s just say, Joshua’s blog is a little (okay, a lot) more popular than mine. When I write something, it gets archived for a rainy day. When Joshua writes, it ends up on Techmeme.
The pair of posts have sparked a great deal of discussion and I want to record some of the highlights from other blogs here. So, this will be a running list in the order they come in.
First, from Josh:
1. Your blog represents you.
2. Your blog is serious business.
3. Your blog is an archive.
4. Your blog isn’t the only mirror of your life.
5. Your blog is your unedited version of yourself.
Anthony Baggett from Antbag had a great post soon after.
It makes sense to me……. and it’s only been a matter of time in our high-tech society. If you needed a good reason to take your blog more serious, this could be it. If you were in the market for a job, could your web presence help you in the process, or would it come back and bite you?
Judy at Point Being: adds…
Of course, this can be a double-edged sword. While an insightful blog can give you a leg-up when looking for a job, your online antics can also get you into trouble. You are what you put on the web…
Nick O’Neill of the Webpreneur wrote 5 Steps to Making Your Blog Your Resume.
1. Have a clean & unique design
2. Have a targeted about page
3. Write about issues related to your industry
4. Provide valuable resources to your readers
5. Keep it professional
I’m not sure I agree with everything there, but it is a great post. I agree with writing about issues related to your interest and providing resources, but I don’t think it needs to be 100% professional. I’ll make a post about baseball or my daughter to also show interests. I do that because when I’m in a position to hire, I like to know a little more about them than just what they do at work. I like to see trends of how their hobbies reflect work interests.
At ClaimID, we obviously think that your online presence is more than just your blog, but the essential point of the post is relevant – what is online about you is very important.
Alexander Muse @ Big in Japan (gulp, I really admire the work of these guys) writes about his blogging experience (related to job inquiries).
I have been blogging for a couple of years (Texas Startup Blog) and it has been a very interesting exercise. I have lost track of the number of job offers or inquires I have received as a direct result of my online writing.
Jim Kukral says you better not use you MySpace page as your resume.
Your blog says everything about you. Who you are, what you like, etc… Heck, even your design template that you’ve chosen can tell something about you.
Your blog is you!
The Composed Gentleman quotes both Joshua and I in his post, but I’ll pick this tidbit, because I like it.
He is totally right.
Melinda Casino @ Sour Duck provides a great perspective:
TechMeme drops an ice cube down the shirt of every blogger. Talk about taking the joy out of blogging.
Again, I don’t think this has to take the joy out of blogging. I am myself on my blog. I wouldn’t want to work at a place that doesn’t value the complete package of who I am. That is very important to me.
Michael Specht has some great insight on this. He has a great blog, check it out.
The simple answer to this question is no your blog is not your resume. Let me explain.
The resume provides a framework for you to summarise your skills and experience in a short easy to digest document. Your blog does not. This does not mean your blog is not a valuable tool in finding a new job or finding new employees.
Stephen Collins of acidlabs writes about the complete online persona and how you need to be careful.
Your blog, your LinkedIn Profile, del.icio.us links, etc. all form a pretty complete picture of who you are, how you think and what you have to say. It’s critical that you behave responsibly and professionally online. That you vet your online, public material for stupid mistakes, whether those mistakes are spelling errors, factual issues, or that picture of you on Facebook at the fraternity kegger.
BijanBlog adds more about the complete persona package.
On my blog folks know what kind of music I like, my political point of view, social causes, my work engagements, some of my family life, etc.
It started as a diary but it’s now a two way, interactive experience. And that is the best part for me.
On the comments of my post, Chris Messina adds:
I think another point to make is how important a blog is for demonstrating one’s ability to communicate clearly and articulately — and to think critically. In some senses, folks who are better at code should let their source do the talking for them, whereas those who have a way with words should probably focus more on blogging.
This is great. Obviously, the blogging doesn’t work for everyone. Basically, blogging should be done by the people it will actually benefit—those with good communication skills, some creativity in their writing, a passion to actually keep up with it, etc.
Mario Sundar of Marketing Nirvana touches on this in a post called 5 Steps to Let Your Dream Job Find You.
First off, NOT ALL blogs can be considered your resume. However, for those of us interested in maintaining an online presence/identity it can be a worthy and impressive add-on. As I’d mentioned in my post below, the best repository for your online identity is your vanity google search. My online brand a.k.a vanity search yields my blog, my other blog (mprofs – where I contribute), my LinkedIn profile (Disclosure: I work for LinkedIn), my Images (Flickr), Video, Events, etc… Now, that’s a comprehensive identity.
Eric Strauss links as well with a great point in his title alone: “If Blog=Resume Then Goodbye Action Verbs List!“. He adds:
I think we’ll be hearing more about this.
Brad Bonham gets some ammo to show his friends he’s not crazy.
Resumes will be next to useless very soon. Static content is so 2001. We’re fast approaching an era wherein people can shoot narrated documentaries on a cell phone, edit them and add on some special fx, then broadcast to the world. Actually, we’re already in that era, I just haven’t seen an interesting cell phone documentary yet — but I know it’s possible! Sending a prospective employer an MS Word template or unformatted resume strikes me a little like sending out a wedding invitation handwritten on college ruled notebook paper. Sure, you can do it, but there are other options.
Sorry for taking most of your post, Brad, but it’s damn good!
Nox Dineen even linked on the Hello World! post.
Remember when bloggers were warned that their weblog may negatively impact their current or future employment? Well the medium is now so mainstream that the trend has flipped 180¬∞, now it could be detrimental not to have a blog, especially in the face of competitors who do.
And last, for now, I just got a comment from Recruiting Animal:
I’m a headhunter and like this is so wrong but I don’t have time to explain it now. I’ll be baaack and do the job then. I just want everyone to know that LinkedIn is a better way to establish an online presence for 99% of the population. Are there 200 million blogs in the world? If so, 199 million of them are abandoned after a dozen postings. Therein lies the entire story.
I’m interested to see the followup. If you don’t keep up with the blog, yank the site. Otherwise, to me at least, you look like someone who starts with good intentions but can’t keep up with something. Of course, every case is different and it will depend on the type of blog and the content that IS there (what is your last post…a “I’m too busy right now” post?).
Jeremiah writes about how “Google me” is the business card and how he was hired essentially from his blog.
I know several people that have gotten jobs primarily because of their blog, it had a lot to do with me getting my job too. Employers can see what someone is like, how they think, how the write, but more importantly what others think about them by checking out trackbacks and how people deal with disagreements, comments, etc.
I’ll keep an eye on what else is said about this and post it here.
Update: Later the same day, there’s already some stuff to add.
First, our friend Recruiting Animal returned to elaborate on his previous comment. RA posted quite a bit, and I posted quite a bit back. I recommend heading back to read the full discussion. But a tidbit from Recruiting Animal:
It might be possible for someone who is out of work and has time on his hands but I’m talking about people who maintain a blog while they work as their ongoing profile.
And I countered with:
Check out the top blogs at Technorati. Those people are not unemployed. My blog is by no means one of the popular ones. But it serves its purpose. I’ve got a full time job, side work, kids, family, etc. If you take yourself seriously, you find a way to work it in.
And that’s the point. Those who don’t will be at a disadvantage. Hiring managers will say… “Okay, why does this person Not have a blog? Is it because (1) they have nothing to say?; (2) they can’t communicate?; or (3) they can’t be bothered?”
Peter T. Davis provides a lot of info in a fantastic post called “What does your web presence say about you?” Like:
Why should someone try to find information on the web about another person? Well! A thousand and one reasons, of course. It can help in social situations. I’m learning how to golf, for example. I’m pretty bad still, but enjoying and looking forward to the ground drying out so I can play some more this summer. Someone I meet who’s read that could get a conversation going with me about golfing.
But, still, Google shows more. Google even shows what you wrote on the Usenet back before the web became popular. Some people make it easy for others to find them online. Me, for example. On most community and social networking sites I use the same account name, petertdavis. So, google petertdavis and it shows up nearly 20,000 entries. Follow those links and find tens of thousands of more things, articles I’ve written, items I’ve posted, images, designs, ideas, etc ad nauseam.
and this bit about how to deal with a common name:
The other challenge I share with people with common names like Peter Davis, is how to make yourself stand out among the crowd. I started blogging early enough that my blog tends to stay near the top of the results for my name. I do better when my middle initial is used, Peter T Davis. I started using my middle initial quite a few years ago, when I came to realize just how many of us Peter Davises were out there. But there’s still plenty of stiff competition for Peter T Davis.
Sorry to take so much, Peter, but it is great stuff!
Ian Yip at How to Brand Your Name offers this advice for going beyond the resume:
Getting a job aside, blogging is also the best way to show the world who you are. You don’t need to blog about work. Just blog about something you’re passionate about. Why? Because you won’t run out of things to say…and you may even sound like you know what you’re talking about.
Jeremiah has also had some good comments and trackbacks on his blog. Tijs Vrolix (sweet design, btw!) offers:
Of course, “being online” has it’s own disadvantages: the internet – and Google in particular – doesn’t forget about anything. On the other hand, from what I’ve learned from my limited personal experience, use it well and you’ll be astonished by the results. So don’t be shy, start blogging, sign up for Twitter and get heard.
There are a whole bunch of other comments on Jeremiah’s post worth reading, too. Check ‘em.
Next, a look back at the original Bokardo post led me to a comment from Blog for Jobs. Interesting site I’ll have to check out—their about section reads:
Job seekers are blogging for jobs. Yep, thats right. Creative and talented candidates are writing their own blogs in an effort to stand out and get noticed. It’s a new job hunting technique for the 21st century. This is a showcase for those who blog for jobs.
Finally, for now, I poked around Technorati to see if anyone else was talking about this. I looked earlier than my own post and found Zoli’s blog, which I actually remember checking out when I originally wrote my post. I figured someone must have used the term “The Blog is the New Resume” before—but Zoli was the only one I could find. An excerpt of what he wrote:
Resumes are tailored for a particular job, and let’s face it, often “cosmetically enhanced“. If you’ve been blogging for years, you certainly did not do it with a particular job in mind; your blog is likely to be a true reflection of who you really are, what you are an expert in, your communication skills, your priorities … YOU as a whole person, not as a candidate for a specific job.
And I love this:
I am not in active job search mode, but will likely join a startup one day. Still, I have not updated my resume for the past 2 years or so. Why should I? My life is (now) an open book: my blog reveals a lot about my thinking, knowledge (or lack of), and for more facts it points to my LinkedIn profile. I was recently approached by a stealth startup… great, I thought, they must have found me through my blog, that’s a good start. But then they asked me to submit a resume, and I lost interest. If the blog is not enough common grounds for a conversation, then I don’t trust this Founder is hiring the right people, so why would I be interested?
In January, Doug Welch also wrote “Make Your Resume a Blog“. Some highlights:
First, a resume blog allows all your stories to be slurped up by any number of search engines including Google, Yahoo and more. This increases the chance that someone might randomly stumble across you when they are looking for just the right person. Sure, an online version of your paper resume might do in a pinch, but you can do better.
Instead of having only one small description of each past job, I encourage you to post to your resume blog as often as necessary. Minimally, this would include a wrap-up after any major projects or accomplishments. Again, all this information becomes searchable and it helps to lock the stories into your mind so you can easily recall them during interviews or casual meetings with potential employers.
Now, go even further. Document any training you receive and your impressions of how it will be useful to your future work. Describe the hardware and software tools you use and why. The general rule is to include anything that would give a potential employer deeper insight into you and your work. The goal in all of this, beyond finding the best job possible, is to use the easy-to-use features of a blog to capture and share as much information about your work and skills as possible. The more information that is available, the better your chances of getting an interview and a job.
Great stuff. I’ll add more as it comes.
Update: Another day, another few good bits thrown into the ring (not bad for a Saturday).
First of all, on the original post there was some good discussion between Recruiting Animal and justelise.
Anne Zelenka at Web Worker Daily linked to her previous post called “Why You May Need an Online Persona.”
Employers are realizing that what people do online can actually prove their value as potential hires, not just rule them out based on drunken photos or revelations of other past missteps.
Maybe [blog] is not resume, but perhaps more of an elevator pitch.
I tend to disagree slightly. The About page is your elevator pitch. The blog is the conversations that occur thereafter. I can’t call a blog an elevator pitch because there can just be sooooo much on it. I like to sift through a candidate’s blog, check out the posts over time. This is not an elevator pitch. This is full-fledged research. Your About page, however, is your pitch.
On “Social Media and Your CV“, Jason Ryan offers something not brought up yet:
Senior managers could also regard a potential employee’s blog as a risk to manage, rather than an example of their initiative. They may be worried that the blogger will (inadvertently) drop their organization in it, or that the blog is a time sink that will divert their attention from what they are hired to do.
These, particularly the latter, are valid concerns.
My snotty answer to arguments like this is usually “that’s not someplace I’d want to work,” but it is something others may want to consider.
Update: It’s Monday morning. Let’s update a little.
Shaine Mata worries that now that he is blogging, that may limit his ability to land jobs in the future.
Of course, there is always the possibility of what Darowski writes, which is that blogging will be an enhancement to my resume. If this is the case, I look forward to the doors that will open for me. In the meantime, I will be working on a backup plan in case I can’t land a job due to blogging.
Transparency is refreshing, Shaine. Glad you made the leap.
Joe Sem gives five reasons why he does blog. I’m a fan of #2 in particular:
Blogging is the new C.V. – Adam Darowskie sees ‘the blog as being the new resume’ and I have to agree. It provides a great way of letting your clients and prospects know who you are. Apart from showcasing your business, it also demonstrates a real passion for what you do.
Others include archiving ideas and meeting new friends. These are big. I’ve certainly picked up a few friends from blogging. And this blog was really started as a way for me to store ideas and links.
Update: Even more great stuff still coming.
Justin at Green Goloshes wrote an absolutely fantastic post. Justin… I hope you don’t mind if I take a few tidbits. All, I highly recommend you read the entire post.
Blogging can also be a way to practice selling yourself. When you get a chance to talk to a potential employer, or someone who might know one (see below), talking effectively about yourself and your work is crucial. If you’ve been writing about what you do for any period of time, those conversations will flow much easier.
This is so true. Practice makes perfect. Help refine your sales pitch.
Perhaps the analogy would work better if we thought about blogging as a resume and cover letter rolled into one. Your blog is a way to provide employers with a view of you that is more personal than can be fit into a resume (or even a cover letter). Many organizations don’t even ask for a cover letter – especially those that go through a lot of resumes during their recruiting process. This means that there is no more personal (or even professional) information on you out there. A blog is a relatively easy way to put such information out there in a controlled manner.
You’re right. Kill my meme now. Start a new blog as cover letter meme. Seriously, though… you’re totally right. The blog is more your personal sales package than it is your paper resume.
I was going to post more tidbits from Justin, but seriously… just go read it there. Great stuff.
John Lampard makes this great point:
It would be unfortunate though were employers to make recruiting decisions based to any great degree on they read, and possibly didn’t like, in someone’s blog.
It has to be remembered blogs, particularly of those of a personal nature, as verbose and detailed as they may be, still do not paint the full picture of the writer.
People have ups and downs in life, blog accounts are not always complete, and will be presented with varying degrees of candour and colour. Not all stories will have “follow ups”, or posts detailing the resolution of problems someone may have articulated at an earlier time.
The problem is… even if it is not fair, employers are going to do it. And you have to be prepared for that and have a “strategy” about what you are putting out there.
The funny thing is that right before i noticed the meme, i updated my Resume/CV to incorporate social media elements into the standard ‘acceptable paper’ format. Although many hiring managers and recruiters know enough to ‘google‘ someone or find their blog, i figured it would be better to add those elements to a Resume/CV saving them a couple clicks.
Take a look at her post to see the example. I think this is really helpful in a couple respects:
- If you have a common name, you are weeding out the would-be Google results that are NOT you.
- You can offer enough social media sites that you wholeheartedly “approve”, maybe they’ll skip the MySpace page where you are a little more informal.
Update: Been a long while since I updated this, so here goes…
Sean writes a bit about using the blog to manage which links to information about you are recommended:
So while there is nothing really too embarrassing or employment blocking on something like my Myspace page, it is not something that i am going to actively promote (say in the blogroll) or would want a potential employer to see as a first impression. So I sort of try and promote which face I want to put forward and to actively manage it.
Matt Grant @ The Talent Blog has an excellent post that touches on information overload.
Reading through these various posts and round-ups I was struck not so much by the sound advice or the reasonable differences of opinions on display (“blogs are resumes,” “blogs are NOT resumes,” “your vanity Google search is your new business card,” etc.) but by something that Immanuel Kant referred to as the “mathematical sublime.” For Kant, the mathematical sublime, in contrast to the “dynamic sublime,” which we encounter in natural wonders such as Niagara Falls, consisted in reason being overwhelmed by unfathomable quantity.
Mark had an awesome post as well. I hope he doesn’t mind, but I’m going to post his two main points in their entirety. Great stuff, I recommend visiting his post:
1) You can be evaluated on not only the nature of your content, but the skill in which you serve it up – appearance, technical prowess.
2) Even general posts about our daily life activities communicate to the audience subtly what skills we may have.
Are we pegged as a loaner, or a well networked, “team player”? Do we undertake and chronical complex projects? Are we seen as ambitious? Are we seen ask a risk taker? How about our outlook – is it positive, or are we overly critical? What proficiency in unique trades or arts do we demonstrate? Are we an analytical thinker? Do we demonstrate purpose?
Our friend Recruiting Animal, who provided some great alternative views on the original post, chimed in with his two key points as well:
1. Career blogs are beyond the realm of most people in terms of time alone.
2. I do however strongly support the creation of online profiles.
And lastly, I think this will be my last update to this thread as it is calming down. But I wanted to add that I ate my own dog food—my blog was my resume, and I am now with BatchBlue. It was an interesting job hunt—one that relied quite a bit on my blog. In fact, the Pamela (President of BatchBlue) blogged:
As the person who read Adam’s blog as a part of his resume, I’d like to add that yes, yes and yes, a person’s blog is an incredibly powerful addition to the resume. My job as a small business owner is to find the person with the right skills, the right attitude, the right personality, the right temperament and the right passion to work with all of the other personalities and temperaments in my company. Not easy when all I have to go on is a one page resume. While Adam’s cover letter and resume provided a telling introduction, his blog was the real page turner. I learned he thinks beyond the immediate problem, he self motivates, he aggressively educates himself, he aggressively educates those around him and he’s a Red Sox fan. I would have discovered some of this eventually from the interview, the references and various other communications. But in the blog, it all became part of the first impression, helping him stand out from the crowd early on.
And with that, I shall lay the Blog is the New Resume to rest. This generated some incredible discussion—it was very interesting to see so many perspectives. Thanks to all!