How to get the job

A blog is better than a resume

People often ask me, “My resume is what I HAVE done in the past, but how do I communicate what I CAN do in the future?” The best way is to start a blog.

Here’s some advice from blogger Penelope Trunk:

“For your career, a blog is essential. It’s the new public relations and it’s the new home page,” says college professor Phil van Allen.

“Instead of a static home page, you have your blog. It’s a way to let people know what you are thinking about the field that interests you…. But pick your topics carefully and have a purpose. The most interesting blogs are focused and have a certain attitude. You need to have a guiding philosophy that you stick to. You cannot one minute pontificate on large issues of the world and the next minute be like, ‘My dog died.’”

You can check out her full post, but here are the most important points:

  1. Blogging creates a network. A blogger puts himself out in the world as someone who is interesting and engaging — just the type of person everyone wants to meet. A blog increases your network because a blog is about introducing yourself and sharing information.
  2. Blogging is great training. Blogging will force you to really get to know your topic well.
  3. Blogging helps you move up quickly. To escape the entry-level grind, you can either pay your dues, working up a ladder forever, or you can establish yourself as an expert in the world by launching a blog.
  4. Blogging provides more opportunities. Building brands, changing careers, launching a business — these endeavors are much easier once you’ve established yourself online. A blog gives you a leg up when you meet someone new.
  5. Blogging makes the world a better place. “Blogging is about giving stuff away to a community,” says software consultant Ben Day. “For years, as a junior developer, I would go to the Internet for solutions and I would always take, take, take. Now I am happy to be a contributor and give something back.”

Trunk writes:

Believing in yourself and creating avenues for your own success attracts a magnificent network of supporters.

So, blogging is a great way to buff up both your Image and your Exposure, from the Performance-Image-Exposure framework which is key to the GlobalRenCai blog.

Blogging Makes You a Better Thinker and Communicator

But blogging also can be an important way to develop your Performance, since becoming a deeper and broader thinker is key to high performance in the knowledge economy. Ben Casnocha writes:

You have to … capture what you experience and sort it out; only in this way can you hope to use it to guide and test your reflection, and in the process shape yourself as an intellectual craftsman. But how can you do this? One answer is: you must set up a blog…

In such a blog … there is joined personal experience and professional activities, studies under way and studies planned. In this blog, you … will try to get together what you are doing intellectually and what you are experiencing as a person. Here you will not be afraid to use your experience and relate it directly to various work in progress. Once noted, these may lead to more systematic thinking, as well as lend intellectual relevance to more directed experience.

…The blog also helps you build up the habit of writing. … In developing the blog, you can experiment as a writer and this, as they say, develop your powers of expression.

Blogging helps you become both a better thinker, and a better expresser of your ideas, both powerful skills that will drive your career.

The First Rule of Blogging: Just Do It

The first objection people have when I suggest they start a blog is, “I can’t possibly make the time for that.”  Don’t be intimidated. Just start writing. There are many free software programs out there. My favorite, and the one I use for this blog, is WordPress. You don’t have to commit to writing any number of posts per week. You could start off with one a month, just to collect your thoughts on the field you’d like to become an expert in.

Your resume is about what you have done in the past. Your blog is all about your future.

There are many free resources out there to help you get started. If there are any that you find helpful, please list them in the Comments below. And, if you’ve started your own blog, I invite you to tell us what it’s about and to include the link in the Comments section of this post.

Comments in English and Chinese are welcome, on the Chinese version of this blog post, which is here.