Corporate marketers have been touting the virtues of blogging for years, so why shouldn't the concept be extended to individuals looking to advance their careers? That question is addressed in a much-linked-to article in the Boston Globe headlined "Blogs 'essential' to a good career," which lists eight reasons to make its case.
The points are valid and offer sound advice, but we feel compelled to note that not all people necessarily cast themselves in the most favorable public light in their blogs or anywhere else on the Web. Job recruiters are quick to note that "official" blogs--those that are crafted to serve as extended resumes--are all well and good (so long as they are ), but they are amazed at how easily they can find far less flattering information about prospective candidates through simple Web searches.
Even more embarrassing, this material often comes directly from the job seekers themselves, many of whom had unwittingly posted impolitic opinions or other unfiltered information somewhere online for all to see, perhaps in the youthful exuberance of their profiles on MySpace, Facebook or Friendster.
Still, at least some good may come of this. If more people do use blogs to advance their careers, perhaps the job marketplace can accomplish what has long eluded the academic world: reversing the steady decline in America's literacy by providing a direct economic incentive to learn correct grammar and spelling.
Blog community response:
"Blogging, in my opinion, can be great for your career...or ruin you. It depends on how mature, articulate, and insightful you are. Teenagers who are 'blogging' on MySpace today may later regret it when their potential employer does a Web search for their name. Many adults would also be wise to think twice before they write."
--Don Dodge on The Next Big Thing
"I really hope that the title isn't true. I don't blog in hopes of advancing my career, although if that's an outcome I'll be pretty pleased. I blog for myself to capture certain thoughts and ideas. For me, it's better than writing in a Word file and storing it on my hard disk. Should I reconsider?"
"A good blog makes you into a brand. You can build your credibility which means that people take you more seriously. It's not without risks but then what worth doing is without risks?"
--Cyberspace People Watcher