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:
- I used to have a lucrative career in accounting. I was a corporate CPA.
- I got bored (more in a future article perhaps), and KNEW it wasn’t my calling.
- I quit and took a job at a small startup, which would allow me to blog more.
- The startup didn’t have any money. I only received one paycheck before I was told I wouldn’t be receiving any more.
- I had a decision to make…
I detailed this in full on Nick True’s YouTube channel, but I basically had to either…
- Get another accounting job, or
- Try out this full-time blogging thing, with no existing salary, benefits, or plan.
Obviously I choose #2.
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.
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?”
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…
My boss sent me a tweet, and I *ALMOST* replied using this Twitter account.
Not doxing myself again. pic.twitter.com/968zhdXHlM
— Penny (@picksuppennies) March 21, 2018
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.
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.
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
- How smart you are.
- 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?