Ever been in an interview and wondered how you prove you know what you’re doing in that short time?
Ever tried to convince someone of your competence if, say, you’re trying to run a convention or help them with a project?
Ever wonder how, in the end, we can kind of ever prove in a few minutes that we’re good at things? Because it seems way, way too much of our life involves that. If you’ve ever been on the job search or tried to justify a promotion, you know what that’s like.
We have to show wins. We have to show proof. This is one reason I try and end every in-person interview by giving someone a copy of one of my books, because it’s hard to say “you can’t do project management” when I can self publish.*
The proof in many cases has to come quick, fast and solid.
That’s your blog. Your blog is a trophy case.
Just having a blog is a sign of triumph. You can make one and keep it running. This speaks to technical skill and dedication, and at times sheer bloody-minded determination.
The content of the blog demonstrates your communication skill. You can write and make it understood (well, hopefully).
The fact that your blog contains things relevant to your job displays your knowledge. Those in-depth articles, multipart series, and news deconstructions show that you actually know stuff. OK, it could also mean you’re a consummate BS artist, but I’m going to trust you.
The comments on your blog, the guest authors, or the people you work with on a shared blog show your connections, networking, and people skills.
Then of course you can show your readership, where you’ve been linked from, etc. Your blog shows people pay attention to you.
A blog is a fantastic trophy case of achievements. It’s a direct demonstration of what you can do – and is especially useful when you can’t show code, business processes, or are under an NDA. A blog is like looking at the achievement screen on your XBox, but with less snarky titles**.
You’ve got a lot to show off, a lot to demonstrate, and often a short time to do it in (or you need something people can peruse when you’re not there).
Let a blog be your trophy case.
Takeaways and To Dos:
- If you’re going to use your blogging to show off skills make sure it’s things you can, well, actually share. If it’s not on topic, uses inappropriate language, etc. you might not want to.
- If you’re looking to use the blog as a “trophy case” you may want to keep lists of relevant articles to show people in your job/client search. Can’t hurt to direct them.
- Series of articles are great things to show off as you’re kind of writing a small book. Also they help you organize your thoughts and more easily point to your abilities.
- Being on multiple blogs can look good, but again, vet them if the content is inappropriate.
- It doesn’t hurt to compile some “best of” posts and print them out or make them available in PDF, ePub, and Kindle for attention.
- Discuss your blogging and timely articles you’ve done in your interviews and with co-workers. If you plan ahead, you can even discuss things that are very specific to a career issue.
- Don’t forget your blog in interviews period – as noted, it’s mere existence says a lot.
Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach. He blogs on careers at http://www.fantopro.com/, nerd and geek culture at http://www.nerdcaliber.com/, and does a site of creative tools at http://www.seventhsanctum.com/. He can be reached at https://www.stevensavage.com/.
* Amusing note, at times this has led to me getting tapped for documentation-heavy positions or doc software management, which is not a field you should go into casually.
** Probably. In my case, not so much.