Monday, June 11, 2007

Blogging: Help or Hinderance in the Job Search?

So I've been thinking about going back to work. To an actual "in-house" (as in, "out of my house") job. Truth be told, I'm beyond the "thinking about" stage and even past the "going on an interview" stage. That's right, I already did it: my first interview in six years. It went as well as you might expect, with little flakes of rust and wisps of dust flying here and there.

If I can remember back that far, job interviews are like first dates:

Pre-date jitters? Check
Worried about saying the wrong thing? Check
Afraid they'll Google you and read your blog? Ok, so that one hadn't come up before (my last "first date" was 11 years ago).

But what to do when you write a blog that, because of its personal nature--not to mention the occasional typo--is bound to offend some prospective employers? Over the past year I've written about the girls, the dog, the dog spelled backwards, the war in Iraq, the current administration, hockey, selling a house, buying a house, landscaping, girly girls, the mommy wars, my first visit to Yosemite, traveling with small children, BlogHer, the 2006 Nobel Peace prize, farting dogs, the Panoz Esperante GT, a plea for donations for Charlotte's school and a host of other topics.

Blog For Jobs, a site for people who, well, blog for jobs, says that "blogs can give employers insight into a person’s writing ability and how one thinks." But they also go on to quote experts who opine that, to use your blog in your job search, "it’s critical to focus your topics on your industry and highlight what you know." By that logic, one might think that I'm pretty much screwed.

But I'm a writer (please note: not an expert proofreader). I used to make a living exclusively as a copywriter, but I've branched out. The blog is already out there, so if I'm Googled, well, there it is. Hopefully, prospective employers would use it to get an idea of my writing ability and not hold my opinions against me. Besides, the blog also showcases some of the things one might not put on a resume: mild sarcasm and a good sense of humor come to mind.


Pranayama mama said...

Well, having worked hand-in-hand with you (in what might be construed as the worst possible work environment ever known to mankind), I think your blog gives an interesting perspective on your life post-corporate America and showcases your interesting personality more than simply your writing skills.

Hey, if you lived anywhere near me now, I would insist that you come to work with me again -- not only because you're a talented writer but also (and more importantly) because it was such an awesome pleasure to work with you.

And the margarita machine helped. You should request that at your next job.

Melanie K said...

I do love you!

So can I take that as a "yes" that you'll be a reference? ;)

I'm going to go and have a little happy cry now. xox