These past few years have seen a change in the job search process that has thus far been impossible: adding personal websites and online portfolios to your resume. A presence in social media, be it just a LinkedIn account or an entire cavalcade of profiles, has become so common that not having one is seen as a negative by employers. How can you be an up-to-date candidate if you’re not up-to-date on the times and trends? If you can’t keep up with the changing world, how can you keep up with the company you hope to be employed by? That’s just the way employers think, especially in positions that require significant know-how about online trends (HR, PR, marketing, etc).
Aside from portfolios and profiles, you can also create your own blog. There are tons of sites that will accommodate this for free, and because of this there are tons of blogs. Thousands upon thousands of blogs releasing post after post after post, and you can join them. Get a personal blog going, draft some quality posts on a regular basis, and then link it to your resume. But, and this is a big but, make sure the personal blog you link to your resume displays the virtues of professionalism your employer will be looking for. A blog can be a great aid to your job search, but not having one doesn’t take away from your chances of being hired. What drives your application into the ground is having an angst ridden, juvenile or just poorly written blog that doesn’t have a shred of professionalism about it.
Just as college students change their names on Facebook or make proxy accounts that have all of their embarrassing photos taken down when beginning the job search, you should not be linked to a blog that demonstrates lack of professionalism. Doing so can be very damaging to your job search. An employer will not think twice about trashing your resume if they read your latest blog post trashing the last company that didn’t hire you. Vent that anger through your friends or stuffed animals, but not in an online forum for the world to see. Employers are not looking for divas, they are looking for professionals.
As long as you don’t turn your personal blog into an online diary, you will be okay. Until you get hired, it is a good idea to tame any entries in your blog and craft them to display your intelligence as well as your professionalism- at least until you end your job search. If you do this correctly, you can use your personal blog to display your communication skills through written posts and videos, your knowledge of the industry you’re hoping to get hired into, and even give examples of work you have done that you didn’t have time or space to mention on your resume or during the interview. It’s a loophole, really, that lets you make up what you lost due to the restriction of the one-page resume/cover letter and can help you end your job search much quicker. A personal blog is a tool that usually rusts in the job search toolbox. That is why when used correctly it can be refreshing to employers as well as a testament to your professionalism.
Do you include a personal blog in your application documents? Do you purposely leave it out? Share with us in the comments section below!
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Search Engine People Blog