Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Is blogging your new resume?

In an interesting article on Tech Central, one writer suggests that your blog may be required reading for any editors who want to hire you. Read more about it at Common Sense Journalism.

As the writer put it:

If you were an editor looking for a new hire these days, what would your first move be after checking your candidate's resume and clips?

To check their blog, of course.

This, of course, is part of the idea behind this J-School Year project.

What do you think, especially since so many blogs are so personal and so woefully unedited? Are you leaving a permanent record that could hurt you down the road?

Update: A thoughtful response from Martin Stabe in the UK.


Blogger Jenni said...

hurt me? most entries in blogs are written when you're feeling some sort of emotion that enables you to write the way you cannot write at any other time. if there is any true account of how you can write then blogs are it. it's not about the way they are written, it's about the passion for writing that they portray. and since i think interviews make people not act like their true selves anyway, what better way to find out who they really are than their blogs? however, it is 'personal' stuff, but if you're going to be a writer then everything could be considered personal because you're putting something that you thought up out there and that's always scary to some degree.

12:17 AM  
Blogger Doug Fisher said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:27 AM  
Blogger Doug Fisher said...

True, but ...
Part of the hiring dance, sad to say, is not revealing all of yourself. Everyone has parts an employer isn't going to like. (And consider all the hue and cry about psychological testing and checking credit reports as part of the hiring process.) So while I agree with you that emotion produces some of the best writing, it's often emotion channeled by a specific time and purpose, not "letting it all hang out" as can happen on personal blogs.

And what about so many entries with misspellings, wrong usage, etc. If editors toss resumes with a typo (yes, just one ... I know of at least one case where a student lost an internship because of one misspelling and others where polite but stern warning e-mails were generated), then what about blogs filled with them?

Fodder for debate.

12:29 AM  
Blogger Graeme Moore said...

I'm almost certain there's some snazzy saying that could sum up what I want to say in a few words or less. But, being that it's nearing 4 a.m., your chances of hearing me regurgitate that are slim.

What I do know--even without the catch phrase--is that I've discovered repetition, good or bad, usually leads to habits. Thus, should we as students continue producing disgustingly butchered copy--whether it's on our heartfelt blogs or the ultimate breeding ground for bad grammar, instant messaging--one thing's for sure: it will become increasingly difficult to break those habits when, in fact, we do make it to the 'real world.'

Plus, it's hard enough imaging what Mr. Fisher is thinking about some of the poor grammar ... let alone everyone else who reads the blog.

As for potential employers reading my posts, go for it. Not only does it provide more clips, but it also shows that you have some variety (and sometimes a little spunk, something those VOSOTs might lack).

Waiting for the sunrise,

4:28 AM  
Blogger Allyson Bird said...

I've added "A J-School Year" and my online internship diary to my resume. Clips can't always tell an employer the story behind the story, which is sometimes what makes it worthy of submission in the first place.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What of the butchered grammar that shows up in printed clips? I know of one entertainment editor who couldn't spell his way out of a paper bag when he began (the product of a fine chicago public school education), but he had good editors to clean up his prose while he studied dictionary.

What will hiring pros make of blog posts? Hard to say. The real "danger" in using blog posts as a hiring data point is the possibility that such posts could be used to weed out people with "undesirable" opinions. Suppose, for instance, that a young student were to express less-than-adequate support for liberal or conservative political viewpoints. Would a hiring editor toss the resume because the editor didn't agree with the (possibly) naive postings of a 21-year-old j-school student?

Would a student be subject to a sort of "Easterbrook effect"* where everything he ever said were fodder for letter writers should he cover a controversial local topic? Would a hiring editor think that such a writer was not worth the hassle? Mores the pity.

* Named for Gregg Easterbrook, the writer who was fired after he wrote a review of a Quentin Tarantino movie that included a remark that was judged anti-semitic.

Bryan Murley

12:54 AM  

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