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This question already has an answer here:

There seems to be a general consensus that putting blog links or public profiles like LinkedIn or StackOverflow on your resume is considered a good thing to do if the contents of your blog or profile are topical, professional and show your depth and interest in the field; that is, it does not hurt to add a link to a personal blog to your resume, whether or not it actually helps is another discussion.

One thing that I am realizing as my career grows is that it is as important, if not more so, to be able to demonstrate your value instead of just merely having it. After tossing this idea around Comms Room, it was summarized rather succinctly as "you want to have a curated identity and a clear voice". In my opinion a personal blog is a large piece of building that curated identity. If it is not, please explain why you think so in your answer.

I used to put a not insignificant amount of energy into ServerFault for a number of personal and professional reasons. On the professional side, answering questions and participating in the community there challenged and exposed me to topics that I would not otherwise see in my day-to-day. I had the idea that a potential employer would look through my ServerFault profile and read some of my better questions and answers and think, "Dang! This guy is pretty good for a Junior Systems Administrator" and that would factor positively into his hiring decision. I no longer think ServerFault is a good platform for this and I am think of redirecting this energy into a personal blog related to Systems Administration and Operations with the explicit professional goal of helping "curate my identity and voice".


  • Do personal blogs that are topical and professional factor into hiring decisions at all or are they just merely a "nice-to-have"?
  • If personal blogs do factor into hiring decisions as a sort of "secondary" characteristic, at what weight do you think they do? (Not important, kind of important, definitely important)
  • Is it important to have a curated identity and clear voice to your online resume and consequently worth the time and energy to build it?


EDIT: While the question Do employers visit online resumes/websites for extended versions of resumes? covers some of my questions about whether personal blogs factor into hiring decisions it does not address the more general question about using a personal blog to help build your curated identity and personal brand. Consequently I do not see this as a duplicate.

marked as duplicate by gnat, scaaahu, IDrinkandIKnowThings, user9158, DJClayworth May 5 '15 at 17:33

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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I can tell you from personal experience that a well-done blog can attract attention your way and even have recruiters and potential employers come looking for you.

That said, a good blog won't make up for the lack of requisite skills. And a bad blog can turn a potential employer off.

When I hire folks, I do an initial phone screen. If it goes well, I do a search to check out their online presence before I invite them in for an onsite interview.

If I find a good blog attached to their name, I'm happy. If I find a bad blog, I'm not so happy.

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Speaking from experience, I used to write a blog. I kept at it on a daily basis and I had creds to back it up, like being a speaker at major industry conferences and author of many articles in well-regarded journals and magazines. I took the steps to get the blog high ranked on search engines. For example, I got linked on Slashdot, which generated literally a million hits; it almost brought my server down. I also had a lot of "resource" links on my site, that made it a valuable web site for a lot of developers for reasons having nothing to do with my blog. Needless to say, doing all this was a LOT of work. Was it worth it? I had fun doing it, but career-wise it was probably irrelevant. Best case scenario is that it made me more of a "known quantity", but at the end of the day, I doubt it had any effect on hiring decisions. I never had a recruiter contact me from my web site.

In general, I would say the risks outweigh the possible rewards for the average person. If you enjoy doing it, keep blogging away, but I would not recommend just trying to blog because you think it might boost your credentials. It doesn't, and it is so much work, you will leave off doing it, then it will just look stupid because you will have just a handful of articles and it will look like you are a shirker or don't carry through on things. Remember you can't erase it, once you publish it, because it says in cache and in the way-back machine and other archives.

Also, the content is risky. Unless you are a very good writer, a blog can come off making you look bad. From the wording of your question, you appear fairly literate but somewhat unfocused and rambling. My guess is your blog will be the same way. That will definitely not help you. Rambling on aimlessly will not impress anybody, and could give a hiring manager the idea that you are a time waster. Another risk is that you could spend time writing about topics that have nothing to do with the position in question, which can make you look inappropriate for the slot.

All in all, to repeat what I said above: if you are already blogging and enjoy it, do it for fun, but do not blog as a resume filler.

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I'm not an expert in this subject, but I've been looking to create a blog also for 2 very simple reasons:

  1. If you want to master something (Software Engineering) teach it.

Showing that you have the communication skills to effectively communicate a concept or technique is something very few engineers have. Lots of engineers also hoard knowledge in the fear they will lose their jobs. This shows that you give value freely and do it well

  1. Increase my reputation and create a personal brand.

Personal branding IMO is one of the most important things that you can do. In the global economy, companies will look at you and say "what makes this guy worth as much as he's charging while Abu Khadib in India could do it for way cheaper." This isn't to be racist, it's to demonstrate that outsourcing is a real thing.

In response to the above poster, yes freelancing is good if you have the skills for it. However, this isn't just about making a quick buck. A blog is a personal investment in oneself. It can result in:

  • A better job.
  • Recruiters come to you instead of you going to them (if you have a wide web presence).
  • Better freelancing rates.
  • If you want to advertise, and have many viewers, you could get a small passive income.
  • If you get really good, I've heard of book deals and speaking engagements even coming from them.

So yes....making a blog can be good for one's career. However, I would spend a lot of time researching what makes a good blog from a bad one, so you don't get discouraged after a few months. I think that's out of scope for this question though.

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It depends.

Given two otherwise completely identical candidates, one of whom has an online presence (blogs, forums, or something else) and one of whom doesn't, it's pretty reasonable to expect that the candidate with a solid online presence is going to be preferred. If establishing an online presence had no cost, it would be a no brainer. But in reality, you rarely come across completely identical candidates and you always have to consider opportunity cost-- what would you have done with the time you invested building your online presence.

If the question is whether it would be better to invest time cultivating an online presence rather than, say, binge watching some brainless reality television, building an online presence is certainly going to be better for your career. But there are many plausible alternate uses for your time that might be better for your career than building an online presence. For example, there may be projects at work you could work on in your "free time" that would be more appealing on your resume-- most companies have a laundry list of projects that they would like to have done but that aren't high enough priority to assign resources to. There may be certifications that you could pursue that would be more valuable than a nice blog. There may be freelance jobs you could pick up or work that you could do for a charitable organization that would better showcase your skills. It's possible that creating a blog is the best possible use of the free time you have outside work to invest in personal improvement. But that's not something anyone other than you could realistically make a guess at.

  • I've been told by many people that certifications mean nothing in this industry. – Lawrence Aiello May 1 '15 at 18:24
  • @LawrenceAiello - It depends. It depends on where you are. It depends on the sort of jobs you're looking for. It depends on the sort of companies you're interviewing with. It depends on the specific certifications. If you're trying to get hired as a software developer in a startup in Silicon Valley, yeah, it's probably not going to be helpful. If you're looking to be an administrator for a widget manufacturer in the middle of the country, it's certainly going to be helpful. Will it be more helpful than a blog? Maybe. – Justin Cave May 1 '15 at 18:26
  • Ah yes I agree. Given that this guy is a junior systems admin I didn't think management certifications applied. However yes, the PMP, lean six sigma etc. are definitely helpful if you go that route. – Lawrence Aiello May 1 '15 at 19:01
  • It's also worth noting some certs are valuable some certs are a complete waste of time and effort. As far as online presences goes in my experience it's not so much having a "good" online presences as not having a bad one. If you put up a blog, participate in various professional sites, etc. You can control the message your employers see when they look for you. Now if you have virtually no presence online and they come across you trolling someone on a forum, an adult website profile, and that crazy ex talking about you on her blog... yeah... – RualStorge May 1 '15 at 20:51