Friday, December 5, 2008

Your blog is your living resume

I’ve just been reading 10 Essential Steps to Take BEFORE You’re Laid Off from the Get Rich Slowly blog and even though all the points are very valid the one that struck me was:

 

Start a blog that contains at least 50% professional material. If you don’t already have a blog, stop reading this one and go start one right this minute. It’s essential. Your blog is your living resume. It shows how you think. It shows how you write. It shows what’s important to you. While it is fine to blog about personal topics, devote half of your posts to professional content. What is that you do by trade? Mentor us through your blog. We employers love hiring mentors — they raise everybody’s performance.

I been talking to a few people lately who are changing positions both by choice and not by choice and one of the things I tell them is that they should start a blog. Recently, someone else asked me how to ‘break into’ the IT field, my answer again was to blog.

 

If I’m an employer and you show me your blog and it is at least 50% professional it goes a long way in boosting your stocks with me. Why? Firstly, you’ve taken the time to create and maintain a blog (that’s why regular entries are critical). Next, it shows me you are keeping up with the times and utilizing social networking. Next, it helps you stand above your peers who couldn’t be bothered blogging. It also shows that you have the confidence to promote your thoughts, musings, discoveries, etc for free. Only the paranoid try and hold every piece of information they come across. It also indicates to me that you are a good communicator and you have the ability to work with the written word. And that’s just for a start.

 

There’s no way that you could ever get that across in a resume. A blog is a far better indicator to me of your skills, personality and dedication. If you do a blog then you need to ensure it remains professional and thus if you want to also do a personal blog I’d recommend you simply create a separate one for those socially embarrassing photos. Because, done incorrectly a blog can sink your prospects as quickly as a good blog can boost them.

 

My recommendations if you don’t blog? Create a professional blog. Ensure that you update it regularly. Remember that anything that goes in here you want a potential employer to see. Include your own ideas, comments and feedback rather than just regurgitating information. Remember a blog is about your take on the information not simply you reporting it. It may seem awkward at first but if you keep at it you’ll improve. Practice makes perfect.

 

So there is really no excuse not to blog. Blogging sites are free, tools to promote your blog are free as are tool to monitor your blog so money is never going to be an issue when it comes to blogging. It simply comes down to your time on a regular basis because nothing looks worse than a blog that never gets updated (even worse than a web site that also never does). It doesn’t take much, just a few minutes here and there. Who knows, after a while you may even come to enjoy it. You may even find other people enjoy reading it as well. Utilize the power of social networking to your benefit.

 

If you want to add value to yourself professionally, use a blog to demonstrate to the world why you know your stuff. A blog is so much more than a CV because it it living.