There’s quite a bit of controversy about using personal blogs to help in job searches. One of the arguments in favor of blogging suggests that the real you can be better found in your commentary and opinions on topics than in a standard resume that posts your history and accomplishments. This argument is often coupled with, ”You’ll make a great impression on potential employers by doing something different and unique.” The rebuttal to these arguments generally follows the lines of, “Blogging is not something different, everyone is blogging now. You are really just fitting in with the crowd rather than standing out.” And what about those opinions and commentary? People are losing their jobs, getting docked for blogging at work, about work, being inappropriately mentioned in a blog by a friend or co- worker, and talking about their company in blogs. Doesn’t that weigh heavy in the argument against job search blogging?”
There really are no absolutes with any job search and career development tools. I’d venture to say that there really are no absolutes with most communication tools. As with the English language, there are exceptions to every rule. Both the arguments for and against using blogs suggest however, that you should consider how a blog can best be used in your search, and the message you want to give to potential employers before engaging in blogging.
Blogging is a great tool for sharing your message with a broad population. You can provide commentary, link to articles on other websites, provide research, and start discussions on a given topic or issue. Blog articles and comments are frequently shared in professional settings and can, in time, be adopted as the voice of a field or trade. As a professional in career development, I have just moved my articles and book reviews to a blog format to encourage interaction and discussion. I also like the idea of bringing my research and experiences to a broader audience. As a job seeker, entrepreneur, or someone in career transition, you too can use a blog to effectively share research and insights on a topic near and dear to your heart. When doing so however, keep in mind that some information works well in branding yourself as a professional, and other information is best left out.
- Using a blog to raise discussion and awareness of topics within your field brings you positive notice. Using a resume to talk about your co-workers or previous employers labels you as unprofessional.
- Citing research, sharing accomplishments and consolidating what you have learned over the years helps potential employers see your value both in written communication and in analysis and synthesis of information. Providing evidence of irrational thinking, poor spelling and emotional indecision sends your hiring audience running.
- Using your work experience and “filtered” stories as a framework for helping others become successful demonstrates loyalty, honesty and your leadership potential. Identifying companies, projects and people by name infringes on their rights, breaches confidentiality and can jeopardize your future employment.
- Posting regularly about current trends and topics, frequently asked questions and daunting dilemmas that can be reversed or avoided allows others to see how you are keeping fresh and current in your field. Posting just to get something online when you’ve run out of ideas and have nothing newsworthy to post might indicate your inability to stay on task, a lack of dedication to your work or deficiency in skill or knowledge.
Blogging is no longer a new or unique way to get noticed when you are job hunting or starting a business. It’s in the news, the topic of books and journal articles, and even shows up in movies. Whether blogging is new or unique however, is neither a reason for or against blogging. Weigh your decision to blog on whether you have something important and helpful to say about your industry, field or career path. If you write reasonably well, want to share some of your professional insights and can remain ethical in your commentary, you might want to consider starting a blog and inviting your friends and business associates to read and participate in your posts. One reader of the Wall Street Journal online accurately stated, ”Bottom line, getting a job (or a client) in today’s economy is all about identifying a need and being able to provide a unique and valuable solution to that need.” As you uncover needs as a result of researching your field of interest, take some notes, gather some solutions and share them on your blog. You may just start a conversation with your next coworker, employer, or valued customer. Blogging as a job search tool? Why not?
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How to Make an Absolute Fortune from Your Blog
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Lorelle on WordPress
Be sure to read some of Lorelle’s other posts they are both humorous and informative.