Are Blogs the new CV?

by Paul Browne

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If your CV is like mine (viewable online), then the chances it is:

a) accurate but terse
b) full of technical details
c) covers years of your life in one sentence

but worst of all

d) is boring and doesn't really show whether or not you have the skills, experience and attitude needed to do the job.

In fact, do you suspect that some people you are working with may have 'stretched the truth' a little too far on their CV?

Now imagine if your CV was in a blog format. A good example from Texas is here (all 3rd party examples in this post have been picked at random via Google). Apart from being trendy, what are the advantages of doing your CV this way?
  • Because the sections in your Blog / CV are 'tagged' you can give more details, and let employers view just the areas that they are interested in.

  • Because you update your Blog / CV on a regular basis, with more information, it is harder to fake. A one or two page CV is easy to write as a work of fiction. A blog that represents your life for the last 3 years would take too much effort to fake, so it is more likely to be trusted.

  • Because you write about things you are interested in, people get a better idea of your motivation, and what you are really good at.

Taking this to extreme, your CV can be searchable via Google to allow recruiters to quickly see if you have the right skills and experience. This example of Thomas Hauchcorne is in French but you'll easily find your way around the Google-Like interface.

What do you think, are blogs the new CV? If you're looking to use Blogging to land yourself a new job, then Jobster isn't too bad a place to start.

What do you think, are blogs the new CV?


2006-02-14 07:09:50
I doubt it, because:
Say you have an open position for a mid to senior level developer at your company that you need filled within a month.

Depending on the city your company resides in you could get upwards of hundreds of applicants. Resumes fill the need of having an overview of a candidate so that you can quickly go through dozens of people in a single sitting and filter the list to the ones that have the skills and background you need.

Saying that blogs can fill that need seems to imply that peers from within the company (let's face it, HR won't make heads nor tails of a tech blog) have nothing better to do than read through page upon page of entries, trying to get an idea of the same info you could put on a well thought-out one or two page resume.

Blogs can only remotely start to fill that need if you don't need them. People like Doug Bowman or Chris Shiflett still won't use their blogs as CVs because their experience and reputation among their peer developers preceeds them.

2006-02-14 07:25:15
I don't think blogs will replace resumes/CV's any time soon, but I think they can easily supplement them. Any technical lead looking to bring someone aboard who doesn't drop the final few candidates' names into Google is missing some of the picture.

You're right, it's easy to hide, obfuscate, inflate, or even lie about your past on a resume. With a blog going back 6, 12, 36 months, it's much more difficult.

The devil you know...

2006-02-14 07:30:13
Maybe you have had a different experience ...
Maybe you've had a different experience from me because ...
  1. My geographical area (Dublin / Ireland) is well defined and even has it's own domain (.ie) - this makes it easier to 'Google' for technical people within this area.
  2. If any company is currently getting hundreds of applicants per position, then congratulations to them , they are the envy of the IT industry :-) I'm not sure what the market is like in your local area, but the Irish Market is currently at a nice balance compared to the dot com boom and dot com bust of recent years.
  3. It may surprise bloggers that even now less than 10% of IT people are blogging. Blogs are a good way to filter the 'hundreds of applicants' as blog writers (by definition) demonstrate the good communication skills many companies are looking for.
  4. A well written blog should be accessible to both technical and non technical people alike. HR may not understand the words (they can word-match like the best recruitment agencies!) but (in a well written blog) the reason what they say is important should be clear , even to a 'non-techie'.

I will agree with you 100% on two points:

  1. CV's and Resumes still have an important role (that blogs will complement).

  2. people whose 'among their peer developers preceeds them' can only have those reputations enhanced by blogger. I've certainly found my most interesting work by reputation and networking.

2006-02-14 09:26:15
Maybe you have had a different experience ...
"I'm not sure what the market is like in your local area, but the Irish Market is currently at a nice balance compared to the dot com boom and dot com bust of recent years."

Here in Austin, Texas, I recently spent three months trying to find a qualified developer who didn't already have a job. One candidate had a blog and it didn't really help their position. Creating and managing fairly large open source projects in the language required for the job helped them quite a bit more. Even after that, though, it didn't work out and I didn't have anyone start until two months later.

I attempted to put some feelers out through people I know who blog and that did me no good whatsoever. I personally don't have the time or inclination to maintain a blog, though I consider my communication skills excellent - I show my qualifications through my skillset, experience and past employers.

Not knocking them to any degree, mind you. I subscribe to about 150 XML feeds - mostly developers' blogs or found through them.

2006-02-14 09:45:16
Maybe you have had a different experience ...
'I show my qualifications through my skillset, experience and past employers' - all valid and (very) effective ways of doing this, with blogging another option on the list!