Improving Your Job Hunt with a Blog
After posting to my blog regularly and going through a sudden job hunt, I realize one of its major benefits: a blog can tremendously make a job hunt easier.
A blog can help in your job hunt by:
- being more powerful than a resume
- standing out to hiring managers
- efficiently preparing you for interviews
The more you write in your blog before the job hunt begins, the more powerful the blog becomes for your job hunt.
How I Started
I knew about blogging for a while, but I could understand why to blog. I found the topic of having a blog in John Sonmez’s book: Soft Skills.
In Soft Skills, John talked a lot about following a process over the result. By following the process of having your own blog is that there is more than one result:
- marketing yourself as an expert on a topic
- demonstrate mastery
- create your own brand
Best of all, John gave a more structured approach to posting to a blog:
- post a new article weekly
- write ~1000 words
- cover topics related to your industry
Presented with this structure, I understood the process is more important than the result and took another attempt. I first started by writing the first thing I did waking up (another great recommendation from John’s book).
Posting an article weekly to this blog took a little while, but I have started doing it regularly and found a good rhythm. I’m past one hundred posts now and an improved job hunt has been a result of this single process.
Super Powered Resume
The biggest benefit of a blog in a job hunt is it is so much better than a resume.
The standard length for a resume is one page, but how can one page really describe a person? At the same time, how can a programmer really demonstrate what they know in a one page resume? They have to communicate their thinking and show resultant code. A good programmer will be able to do both.
By having a blog, you can write as much as you want on a specific topic to demonstrate in-depth knowledge and have the resultant code as well, with highlights inline.
An example where I did this is when I wrote about programming a new mocking method with Elixir:
Taking this to the next level: have a working prototype incorporated into your article.
One example where I did this is my Google Maps and Leaflet article. I had code for both mapping systems and even incorporated working maps:
Remember the old adage: Show don’t Tell. Well, with your own blog, you can: Tell and Show your work!
Improving Your Candidacy
When actively job seeking, including your blog address in any application gives hiring managers another resource to find out relevant information about you. Your blog is a super powered resume that you show and tell your work.
When working with recruiters, your blog will help immensely as they can use it to build up a case for your candidacy with their contacts. Recruiters can give that to the hiring person to evaluate you further, providing more support for your candidacy.
At the same time, the hiring manager will either pass on you, reducing the number of ‘false leads’, or be more interested in you, improving your candidacy for the position.
This will make the process easier for everyone: you, the recruiter, and the hiring manager. Everyone has a better understanding with less time and effort.
Even when not actively seeking a job, posting regular new blog posts signals to anyone that you are knowledgable and actively working at improving your skill. Your family, friends, your social network, anyone reading your blog.
Since posting to my blog regularly, I get more emails from new recruiters with job positions, even though I do not actively say I am looking for a job.
This is opposite of how I worked with recruiters before. I had to call them to get noticed, now they are noticing me even before we meet.
The hardest part about a face to face interview is preparing for it. There is so much information on any given topic and learning it all well is really tough… under a deadline!
I have found, reading your own articles on relevant interview topics is one of the most efficient way to prepare for an interview!
You will immediately return to the mastery level you had when you wrote the article because it is your own thoughts. Even if you have not touched a topic for a long time, reading your own previous articles will put you at the same level without having to work on it.
For me, this dramatically cuts down on preparation time and stress. The expectation is for you to know what you wrote about on your resume and blog. Knowing anything else related to the job will be a great bonus in the interview.
Having blog is an investment in one’s future, where they are writing out articles to help their future job search.
Posting regularly will help your job hunt by:
- have a super powered resume that allows you to show and tell your work in an organized fashion
- dramatically improving your candidacy by giving hiring managers and recruiters more up-front information
- efficiently prepares you for interviews through reviewing relevant articles
If you want to have a better job hunt experience, I highly recommend regularly posting to your blog!