Blogging looks terrible on a resume. That’s about to change.

Important note about blogging on your resume: this article DOES NOT apply to all careers everywhere! This article refers to my own experiences in the world of corporate accounting and finance. Many of you fall into career categories that could very well benefit from including your blog on your resume. We have tips for you at the bottom!

It started about a year ago…

The fear of speaking out, of saying what I really want to say.

Is it because I was afraid of how readers would react? Or what my friends thought of me? Or what my mom would say?

Not. at. all.

If I publicly said all the things I wanted to say…I feared I’d be unable to land a job in corporate America should I ever need to go back.

That fear is fading more every day.


The embarrassing backstory:

  1. I used to have a lucrative career in accounting. I was a corporate CPA.
  2. I got bored (more in a future article perhaps), and KNEW it wasn’t my calling.
  3. I quit and took a job at a small startup, which would allow me to blog more.
  4. The startup didn’t have any money. I only received one paycheck before I was told I wouldn’t be receiving any more.
  5. I had a decision to make…

I detailed this in full on Nick True’s YouTube channel, but I basically had to either…

  1. Get another accounting job, or
  2. Try out this full-time blogging thing, with no existing salary, benefits, or plan.

Obviously I choose #2.

However…

Most people don’t know this, but three months after starting Do You Even Blog, I started applying to accounting jobs again, and even spoke to a few recruiters.

The first recruiter I spoke to told me to REMOVE all traces of blogging from my LinkedIn profile.

Like, wtf?

Wouldn’t hiring managers appreciate my aspiration to create? To produce something of value outside of people telling me to?

Wouldn’t potential accounting departments watch my videos and say “Oh wow. This guy is very well-spoken, knows how to present himself and communicate well, and also must have some technical skills?”

Apparently not.

The recruiter straight-up told me to hide any traces of creative endeavors from my resume and LinkedIn profile.

(Very important note: Not all career paths and industries feel the same way! Careers in marketing, communications, sales, and even operations are usually far more open to talking about your side-project blog. Accounting and finance not so much. It’s simply not relevant!)

Why blogging might look terrible on a corporate resume:

Because it shows drive, gumption, passion, and creativity.

Much of corporate America wants cogs.

Before anybody reading this gets offended because you belong to a company that does value “outside the box” skills and traits…know that I’m well aware there are exceptions!

Plenty of companies, especially startups or marketing departments, place huge value on digital marketing skills…

But even the most digitally-digitated hip startups and companies…may frown on entrepreneurs.

If you have the drive to write and create, why don’t you do it for our company, and not your own little thing?

Wait, you have time in your day to work on a side-hustle? We’d prefer you work on OUR work.

Companies based in the Industrial Age are optimized to be machines.

They’re built on

  • risk management
  • revenue forecasting (down to a science)
  • systems on systems on systems

All designed to do one thing: Keep the cogs churning with as little dust interference as possible.

As bloggers, we exhibit traits that could blow dust in the industrial machine.

  • Entrepreneurial Spirit – We don’t like the status quo. We like to change things.
  • Initiative – We take matters into our own hands, and solve our own problems
  • Contrarianism – Bloggers are constantly exploring ways to stand out and get noticed. Machines hate that.
  • Life outside of work – This is SUPER controversial, as 100% of all companies everywhere claim to place a high value on work-life balance. But in practice, employees who DO MORE for their companies tend to get rewarded yet?

While effectiveness doesn’t always scale directly with life-work balance, working more inside the office wouldn’t hurt, right?

It’s why so many bloggers are anonymous. They don’t want their employers to find out what they do.

From my blogger friend Penny

Yes, there are many aspects of blogging that could reflect poorly on you in the eyes of an employer, especially a larger corporation.

But that’s changing.

A few weeks back I interviewed Grant Sabatier from Millennial Money (here’s our chat. It’s amazing).

After we recorded, Grant and I chatted for another half-hour or so. Outside of blogging and personal finance, it turns out we both share another passion: better equipping young people (less than 50 year old in my eyes) for the workplace of the future.

What does the workplace of the future look like, you ask?

I’ll tell you.

More contract-based work

We’re already seeing a huge rise in “professional” freelancers. In a drive towards more locational freedom, workplace (and work) variety, and financial control, contract-based work is going to become WAY more prevalent.

More solo and small-time entrepreneurs

Even on a local scale, it’s NEVER been easier for one person to connect and serve other people with their specific skills. This could look like blogging, freelancing, side-hustles, or even small businesses. The tools to give and receive value, via business, are now in EVERYBODY’S hands.

A greater emphasis on broad and varietal skillsets

‘Specialization is for insects’ has never seemed more relevant. Machines and machine learning are growing at exponential rates. Startups want A-players that can quickly adapt, learn, and transition into bigger roles across multiple departments.

Soft skills & liberal arts in high demand

Again with the AI and machine learning bit…but certain soft skills taught in liberal arts majors like humanities and social sciences are going to grow in demand, as REACHING clients, consumers, and customers becomes tougher and more competitive than ever.

liberal arts degrees
Do you think these degrees will become MORE valuable?

If you’re a blogger, that last point should hopefully stand out a bit…

It’s what we do every day.

The ability to communicate and connect with other humans is going to be a HIGHLY-valued quality in tomorrow’s economy. And blogging builds those skills faster than lightning.

The marketing, communication, and business skills that blogging teaches are going to increase in value, even in the short term.

In the future, employers will DISQUALIFY candidates that don’t have blogging experience.

For one, they’ll want to see proof of your online presence. Many companies already do!

Why do you think LinkedIn even exists?

People communicate via the internet now, it only makes sense to both search for, filter, and evaluate job prospects in the most efficient manner possible: the internet.

As more and more companies go 100% remote and/or rely more on contract-based work, your online presence will become critical.

Then there’s the skills.

Sooner, rather than later, all employers are going to figure out that blogging is no longer a threat to their cogged machines.

The’ll stop seeing your .com as a silly side project that takes time away from their work, and start seeing our skills in communication, marketing, analysis, and sales.

*

How to include blogging on your resume NOW:

Contrary to what the rest of this article may have said…there are definitely ways to put blogging on your resume today and have it be useful.

There’s really only a few rules:

1 – Only list past jobs and/or projects that are relevant…

…to the specific job you’re applying for. This is resume writing 101 really, and your blog is no different.

If you’re online ventures have brought ANY skills relevant to the job and company at hand, it could definitely worth including somewhere.

2 – Call it something different

Too many people in the “outside world” (those weird non-bloggers) don’t really know what the word “blog” would mean exactly when mention it.

Instead, you should label and frame the skills you have (that are relevant) in such a way that they’ll understand it.

PF blogger, or personal finance consultant? Meta blogger, or digital marketing consultant? Freelancer?

In our private FB group, my friend Sarah summarized this nicely:

Listing the experience as a consultancy (vs as a blogger) is not about hiding what you were doing – it’s 100% about framing up the work you did in a way that is relatable to those outside of the blogging world. You want to get credit for great work that you do, and not have someone get tripped up on the title.

3 – Only mention relevant skills.

The last little thought on this subject is to AVOID talking about the more entrepreneurial traits that might cause concern for hiring managers, and instead ONLY focus on the skills that show

  1. How smart you are.
  2. Highly relevant skills for the position

***

What about you? Have you ever been afraid to tell your employer about your side projects?

Are you with me in relation to the coming change? Why or why not?

Related reading: Learn how Desirae Odjick used her blogging skills to get a full-time job at Spotify. She also lays out the critical skills needed to get a blogging job!

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6 Responses

  1. I think I’m an anomaly because I’m a teacher. Though the field has embraced social media a lot more than when I was in undergrad (teachers were getting reprimanded for holding wine glasses at weddings or being in bikinis on beaches on vacation), it’s still a bit different. There are days when I really want to lift the veils, but then I also know that I risk having a bazillion comments from students. Judging by what I thought was my defunct The Knot wedding guestbook that shows up on page 8 or something ridiculous of Google and all the pleas to be my flower girls, no one wants that. 🙂

    (Though I would totally smash the next Rockstar Rumble.)

    1. Oh my gosh I can only imagine that as a teacher.
      When my wife was still full-time teaching, she would ALWAYS struggle about posting stuff to Facebook, etc, where some of her (former) students could see.
      It was crazy.

  2. I’m in a mini-retirement right now (read: stay-at-home dad). If I have to find a “real” job my resume will have a big time gap. The time gap would probably raise a bigger flag than putting blogger on it.

    Maybe I would phrase blogging as “content manager” or “web designer” (assuming you do some customization on your theme). Unless you remain anonymous your potential employer is probably going to google you and find your blog anyway.

  3. It’s an interesting conundrum. I have sort of half come out but then again I have been pretty much been freelancing for a few years.

    However, I’ve put freelancing on the back-burner for a while and I have a good few months to invest in my blog. I am aware though Pete, that there will likely come a time when I will have to go out a hawk myself again, as I know it’s going to take me a long time to build up visits… years rather than months probably.

    I don’t have a plan for this but I do know that the corporate world is no longer a good fit for me… so when the time comes for me to dust off my CV, I’ll let you know how I decide to approach it!

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