Feature: Blogging Bliss & Bloopers
Ever since the presidential election of 2004, blogging has been the darling of both politicians and the media. Today, it’s also an important tool for job seekers. A growing number of recruiters are searching the blogosphere to find candidates for their openings, making it an effective platform for catching their attention. There are, however, appropriate ways to blog and inappropriate ways. Do it right, and you’ll experience blogging bliss (and maybe find the job of your dreams); do it wrong, and your blogging bloopers can put a choke hold on your job search campaign.
Blogs are individual logs or diaries written on the Web. Anybody can write one, and over 50 million people around the world have decided to do so. There are a number of Web-sites that both host blogs at no charge and provide step-by-step instructions on how to create them. These sites include:
As with anything else you try for the first time, blogging takes some practice, but it’s really nothing more than writing down your thoughts and ideas … for 7 or 8 billion people to read.
There are people writing blogs about almost any subject the human mind can conjure up. For example, you’ll find blogs about:
Basically, people write blogs about whatever is important to them. Sometimes it’s hobbies; other times it’s issues, and from time-to-time, it’s outright silliness. They are fun to write and entertaining to read, but they will not help you find a new or better job, unless you do some things differently.
If you want to advance your career with a blog, you need to write with that purpose in mind. The goal of an employment blog (or eblog) is to market your capabilities. The blog is a platform for strutting your stuff in your profession, craft or trade. It’s not an endless or repetitive resume, but rather, your thoughtful discussion of key issues, developments and challenges in your field and/or industry. A good eblog will describe how you would solve problems, create opportunities, and apply your expertise on-the-job. It illustrates what you can do and how well you can do it.
There are several important rules for writing a good eblog. They are:
Don’t rant or be ribald. An eblog is not the place to complain about the war in Iraq or the high cost of prescription drugs. It is also not the place to detail your bacchanalian background or prowess with the opposite sex. Think of it as a theatre where you should be the best you can be in your field of work.
Don’t defame previous employers or bosses. An eblog says as much about the character of its author as it does about the topic. If you make scurrilous remarks about your last employer, recruiters believe that you are likely to do the same with their organization, should you ever decide to leave. You shouldn’t burn your bridges behind you in the real world, and the same is true online.
Do proof read and edit what you write. While the quality of your ideas is obviously important, so too is the quality of their expression. Grammatical mistakes and misspellings call your professionalism and sense of pride in your work into question. Recruiters assume that those who are sloppy in the public domain of the Internet are also likely to be sloppy on-the-job.
Do blog regularly. Blogs are works-in-progress, not static billboards. Add to your blog at least once a week and give yourself the time to say something worth reading each time you write. Be careful, however, not to overdo it. An encyclopedia-length blog will make a recruiter wonder if you’re skimping on your day job.
Employment blogs set you up to be “discovered” by recruiters. How? Recruiters believe that the best candidates for their openings are passionate about their work and increasingly express that passion in a blog. Therefore, they use blog directories-sites such as Technorati, Blogwise, and the Blog Search function at Google-to hunt for people who are writing about the kinds of issues and challenges they are likely to face when performing the job they are trying to fill. If that’s you and you’ve avoided the bloopers of blogging, you’ll be in just the right spot to enjoy its bliss.
Blogging is not an alternative to all of the other methods of looking for a new or better job. It is, however, an effective way to distinguish yourself from others in the job market, to paint a self-portrait that will enhance your visibility and your stature among the recruiters and employers looking for talent on the Internet.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. Remember what you learned in kindergarten: It’s nice to share. Don’t keep WEDDLE’s to yourself. If you like our newsletter, please tell your friends and colleagues about it. They’ll appreciate your thinking of them. And, we will too!
Section Two: Site News You Can Use
ExecuNet identified the best cities for executive employment, based on over 15,000 job postings between January and August of this year. If you’re looking for a senior level job, these are the cities where you want to live:
The online magazine Men’s Health published an article about the growing use of computers in corporate Human Resource Departments. This trend means that many recruiters no longer read resumes on paper; they read them on a computer screen. What you should do, therefore, is front load the content of your resume. Recruiters are busy people and often don’t take the time to scroll down into a document, unless it has already caught their attention. And, to catch their attention, you have to pack as much punch as possible into the top third of the document. In addition, make sure you use an e-mail address that won’t make you look like a chump. Since recruiters are often already online when reviewing your resume, they are likely to reach out to you by e-mail … unless your address is something like LadiesStudMuffin@aol.com or BingeBeerDrinker@msn.com.
Office Team, a staffing firm specializing in administrative personnel, released the results of its survey of employer reactions to typographical errors in candidate resumes. It found that almost half of the employers in its poll (44%) would eliminate a person who had just one typo in their resume. Another 37% of the respondents would eliminate someone who had two typos. Why are they being so tough on applicants? There are undoubtedly several reasons, but chief among them has to be the view that anyone who is too lazy to use the spell-check function on their computer is also too lazy to be a high performer on the job.
RIjobs.com launched as an employment Web-site that focuses on the job market in the state of Rhode Island. The site is an initiative of Shaker Recruitment Consultants and 17 community newspapers across the state, including The Newport Daily News, Cranston Herald, East Providence Post, and The Warren Times-Gazette. The site is a member of the International Association of Employment Web Sites, the trade organization representing the best of the world’s job boards.
Want to be able to use WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet and not have to buy it yourself? Well, you can. All you have to do is ask the librarian in your local library to order it. The American Staffing Association has called WEDDLE’s Guide, “the Zagat of the online employment industry.” It provides detailed profiles on 350 of the best job boards and career portals on the Internet. Not only can it help you identify the sites that are most appropriate for you, but it will give you the information you need to select those that will best ensure your success. So, don’t delay. Call:
Ask them to get all of WEDDLE’s 2007/8 reference books right away! They are:
Section Three: Site Profiles
Site Insite … how well do you know the Web’s 40,000+ job boards?
1. You’re an experienced statistician looking to move from academia to the pharmaceutical research industry. Where could you go online to find a healthy number of good employment opportunities?
2. After ten years of military service as a pilot, you’ve decided to move into commercial aviation. Which of the following sites would help your job search effort to soar?
3. Your employer had disappointing Halloween sales and has just announced a layoff that will affect you. If you’re an experienced product development professional, which of the following sites would constitute a formula for success in your job search?
Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2005/6 Guides and Directories
Women in Technology International
Post full time jobs: Yes
Post part time, contract or consulting jobs: Yes – All
Distribution of jobs: National – USA
Number of jobs: 1,524
Salary levels of jobs: $51-75K/yr, $76-100K/yr
Offer a job agent: No
Resume database: Yes
How long are resumes stored: Indefinitely
Restrictions on who can post: If the industry
Other services for job seekers: Career information, Links to other sites with resources
Member, International Association of Employment Web Sites: No
Answers to Site Insite
1. All but JobsStat.com, a job board specializing in the healthcare field.
2. All of them.
3. All but CandyIndustry.com, an online newspaper for the candy industry that does not publish employment listings.