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I have a blog that I use mostly to record solutions to problems I have had, that I had some trouble finding an answer to. Mostly problems where the online doc I googled provided too much info, and I found the answer to my question on the fifth page of my third google hit.

(Or if I asked the question here, I either didn't get an answer or I got slammed for asking a question that "the answer could be easily googled.")

I frequently look up stuff on this blog to remind myself of how I solved a problem, and it gets a decent amount of hits from others as well.

Anyway, I was wondering if mentioning this blog on my resume would help or hurt me in a job search? The topics are all over the map.

What I would hope it shows is that

  • I am a person who finds solutions to problems
  • I have used many different technologies in my work
  • I am not afraid to tackle a challenge

What I am concerned it shows is that

  • This person had trouble with something that simple?
  • Why is this person bothering to blog this stuff?
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11 Answers 11

Any blog, if it covers technical topics rather than the adventures of your cat, can be useful in showing employers what you care about, what you know, and how you approach problems. Consider adjusting your entry style a little bit to eliminate the one negative, that it might show you once didn't know X, where X is some trivial thing that "everyone" should know.

Next time you want to write "I have been having such trouble for weeks now trying to figure out how to get the first 4 characters of a string with .NET, I was so confused but in the end I sorted it out, and along the way I learned a lot about the String functions ..." and then writing a useful post about string functions, but possibly tainting yourself as someone who didn't know that basic thing, start it instead "Some people are confused about all the different String functions. Here's a handy summary..." and then carry on as you would have.

You're not lying, you're sharing the same information you would have otherwise shared, and you're helping others. Plus, it looks better when others investigate you.

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Admitting mistakes doesn't matter. Everyone started as a newbie. Btw +1. –  kadaj Oct 25 '10 at 7:30
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I would say admitting you didn't know something shows honesty and also shows that you are learning and improving yourself. At work you do not know everything, and if you are not willing to learn stuff that you do not know, then you will get into trouble. Everyone was a newbie at some point. Still Kate Gregory has a point about not going into detail that it took you weeks. I did not know this might be good enough... Anyway +1 on the answer, especially about leaving out the adventures of your cat (unless it is a job for Whiskers../Max Cat) –  Cervo Mar 6 '11 at 18:21
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You are right when saying that some people will certainly see you as a noob while browsing your blog... however:

  • most employers will NOT visit your blog. They don't care
  • a part of the remaining employers will see it as a good thing. Will see you as a problem solver!
  • a part of the remaining employers will take you like a noob.

Would you be hired, and report to, a person that think he should not hire you because you ask yourself questions on your blog?

Certainly not!

Problem solved.

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I always thought that employers are visiting blogs if provided on the resume. Since I applied recently, I checked my visitor logs and couldn't find any traces of visitors from this certain region. I guess that this really depends on the rest of the resume, the job which you are applying for and of course the recruiting strategy. –  BenR Oct 23 '11 at 7:27
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If someone puts down that they have a blog on their CV I will always look at it - either before interviews if a URL is given or after if not (as I will ask for it in the interview). I'm guessing I must be unusual in doing this as almost always the blog does not exist/is offline, has a single entry and/or hasn't been updated for eons.

I don't take this as a negative by itself as it's unfortunately so common, but I would take it as a big positive if a blog makes interesting reading. It shows that you care enough about things to keep a blog in the first place (note to self - I really should start a blog sometime) but even more importantly if you have difficulty doing something once that you've taken steps to make it easier on yourself the second time around.

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Probably not

This is a fine question @TheMoot. It's been discussed a couple of times in slightly different wording (e.g. should I put my StackExchange profile on my resume, etc.) The general consensus seems to be that pointing to websites is a double-edged sword and it's probably best to stick to a traditional resume format that lists your job experience and accomplishments on the job instead.

Besides, if your potential employer is really into a person's web presence, they'll be Googling your name anyways.

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I agree on this. Remember that by linking your blog your giving the hiring manager a TON of information about yourself (even if it is code). If he know coding (not pure HR) this will be very bad because of the way people are hard-wired to see negative first when looking at something. Basically I say he will probably notice the flaws more than the good so it is very, very bad (well, risky would be a better word) unless your blog is VERY professional. –  n1ckp Oct 24 '10 at 19:17
    
Hmm, I think I might have been a little strong on this. Overall, the point still stand: It is very risky. Find another way to show you are passionate about programming. –  n1ckp Oct 24 '10 at 19:23
    
Mentioning it in the interview would be less bad: You will have time to tell him to expect some things not totally professional (I wrote this long ago, I didn't have time to proof-correct, etc.). Also, he will have aldready a better mental picture of you. In your resume, don't put the link, mention the blog if you want but don't link it. I think I'm pretty sure on this. –  n1ckp Oct 24 '10 at 19:30
    
Ok: here is a more balanced view on this: put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager. If you think he might not like something, don't put the link. I think that's better now. –  n1ckp Oct 24 '10 at 19:39
    
"Besides, if your potential employer is really into a person's web presence, they'll be Googling your name anyways." - Yeah, but you want to make sure that they find the right thing. I suppose if you're an expert on SEO that might be easy. –  Jason Baker Nov 30 '10 at 18:16
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It's not necessary.

I always Google the candidates I interview, I check everything Facebook, Twitter, Github, etc. If they have a blog a will find it and read it anyway.

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Well, it would only apply if he is applying for a job to work for you. What about hiring managers that don't google everything about everyone. You really have time for that? –  n1ckp Oct 25 '10 at 4:56
    
Hiring someone is a huge investment. The is a big difference between the guy that is 'ok' at his job and the one that is passionate about it. So yes, when it comes to finding the right man for the job I like to take my time evaluating the candidate. –  Cesar Canassa Oct 26 '10 at 1:31
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I hope you speak with the legal department. If you find information that you are not legally permitted to make a decision on and then make the decision based on that, you could be opening yourself up to a lawsuit. –  Cervo Mar 6 '11 at 18:23
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I'd say that mentioning your blog would be helpful. It gives a history of your progression and shows a potential employer that you're able to solve problems and diligent enough to record that information for future use.

Also, it differentiates you from most other candidates that probably don't have their own blog.

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Demonstrating you can code is a major part of the interview process. Many have indicated that college degrees, certifications, and resume exaggerations are no help in differentiating job candidates. Seems like S.O., a technical blog, presenting at a conference, a website you built, code on github/open source project would be excellent ways to create a portfolio of your work and skill set. Strong references are important as well.

I thought we were moving away from the hiring strategies of the 1950's? Apparently not.

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It depends on the quality of the blog. Same for a authoring a book.

When I interview candidates, if they have a blog, I take a look. The content of the blog directly effects the bias I have towards the candidate.

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effects -> affects –  TRiG Dec 6 '10 at 22:51
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@TRiG he might have meant "The content of the blog entry directly produces the bias I have towards the candidate." :) –  Carson Myers Dec 7 '10 at 4:27
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You can use your blog as an example of your personal knowledge management if this turns up in the interviewer's question. Otherwise, there is no need to mention in interview.

Never include your blog URL in a resume. When a personal URL appears in a resume, the reviewer will naturally expect that the site is as professionally managed as a corporate website (due to the reviewer's own expectation bias). Any sign of non-professionalism will hurt your chances, compared to candidates who do not provide any URL.

Most modern companies use some knowledge-sharing technologies such as internal wiki, internal blog, informal documentation, white board, prototyping, etc. This is in addition to any personal notetaking.

The key differences are:

  • Knowledge generated inside a company usually must be kept internal. Therefore, one needs to strike a balance in terms of asking questions without revealing sensitive intellectual/business information.

  • Modern companies are interested in improving overall (team) productivity through knowledge sharing. Personal notetaking only contributes to personal productivity. Therefore, it is important that your coworkers can understand your information and find it useful. This may require good technical writing skill.

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I don't see what's wrong with being completely honest about your skills and abilities. (But do exclude irrelevant personal info as Kate suggested.) Then you won't have to worry about whether you oversell or undersell yourself, or whether the job you're after will be below or beyond you.

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did you put something crazy in your blog? does it have anything to do with your work? It won't hurt to put in your blog if it has something to do with your work. A family blog would be okay but might not influence me that much.

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