Last week I detailed the top five arguments in defense of the resume. That post was the result of almost 100 comments offered through various discussion threads from my LinkedIn groups. Today I’m outlining the top four arguments for making blogs a must-have supplement to the two-page resume we’ve all grown to love and hate.
1. Most employers conduct due-diligence on Google.
As you know, employers often vet applicants by Googling their names. If you haven’t worked to control what they see on that first results page you’re at the mercy of the automated search engines. Your name should be ubiquitous on your blog which helps it rise to the top of Google search results, making it more likely that employers will read it first. Further, every blog comes equipped with a handy search tool that lets employers type in keywords and pull up all the content you’ve written on that subject.
2. Prove you’re the expert you say you are.
Employers aren’t naive. They know everyone exaggerates a little on their resumes or at the very least they don’t present the entire story. What you need is a verifiable trail of proof that shows you know what you’re talking about and that you can express it in a thoughtful manner. They’re also looking to see how other experts in your field and competing applicants are expressing themselves. I’ll bet most of those experts use blogs to spread their ideas.
3. Your blog expresses the entrepreneur within
Starting a blog is like starting a company. Your subject matter is the product, your posts sell your ideas and building your audience requires marketing. It’s not surprising that several people said their personal blogs helped attract consulting work, which often leads to full time. In the midst of a recession, smart companies want to be nimble and innovative like a startup. They’re looking for creative thinkers that can wear multiple hats and know how to manage themselves. A blog can go a long way to portraying you in that light.
4. Blogs put your best foot forward
For this point I’ll simply quote directly from one of the discussion comments. “It [a blog] says that this person puts effort into their personal brand, and has a true interest in the field. I can also just click a link to see it, and can then peruse other content from this person. It’s efficient and accessible. That’s not to say non-bloggers don’t put effort in, or have true interest in their field, but a blog is a way to show that right off the bat, BEFORE the interview stage. If you can show that before, you’re several steps ahead of every other candidate already.”
I think I’ve exhausted this topic for a while. It’s been a fun ride. Hopefully some of you will try starting a blog and in the process build a personal branding tool that will be the central online hub of your career for years to come.
If you have a personal career blog please post your link as a comment on this post so others can learn and benefit from your great work.
P.S. A special thanks to the scores of people that commented on those intriguing LinkedIn discussions. I suppose that’s another reason to start a blog: you learn more from your audience than they learn from you.