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Resumes Are Dead. Your Blog is Your Resume. (Still).

I haven’t updated my resume for at least 3-4 years now. (There must be some old versions floating around, as just a few days ago a recruiter solicited me for a SAP Implementation Project – she must be especially dumb, not noticing the decade-old timestamp on my SAP qualifications.) But back to resumes: I don’t need one, and neither do you.

Even in the “old days” of writing resumes any recruiter would confirm that the single best way of landing a job was through your personal network. Top Executives, genius engineers, star salesmen, well-published academics don’t ever need to look for a job: they get invited. It’s always better than knocking on the door. Or many doors.

But now Seth Godin sets the same rules even for applicants to his internship:

Having a resume begs for you to go into that big machine that looks for relevant keywords, and begs for you to get a job as a cog in a giant machine. Just more fodder for the corporate behemoth. That might be fine for average folks looking for an average job, but is that what you deserve?

If you don’t have a resume, what do you have?

How about three extraordinary letters of recommendation from people the employer knows or respects?
Or a sophisticated project they can see or touch?
Or a reputation that precedes you?
Or a blog that is so compelling and insightful that they have no choice but to follow up?

We’ve looked at the two extremes: the top 5% whose personal reputation and network carries them on, and those who can’t really have a meaningful resume, since – unlike Ben – they are barely starting their careers. But in between is the rest of us, average Johns ad Janes, who probably have some achievements, are remarkable in one way or another … if only the world knew about it! Well, that’s the point! Most of us don’t have an extensive enough personal network, or they may be geographically dispersed, or they may not be in the right position… so how to get the word out?

Blogging changes it all. If you’ve been blogging for years, you certainly did not do it with a particular job in mind; your blog is likely to be a true reflection of who you really are, what you are an expert in, your communication skills, your priorities … YOU as a whole person, not as a candidate for a specific job – the brand called You. That’s certainly better than a resume, which is likely tailored for a particular job, and let’s face it, often “cosmetically enhanced” – no wonder it ends in the waste-basket.

You don’t have a blog? Why? Don’t you know the best time to market yourself is when you don’t need it?

Tom Peters has been saying for years:

Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You

My friend and fellow Enterprise Irregular Roth Boothby argues:

“…hiring a blogger is a lower risk proposition because you have more information and a better idea of how they are going to perform.”

He should know – he got hired twice, based on his blog. By the way, I really envy Rod’s charting skills:smile_eyeroll

It’s never been easier to build that Brand Called You: if you’re still not doing it, what are you waiting for? Start your blog today!

(hat tip: BL Ochman)

Comments

  1. Only problem with this is that for a lot of us, a resume is a must.
    Why?
    Well, first thing, HR people do not read blogs. Social networking is for “kids with cute kitty pictures”.
    Blogs are for angsty teenagers. Everyone knows that.

    I just wish the whole “self-branding” thing would move a bit faster, and reach Central and Eastern Europe this decade.

    On the plus side, I am into it, and it probably will help a bit – not much, but a bit – now that I am trying to land a job in the UK.

    But for the bigger part of the world, resumes are here to stay. For a long time I think.

  2. Roland, how funny I was just reading your blog while you commented here:-)

    I have the feeling that with a bit more focus on what you are good at, engaging in other blogs (of interest), you could have landed a gig with a startup here…yes, via blogging…

  3. Zoli, I agree that in a certain segment of the working world resumes may be heading toward obsolescence. But I think that segment is still extremely tiny. Blogging is absolutely a great way to build your personal brand … BUT … it also requires a long-term commitment, strong writing skills, and the ability to come up with fresh, unique content on a regular basis. Otherwise, it’s going to be a blight on your brand. So yeah, if you’re a great writer and you work in a web-centric field, get blogging. The rest of you, follow me to the resume store.

  4. Zoli, you make a compelling argument.

    “… your blog is likely to be a true reflection of who you really are…”

    Be that intentionally, or unintentionally. The odd rant not being discounted, here.

    However, for any prospective employer, they’d at least need to know where to start.

    Even having a search engine for your ‘blog might not be enough, so wouldn’t it make sense to at least pull together a few articles that are representative of your knowledge?

  5. Wayne,

    Yeah, yeah… but we have a major conflict here: I do like marzipan :-)

  6. Sicko.

    We’re so through, it’s unreal… ;-)

  7. Thank you :)
    Well, if you google me up, you can see about 4 years of active bloggin/forum whatever participation, I am sort of all over the place. (try both Roland Hesz and Despil)

    I was talking about Eastern and Central Europe though, and you have to admit that this part of the world is not yet blog centric – sadly, not even internet centric, we are about 7 years behind, mainly because the entry level was awfully high for a long time, but lets not go there :)

    But, as I am moving to the UK if everything goes well, I am building on both my LinkedIn profile, my blog, my twitter account and on my habit of going all over the net.

    More I feel coming up in a soon post :)

  8. […] by smoothspan on March 18, 2008 Interesting flurry of blog posts about how blogs make better resumes than resumes. If you think so, you should certainly consider […]

    That was funny for so many reasons.

    Some of us do need resumes because if we sent an employer a link or list of links or a file of articles they likely to throw it in the round file.

    “Well, if you google me up, you can see about 4 years of active bloggin/forum ”

    Sounds like Google is your resume.

    “Social networking is for “kids with cute kitty pictures”.
    Blogs are for angsty teenagers. Everyone knows that.”

    I wish I was everybody then I could 20 years off my age and be full of angst and I could put up my cute kitty pictures. I guess the new slogan is More angst more kitties hey I always want to be a Social Blogging Kid. think Toys R Us for those that missed the joke.

    […] the network aren’t credible, then you won’t get anything out of it. To me, LinkedIn is the most credible social network on the planet right now because it contains profiles of Fortune 500 executives and […]

    Wait you mean the people that people spend so much time kissing up to are not actually that important? How ever could that be? My self worth lies in my social networks more so than the people I have actually met face to face.

    Well that was a fun little exercise in improv writing and I think I may post this comment as my next article. Of course I will preface it and put in a link to this article.

  9. Jim,

    “Well, if you google me up, you can see about 4 years of active bloggin/forum ”

    Sounds like Google is your resume.

    Not really.

    “I wish I was everybody then I could 20 years off my age”

    Just love people who are in a “write only” mode.
    I can’t stress it enough, but it seems people always miss this part:

    I work and live in Central Europe, Hungary. NOT the United States.
    I EXPLICITLY stated that what I wrote applies here.

    I just have to love people who pull a sentence out of context and chew on it without trying to understand the actual meaning.

    But it was a nice try at least.

  10. Roland,
    It was all done in fun. Tongue firmly planted in cheek. I am sure if Zoli thought it was out of malice or meant as insults he would not have let the comment publish.

    However if you truly offended or felt insulted I do apologize as that was not my intent.

  11. No, I don’t as we cleared it over your place.
    Just too many ‘write only’ people around.
    And it did not come through first time.

  12. I love the way Seth threw the whole thing into sharp relief, and upped the table stakes. I’ve been saying that the blog is both the resume and the job search.

    Also that employees should not only all have blogs (because who trusts an employer though a downturn anymore?), but employers themselves need blogs too, for their own careers.

    And companies should not only allow employees to blog at work – on work time – but encourage it, and harness the best ones into the marketing effort of the company.

    And at South By Southwest Interactive this month we found plenty of bloggers who agreed. Web 2.0 is better at being a resume and a job search than either of the classical approaches ever came close to.

    To follow the collateral on this:
    http://www.hunterhost.com/123/resume-down-blog-up/
    and
    http://www.hunterhost.com/118/south-by-southwest-interactive/

  13. I published my own $.02 on Godin’s post today on my blog, then saw yours.

    What employer has time to read through someone’s blog? Resumes are black and white, quick ways to learn about people; cover letters are color to fill-in some details about a candidate (can s/he express him/herself in writing?), and blogs/facebook/flickr and all the rest are frosting on the cake.

    When you have dozens or more applications to go through, you can separate really quickly the wheat from the chaff.

    I’m not saying that people don’t get hired because of their blog (we hired at least two people at Atlassian because we found them via their personal blogs), but is that really practical for the vast majority of jobs out there?

  14. Jon,

    I’m not proposing to send a blog url instead of a resume as your job application :-)

    But a job application is like a cold sales call, except the chances are probably even lower. My whole point was that you are better off “being found” (just like the two Atlassians you mention) through your blog than applying to companies where you are just one of the crowd.

    Don’t have a blog? Start one! And yes, you will not be known to the entire world, so this is not practical for the vast majority of jobs; but my whole point is don’t fish in the ocean, fish in the small pond. You’re likely to find a better fit where you are a known quantity because they know your thoughts, you may even have interacted before the job vacancy came up. So skip the whole application stage: the match happens because they know you. And yes, it’s perfectly OK to bring a resume afterwards, but that’s really just the due diligence, background check, admin part, after the “marriage proposal” :-)

  15. I’m gonna agree with Rolands first comment about how HR managers are so far removed from social networking and the likes. People I work with asked the interns (college students) to do a series of social networking seminars for the fuddy duddies around the office who are trying to connect with the younger generation.

    Larry
    DamnIneedAjob.com

  16. Folks;

    I’m not in the US either and tend to agree that while a compelling blog can showcase your talents and experience-based insight, it’s still the resume that answers “who are you, and what can you do?…prove it!”

    The blog though, opens a channel to the wider world, whereby you can express your personal style and take strong positions with full literary license. If you’ve got unshakeable self-confidence, then way to go!

  17. Peter,

    Your own blog is a very good example: focused on Product Management, still very new. For now it looks like “newsclipping” style with some commentary. If you keep on writing, and bring in more of your own analysis / opinion, I would fully expect that you get approached by job offers, whether you need them or not.
    You will still need the resume: but after the fact, once somebody already wants to hire you. A very-very different position from being a job-seeker.

  18. Ok, just some new points as I discovered in the past few months.

    When you put your resume on an internet jobsite, and you post your own site’s link right there, people click on it AFTER reading your resume.
    I got visitors from monster.co.uk, around the time I got a call from a recruiter – yesterday if I look at the time, he probably had it on his screen while we were talking on the phone -, or the day when they check my CV, although it is not a confirmed connention, it’s just an observation, when my CV is viewed, on the same day I got visitors from monster.co.uk.

    Well, I am not waiting to be hired based on my blog, but I am sure I can blow a chance if I act stupid there :)

    I just have to find a way to write about my professional experiences which is difficult, as most of it falls under NDA with rather high penalties.

  19. Roland, Zoli;

    Thanks, your points are well taken. I’ve now written and updated 4 blogs to illustrate my breadth of interests as a product manager, with more of my own commentary (as much as is prudent and in the public domain). Like Roland, I think it’s a good idea to include a link to your blog when posting your CV on a jobs site. This is indicates your range beyond your current or past job descriptions. As an alternative to relating one’s professional experiences in a blog, I see Google is offering a “Knol” for when you want to write authoritatively on a single topic without compromising NDA’s etc.

  20. While your comments are very modern, I have to disagree about people not needing a resume. There are a tremendous number of companies that won’t even give you a glance without having your qualifications documented on paper.

    Sorry, but it’s true.

    Carla

    • cheapdaddy says:

      Yes, not only are resume’s req’d (especially for small companies) many do not even have email. (Could you FAX us your resume!)
      Show yourself to be a blogger and they see it as “this loser is gonna waste his whole day on the computer.”

      CHEAPDADDY

  21. I have a resume, but it’s lately been more a formality than a tool. In the past 6 months, I’ve gotten a job offer resulting from someone who found my Website in a search; an inquiry still in progress from someone who found me online; a contract by dropping a contact a casual comment on his LinkedIn status update; and an invitation to write an article for pay from someone who read one I wrote online for fun.

    During the same time period, I have sent out many emailed resume/cover letters for job that seemed a match. In most cases, I haven’t even gotten a form rejection or indication that my message was ever received.

  22. Even having a search engine for your 'blog might not be enough, so wouldn't it make sense to at least pull together a few articles that are representative of your knowledge? Jobs Opportunities For 14 And 15 Year Olds

  23. Given the number of people applying for jobs out there, I seriously doubt that every recruiter or employer will bother to read every applicant’s blog. However, they must at least look at your resume. I suggest you have an industry HR professional or recruiter review your resume to better align with the company’s mandates specifically. These professionals have insider info that can help your resume make it through automatic resume screeners and as well attract the attention of human readers through relevant phrasing techniques. Also, they might be able to help you get your resume through to the actual recruiter of a job rather than into a database where you are simply assigned a number. I recommend you try an inexpensive service called ResumeGuru (www.resumeguru.us) that comes backed by a money-back guarantee against canned responses and poor workmanship.

  24. I am blogging from the past 2 years and most of the my posting are personal in nature.I do not understand how HR professional will judge mine professional abilities with personal blog?

  25. Himanshu, the point was that with your blog you get to decide what Google finds on you. If it’s all personal stuff, than obviously you did not find it important to “market” yourself.

  26. @himanshu, I would like to add that if they consider to interview you, a personal site will give HR and – hopefully boss-to-be – a window into your personality.

    So while they will not be able to judge your professional abilities, they will get a feel of what kind of person you are. That is a deciding factor a lot of times, either pro or con. And surprisingly it can give an interesting insight into some of your professional qualities – not the hard skills, but the soft skills. How you manage conflicts, are you persistent, are you dependable, do you push responsibility away or welcome it, etc.

    Of course it will not replace your resume unless it is profession related blog.

    Cheers,
    Roland

  27. at this time HR team use social networking site such as facebook and personal blog to find people that will fit with they need as a guide.

  28. Good advice, need to be careful what electronic info you unknowingly have out there. Resume Layout Advice has some pretty good advice too…not about blog resume, just paper. It’s seems a little more down to earth and realistic than some I’ve found while searching. I do agree though that your personal network is priceless when you are on the search.

  29. Blogs are becoming increasingly stronger in the recruitment process especially for networking and job searching away from the traditional channels. Good article, thanks

  30. I like the idea of the blog; it is another great way to market your self to known contacts. I too doubt that the corporate recruiter will find it useful due to the time requirement needed; plus their systems are setup only to generate a list of candidates based off of a key word search. Not surprisingly they only end up with a candidate pool consisting of people that need a job rather and someone wanting to grow their career. But the organized manager that understands the work that needs to be accomplished will see the benefit.

    Something else your readers might consider is a video resume.

  31. My opinion about blogs is that although I don’t think they replace resumes, they follow Seth Godin’s purple cow logic in the sense that they help to attract hiring managers’ attention by and set you apart by providing them with a slightly more tangible representation of projects you have worked on. Providing a link to your blog on your resume gives them a chance to find out more about you if your experience meets their criteria.

    I am about to graduate college and am currently on the job hunt. I attended Northeastern University in Boston which has the number one coop program in the nation. Having coop experience puts me at a slight advantage over other recent graduates but I am still competing against candidates who have a few years of experience under their belts. It is very difficult to express to hiring managers on a resume innate abilities such as creativity. While one person may have more experience than me, if I had the same amount of experience I could potentially be an exponentially better candidate. Unfortunatly, hiring managers mostly hire people based on their experience. What providing a blog link allows you to do is highlight these innate abilities and set you apart from other candidates for reasons other than experience.

    I currently have a link to my blog on my resume. Most of the posts are meant to reflect my creativity and sense of humor. However, I feel like I could make it look more professional. If anyone has any suggestions of good free blog websites please post them.

  32. I’ll have to agree with @Roland Hesz that physical resumes are still a must because HR people don’t read blogs or they just don’t have the time to.

    But I’m pretty positive that modern management will eventually appreciate blogs in the future (in addition to resumes) in evaluating a candidate’s qualifications.

  33. I have to agree with with the comment above. Having a resume is very important, not in the traditional sense (sending paper resumes in the snail mail) but you must have an innovative resume to send out to perspective employers. Recruiters like to print out resumes not blogs.

    • I just wanted to say that I am in the middle of creating my own personal V-Blog, on my site (rather a podcast page) on of the ideas that was suggested to me is that I am very poor at conveying my skills an work ethics on paper, so it was suggested that I create a Video Resume, now I am quite positive that I would get a 50 / 50 rating with some people saying good things an some people not saying good things…

      What would be your opinion on using a Blog to post a video resume?

      • Whatever media suits you most…

        That said, it’s a one-time shot vs. the long time track record of someone who regularly blogs..or tweets… or (fill in your favorite media).

  34. Resumes are not so dead but if you have your blog you are also famous online. Just keep updating your blog.

  35. Great discussion! Although there is no magic equation to getting a job, you can slant the playing field in your favor. Our audience consists of people and those individuals have various likes and dislikes. The recommendation is to take the guess work out of how to get noticed by doing a little bit of everything. On your blog, you want to highlight your strengths, both personal and professional. Your video resume, paper resume and cover letter are created specifically for the position you are actively competing for. Having a link from your resume back to your blog is a great way to expose your talents to your audience. Same with your social media profiles. Be careful not to post pictures or comments that are not appropriate. You only have one chance to make a great first impression!

  36. I agree with the previous comment. Again, it is very important, is not in the traditional sense (to present the book to continue the traditional mail), but must be innovative in the onward is from the perspective of employers. To print the employers have no blogs. Thanks for sharing this.

  37. Blogs are increasingly strong in the recruitment process, including networking and job search traditional channels. Good article, thanks :)

  38. Great article and I really appreciate with you as blog plays an important role recruitment process. And yes blog will definitely replace the resumes. Thanks for discussion.

    Thanks,
    Chris

  39. hey everybody. I just found one great site that has ton of information about professional resume writing. Go to http://www.professional-resume-writing-services.o

  40. Very helpful hints. I had a business and now looking for a job in this bad economy. Found a job listing for a job I would really like to get close to home and that I have skill for. Your tips were very helpful

  41. These are reallly good advice. However, a "sample" cover letter would have been a nice touch which could then lead to getting an order from the reader to have your firm prepare a "winning" resume.Just a thought for you to consider. :) :)

  42. I don't entirely agree. A blog is a good supplement, but certainly not a replacement to a resume. I do believe a blog gives an employer a great deal more insight as a resume is just an outline of their work history with some brief bullet points describing the most important highlights.

    However, on the flip side…

    In an economy like today, HR reps don't have time to read the 600+ resumes on their desks let alone page through paragraphs and paragraphs of insights on candidates blogs. I do think it could be a deciding factor for a finalist however, but realistically I just don't see hiring managers having enough time to read the blog from 10% of the applicants let alone all of them.

    I think combining blogs, websites and resumes so you have multiple tools in your toolbelt is the way to go. Each individual has their own personal preference on which form of marketing they prefer and there are a lot of old school hiring managers who haven't embraced facebook, twitter, and linked in yet.

    Also, since your resume/blog/website is a piece of marketing that you are using to hopefully land a job I strongly recommend including color into your presentation. Tell me… when was the last time you saw an advertisement in black and white? So why is everyone so dead set on using only black and white on resumes? Incorporate some color into your presentation, it helps the job seeker get noticed so much more quickly than the other bland documents in the stack.

    Best of Success to everyone

    Dave Mengel
    President / Founder
    http://www.colorresumes.com

  43. Right said that blog is your resume because my friend got a call from fortune 500 company after they noticed his blog.

  44. Its a good thing of providing knowledge of Blogs and markiting. Its the good work by this site. There are Agriculture Resume in Sampleresumes.in which is amazing.

  45. I hear everyday from people who blog and use social media as part of their job search strategy and for me the irony is most readers of blogs and Linked In profiles etc continue to ask for a resume. They feel the process is incomplete without a resume. Taking it a step further, most recruiters and HR staff will always print it. So the resume is not dead, far from it in fact. I wrote a blog on this last year if you are interested in reading ithttp://www.resumepartners.com.au/blog/2009/10/is-

  46. I am always an adavocate for updating a resume XD

Trackbacks

  1. [...] the network aren’t credible, then you won’t get anything out of it. To me, LinkedIn is the most credible social network on the planet right now because it contains profiles of Fortune 500 executives and [...]

  2. [...] by smoothspan on March 18, 2008 Interesting flurry of blog posts about how blogs make better resumes than resumes.  If you think so, you should certainly consider [...]

  3. [...] people support this view on resume’s, Zolt

  4. [...] Blog, the SmoothSpan Blog, or to Debowen – another typepad blog – but goes perfectly through to Zoli’s blog and several [...]

  5. [...] Resumes Are Dead. Your Blog is Your Resume. (Still). – It’s never been easier to build that Brand Called You: if you’re still not doing it, what are you waiting for? Start your blog today! [...]

  6. [...] Resumes Are Dead. Your Blog is Your Resume. (Still). [via Zemanta] [...]

  7. [...] Blog, the SmoothSpan Blog, or to Debowen – another typepad blog – but goes perfectly through to Zoli’s blog and several [...]

  8. [...] the network aren’t credible, then you won’t get anything out of it. To me, LinkedIn is the most credible social network on the planet right now because it contains profiles of Fortune 500 executives and [...]

  9. [...] the network aren’t credible, then you won’t get anything out of it. To me, LinkedIn is the most credible social network on the planet right now because it contains profiles of Fortune 500 executives and [...]

  10. [...] repeatedly stated  Your Blog Is Your Resume and  got some flak from people reminding me resumes were not dead. Wow – don’t [...]

  11. [...] Resumes Are Dead. Your Blog is Your Resume. (Still). [via Zemanta] [...]

  12. [...] repeatedly stated  Your Blog Is Your Resume and  got some flak from people reminding me resumes were not dead. Wow – don’t take my words [...]

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