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I am considering starting an anonymous technical blog. I do not want to use my real name or picture online.

If I have such a blog, can I still claim it on my resume when I apply for a job? If yes, how to do it the right way?

Note: The primary reason for the blog is not to make myself more marketable. It is simply to share information with others. I do, however want to use it as a marketing tool to potential employers when applicable.

  • The point of a resume is to market yourself to a company. If the blog isn't for marketing, then what is your motivation for putting your blog on your resume? – jcmack Jun 1 '16 at 16:49
  • @jcmack I clarified my note in the post. – c_maker Jun 1 '16 at 16:51
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    @c_maker I actually thought the reasons you had were quite relevant and nothing you should shy away from. With all due respect to my other male colleagues here, sexism in tech is very real and it's different. I've seen it. Yes, we can all be harassed but this is a personal (and valid) concern. – Chris E Jun 1 '16 at 16:53
  • @c_maker Awesome thanks for the clarification. Then "pen name" answer applies in my opinion. But, keep in mind what Joe Strazzere pointed out, others could also claim your site as their own. – jcmack Jun 1 '16 at 16:54
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    If you're going to put it on your resume include a link to it and either make it clear that the blog is yours --do include your name, and photos of yourself-- so when your employer looks it up they know it is yours and that you aren't just claiming someone else's work. Also make sure you do not post anything that you wouldn't want your current or future employers to see. Otherwise don't include it on your resume. – Amanda R. Jun 6 '16 at 16:21
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Yes, you can. You can simply claim it as your "Pen name."

Also - getting harassed and threatened for having your own opinion isn't necessarily endemic to your gender. We've all gotten it at one point or another.

  • Agreed. I recall a person applied to a position at my previous company and on the resume it had a blog with a handle name. That aside I would say the blog had no effect on us hiring the person and we didn't even read it except glance over it. So reality wise writing a blog might be a big effort for little. Code would be more important in my opinion as it would show understanding applied to actual trade. – Dan Jun 1 '16 at 16:29
  • @Dan I added a note to the post. The primary reason for the blog is not to be more marketable. – c_maker Jun 1 '16 at 16:34
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You can, but I wouldn't recommend it. Women already have it rough in the tech field (in many places) and you need to consider how this could be perceived.

Having an anonymous blog because of harassment could be perceived that you're afraid of criticism or that you're weak. Women already have the (incorrect) stereotype of being overly emotional and weakness. That's why a man is called assertive and a woman is called a bitch. It's the common double standard.

There is a compromise between anonymous and fully public. Your id is c_maker so I'm going to make up a fake name based on that.

If you're name were Christine Maker, you could start a blog authored by Christine Maker. You could also it GirlEngineer. There's a third alternative. You could put yourself as the author as Christine M.

What that does is make it easily identifiable in that you can say that it's yours and any employer will make the connection when they look it up. Also, it's not completely anonymous so there's no possibility of being perceived as actually afraid.

But here is my unbridled honest opinion. Own it. Put your name and take the lumps. And when someone challenges you, you nail them to the wall because you know you're right. You're strong enough. Don't let anyone make you feel like you have to hide. And if the comments get too vulgar or become personal attacks, remember, it's your blog and your house. Delete them.

(I want to be perfectly clear that my characterization of stereotypes of women are not my own opinions nor do I want to suggest that it's ok. Unfortunately they do exist and unfortunately, women also have to deal with them. I happen to love strong women and married one.)

  • Some great options here! Thanks. Also, I considered owning it in the past and taking the lumps. However I have a family (two young children) and the possibility to expose my own or their identity to someone that happens to take a dislike to my opinions... Just not worth it. Anyone can call me paranoid, but I have been harassed before (physically and emotionally) and the last thing I want it for it to happen again. – c_maker Jun 1 '16 at 16:48
  • If you're married and have your spouse's last name you could always use your maiden name as well. That's pretty common. – Chris E Jun 1 '16 at 16:55
  • That is an interesting alternative. – c_maker Jun 1 '16 at 17:33
  • I am someone who is a vocal online advocate for women in tech and operate most of my online "entities" under a pseudonym. My opinion regarding whether or not you should put your blog on your resume lies entirely in the content of the blog and type of position you are applying for. How does the blog make you more hirable in the eyes of the employer? With those answers I could possible give better advice. – LindsayMac Jun 4 '16 at 0:54
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If you decide to call it out on your resume, consider well what types of company culture you will be applying into. And that it will become common knowledge not just to your supervisor but probably all your coworkers if you work there. I know in some industries outside projects are looked upon pretty favorably. But in traditional industries it could be seen as very negative, not that outside/related hobbies are problematic, but that it's considered more of a social media / timewaster. I know a lot of folks on here would be shocked that their boss/coworkers might not even know what a blog is but I'm very serious, in some industries it could be seen as negative or even amateurish.

  • You do not have to assume that everything disclosed on a resume or in an interview will be common knowledge among employees. It is not difficult to communicate that you would like it to remain anonymous. – LindsayMac Jun 4 '16 at 0:56
  • @LindsayMac if she is willing to tell her potential supervisor I think it would come across as absurd to ask for coworkers not to know as well. The supervisor will think it weird if she asks for it to continue to be anonymous. And if she doesn't ask, I think it likely the supervisor might mention it as a way of making small talk to other coworkers. – TechnicalEmployee Jun 4 '16 at 18:30
  • You are reaching here. To guess what another person will think about a scenario is kind of a stretch. LIke I said, she could simply ASK that, while the blog be considered as a part of her work, it not be shared with people who are not involved in the hiring process. – LindsayMac Jun 13 '16 at 17:14
  • @LindsayMac I disagree. We make determinations all the time about what is seen as professional or unprofessional. I said "in some industries it could be seen as" not that it would definitely be seen as. The answer above suggested having an anonymous blog could be seen as being "afraid of criticism or weak" so we are all speculating how the OP's blog might be interpreted by others. – TechnicalEmployee Jun 14 '16 at 15:52
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Yes, you can. If it's for an IT related career you can easily provide proof with various forms of cryptographic tokens, for example by putting a bcrypt hash of your full name plus a salt on the website.

I would not put an anonymous blog on a CV without proof, because if the employer already suspects other entries to be made up for any reason, claiming an anonymous blog as your own will only increase their suspicions.

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