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Does Blogging Help My Job Search? Mark Swartz, M.B.A. M.Ed.

About the Author

Mark Swartz, MBA, M.Ed., is Canada's Career Activist. His insights reach millions yearly as the Workopolis.com Career Advisor, as author of the best seller "Get Wired, You're Hired," also as a professional speaker and coach on career/work issues. A former Toronto Star careers columnist, Mark's advice is forthright and practical. For Canada's biggest directory of free career articles, and for personalized coaching, please visit www.CareerActivist.com.

Can My BLOG Help Me In My Job Search?

It's cool to have your own Blog these days. Write about anything you want. Say whatever you want to. And maybe, just maybe, people will read your stuff and respond. Sort of a nice, easy way to get your message out and create a bit of community.

But is it useful in your job search?

The answer is 'yes,' if you do it right. And a big fat 'NO' if you don't. Here's what I mean. On the yes side, let's say you're majoring in biology. You decide to start some sort of Bio-Blog. Every day or two you post your ideas. Maybe include links to other biology-related Blogs and sites. When people write in you contact them via their e-mail address and generate new relationships--in essence networking via the Net. In time could be your Blog becomes popular and attracts a steady following. Then one of your regulars gives you the scoop on a job vacancy few others know about yet.

Zoom ahead now to the interview you scored because of your Blogosphere buddy. Mr. or Mrs. Intimidating Interviewer asks the dreaded question: 'So, what makes you stand out from the other 10 remarkable candidates in line behind you?'

You can shoot right back with tales of your internet savvy: show them a couple of choice printouts from recent postings, like the ones where people are thanking you for providing such a compelling and illuminating presence on the Web.

Then again, it could backfire badly. What if you have a personal Blog where you identify yourself and you've said things you shouldn't have? Or uploaded pics and videos momma wouldn't be proud of? Could be too that your content is simply frivolous and time-wasting. It's not too far fetched to imagine an employer you've applied to Googling you and stumbling on your little secret. So much for your dream of landing the big one.

That's not to say you don't have the right to free speech. It's just that when seriously seeking employment, it may be best to stay anonymous (and untraceable) online unless you're contributing something you wouldn't mind being associated with.

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Using Your Blog In Your Job Search: Do's and Dont's

Do...

- consider making your content relevant to the type of role, industry or profession you're applying for - be overly controversial or cavalier with what you say - invite potential employers to visit your URL


Don't...

- publish rude, offensive or explicit material - keep your info current - believe you can hide behind a nickname or alias forever - network selectively via e-mail with people who write in with their comments -forget to thank the people who help make your Blog a success

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