Do You Use Your Blog For Job Applications?

February 24, 2016 discussion 12

Talk To Me

is a no-nonsense discussion feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to pose a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it! Obviously feel free to write up your own post on the topic and link it in the comments.


Topic

Everyone who runs a blog, no matter how big or small, knows that a lot of work, time and discipline goes into it. Depending on your blogging style and your niche, you’ll have to at least think about the following points to varying degrees:

  • content production: how often do you post what, how polished does it need to be and when do you have the time to actually write it?
  • social media presence and marketing: do I need to get pinterest even though I’m more comfortable on twitter? Does it make sense to create a facebook page for my blog? Will people actually follow me? Whether we play the social media game or not you win or you die; there is no middle ground, most bloggers have thought about this at one point or another and a lot of bloggers spend huge chunks of time devoted to their social media presence.
  • platform: should I go self-hosted or use an existing platform? If I go self-hosted, how much do I have to pay? Should I learn some code myself, or should I dish out for a customized theme? Do I need to know Photoshop to make a blog banner? Can I just use a free theme?
  • networking: how much time do I have to reply to comments and comment back? Can I approach bloggers who have a bigger following than I do without making a fool of myself, or will they think I’m a total dork?

These are just a few of the points that can face you when you run a blog. Of course it is always your decision how much time you put into your blog, but creating and maintaining a blog consistently takes a lot of discipline and creativity. It can, however contain personal information, informal writing, or controversial opinions, which is why I’m interested: do you put your blog on your CV if you have one, and if you don’t, would you put it on your CV if you had a blog?

My Opinion

Some people view their blog as a hobby they have on the side, some people turn it into a job and treat every aspect of it professionally and a lot of people are somewhere in between. Personally, I consciously try not to see my blog as a job, which means I don’t worry too much about having a consistent schedule or only sharing my most polished writing. Could I produce posts that are more structured, precise and informative? Yes, but it’s not my job, so I’m going for a convoluted thought process meets wacky humor meets sometimes-obscure references style instead. Some of you seem to enjoy it, and if it brings a smile to someone’s face somewhere my job is done.

I love interacting with commenters, fellow bloggers and random people on twitter, but I don’t worry too much about gaining new followers or producing viral content, because, again, I’d have to put in more thought and time than I am willing to do right now. I love writing and sharing random thoughts or reviews, but I’m also studying for a degree and working, so this is what I do with my free time to relax. Or to procrastinate while feeling productive, but let’s not split hairs. I like to think that I’m professional when I interact with publishers, and I actually love exchanging professional emails and communicating with people, but that’s about the extent of my professionalism.

Otherwise, I’m laid back and I share some (but not all) personal information. For example, I wouldn’t gossip about a current employer or share disadvantageous stories about friends and family, but I will tell you about what I think of a certain book/movie/public issue without reservations. I also talk a lot about how I procrastinate, which is probably not the best impression I could make on a future employer, but it’s all for the sake of fun and whining, so I’m hoping my accompanying academic and work-related testimonies show the fact that I can, sometimes, actually be an organized, productive human being. For a day every two months.

All of that might make you think I wouldn’t put my blog on my CV, but I do. Currently I’m applying for MA programmes, but I have also used it on job or internship applications before. Sure, sometimes I’m worried that someone will actually check it out and find one of my ten thousand accidental spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. They might also think I can’t be professional, because I’m informal on here, or disagree with the fact that I share some of my life online. If it’s a media position, they could judge me for my amount of followers and comments, or the design of my blog.

So if my blog could be detrimental, why do I share it? Well, I believe that it also shows skill, creativity and discipline and proves that I can be productive even when no one’s paying me for it. It’s “living” proof that I have basic knowledge of CMS and HTML and can produce content on a regular basis. As to the content itself… well, if someone doesn’t want to give me a chance because they fundamentally disagree with something I said or don’t like the fact that I have a blog in the first place, it probably wasn’t meant to be anyway. And who knows, a blog and the fact that you seem to have some computing skills might be the exact thing that gives you an advantage over someone else.

Your Turn!

Do you put your blog on your CV? If you don’t have one, would you put it on there? What do you think are the criteria that decide whether a blog belongs on a CV for you? Have you ever had any good/bad experiences with putting your blog on your CV? If you’re in a position where you review applicants, how would a blog on an applicant’s CV influence your decision? I’m interested to read what you think, so let me know your thoughts below!

12 Responses to “Do You Use Your Blog For Job Applications?”

  1. verena

    oh what an interesting topic!

    I fully agree with you, but I would not put my blog in my CV right now, because it isn’t as structured yet as I want it to be. I am still searching for the right topics and I put too many topics into that thing that should be a portfolio blog in the past…. And it also depends on the job I would write a CV for. So I am still trying different things and searching my way concerning the blog.

    BUT I am happy enough with the blog to put it into mails and ask for reviews, so it is a form of application, too.

    what I did was linking my dawanda-shop in my CV,well I mentioned the business, so it won’t look like advertising.

    AND I did link the blog in an application for a creative apprenticeship in the past. And they liked my work (I used it as a portfolio) but they read some article where I wrote about a job I did not get because of skills I hadn’t yet and maybe this influenced their decision in not taking me for the apprenticeship…. I don’t know but it could be. So think about the content and then think about sending the link to somebody. :)
    Maybe they discover your blog anyway by searching your name ;)
    verena recently posted…buchvorstellung: “home” (beci orpin)My Profile

  2. Valerie

    Hahah, I do not. Mostly because I was applying to PhD programs, and apparently you shouldn’t be putting your hobbies (and in this case book blogging is a hobby for me) on your CV because you don’t want people to think you spend your time doing something else OTHER than working or researching! They want to see that ALL YOU DO IS WORK (even if it technically isn’t true). So yeah, that’s what I’ve been told, so even if my blog was super professional, it has nothing to do with my research, so I wouldn’t put it on. Of course, I can’t say the same for you, because I don’t know what you’re applying to. Maybe it would benefit, maybe it wouldn’t, maybe it wouldn’t matter?

    I know one of my friends put that she ran a Tumblr blog for answering questions about boarding school. She still got the job, but then again it was a volunteer job.
    Valerie recently posted…Guest Post: A Personal StoryMy Profile

  3. Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    ::Googling what a CV is…:: Okay, I guess it’s similar-ish to a resume. Well. I mean, I don’t have a job. Tbh, I hope I don’t ever have an actual job, like in the 9-5 sense. I guess I’d put it on if it was relevent, like, a bookish job? But otherwise… well you’ve read the shit I put on there. No legitimate person would hire me based on like, muppet gifs and overuse of the word “shenanigans”, no matter how much I’d like them to. ACTUALLY- this could help prevent this job business, because again, no one would hire me. ;)
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted…Cover Reveal & Giveaway | Water’s Wrath by Elise KovaMy Profile

  4. Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books

    I’m not sure if I’ll put my blog on a CV. I talked about it college apps, but I don’t think I’d like to. I don’t like to think about my blog as a job or a professional platform, it’s just a place for me to share my love of books!! Personally, transforming APCB into a business would suck the joy out of it. I’d rather just carry on as I am, but depending on what I choose as a career in the future, my blogging skills and other things I’ve learned might prove useful or parallel, so who knows! :)
    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books recently posted…The Book Hoarding JourneyMy Profile

  5. Jackie

    I mentioned my blog under “skill sets”. The job that I applied to was a communications-based and deadline based, so it seemed like a good fit. I have a second interview scheduled in March :)

  6. Alyssa

    Well, I don’t put my blog on my CV but I think I might include it if I ever apply for a book-related internship or such. I probably will mention it in my college apps because I’ve grown so much with this channel. I write my blog posts with a lot of effort but I definitely don’t do some of the side hustle with a professional style, like not going self-hosted and staying laid-back with respect to social media. And I self-learned so much CSS and HTML to design my blog, OMG. Really insightful discussion, Vlora!
    Alyssa recently posted…I’M SEVENTEEN! I shriek thank you and hold a giveaway!My Profile

  7. Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

    Oh my goodness no lol, I would not put my blog in a resume. I mean, I do post consistently and double check for typos, and I don’t post anything completely inappropriate or say bad things about people, etc., but it just feels too unprofessional, and I wouldn’t want to give that impression. If anything, I might include blogging under a list skills or whatever if it seemed relevant enough, but I wouldn’t go into detail by giving my URL unless I really felt like it was legitimately related to the job and could be helpful. You did make some good points about why it could be beneficial, but it would still be highly dependent for me on what the job was.
    Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books to Read If You’re in the Mood to LaughMy Profile

  8. Mackenzie

    Great discussion topic!

    I’m apparently part of the tiny percent that does put my blog on my resume. I even have it on my linkedin profile.

    It helps that my day job is in digital marketing. It shows that I have computer skills, design skills, copywriting skills, and can manage to post regularly. It also allows me to show that I have analytic skills, can work with data, know how to interact with people, etc. It’s not a full time job for me, but it utilizes some of my full time job skills!

    If I was interviewing someone who put a blog on their resume, I would look at it. It would help give me a sense of who the person is and if they’d fit in with the company, since I think that’s just as important as if they have the skills.

    I see nothing but positives to having it on my resume :)

  9. Krysta @ Pages Unbound

    I think it makes sense to put that you blog if you’re applying for a job in publishing or another relevant area where you might want to demonstrate that you are passionate about books and familiar with the current state of the industry. Otherwise, I think the best route to go might be to indicate that you possess a more broad skill, such as proficiency with WordPress or Blogger. But it all depends on the type of job you’re applying for and what kind of image you’re trying to present.

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