Gis a job – seriously!

I wrote a post yesterday called “‘Gis a job” where I referred to an article in the Boston Globe that claimed that blogging was good for your employment prospects.

I mentioned that in all the time I have been blogging, I haven’t been offered a job. Thinking about this subsequently, I wondered if this was because a) my blog revealed too much about me (I’m not the most diplomatic of people, for example) or is it simply b) because people assume I am not in the market for a job?

If we assume it is b) – then, what if I now say “I am in the market for a job”? Will the offers come rolling in?

What are my skillsets?

  • Well, I’m not too bad at blogging and podcasting
  • I know shedloads about social software and how to use it to raise the online profile of a company, product or service as well as how it can be used to improve a company’s internal and external communications.
  • I know a considerable amount about search engine optimisation (hence the following, for example)
  • I have an impressive and growing network of contacts
  • I am a very good communicator – well used to speaking in front of large audiences
  • I have led teams of coders in the development of large web applications
  • I am a very experienced sysadmin – and I know my way around Win2k and Win2003 Server, SQL Server, Exchange Server, and ISA Server

So what of it – does this blogging for employment thing work?

By the way – the “Gis a job” expression is a reference to the very excellent Boys from the Blackstuff drama which was shown on TV here some time in the 80s.

52 thoughts on “Gis a job – seriously!”

  1. Pingback: gapingvoid
  2. The first question that pops to mind is- ‘Where would you like this job to be?’ Around Boston, in Ireland, some flavor of paradise?

  3. Here I was thinking you were looking for a GIS job, which is apparently a hot occupation right now.

  4. Hey John – some flavour of paradise sounds nice, now that you mention it 😉
    Seriously though, I’d prefer the job to be based in Ireland. Cork, if at all possible. But, in the end, it would depend on the job and the offer.

  5. Hmm,

    Damien, I knew you looked fimiliar. Those grainy dot matrix print-outs I saw in the electronics lab in Waterford. Where all teh Buffy fan club used to hang out.

    I was more a Willow man meself tho’

    God. That only took 11 comments to spiral off topic. Thats good going!


  6. Man, Tom. You should move to the Valley. There are a heap of jobs for talented bloggers / podcasters / SEO’s like yourself.

    I get asked every couple of days if I know anyone who does what I do. I could totally line up some interviews if you are willing to make the leap.


  7. Hey Tara – thanks a million.

    Unfortunately a move to the Valley isn’t really on the cards at the moment – my parents aren’t in the best of health so I couldn’t leave them without any direct family around.

    Great Mary, much appreciated – congrats on the move to WordPress btw!

  8. Not to be a killjoy, Tom, but I’d figure it is easier to lose a job because of your blog than it is to get a job because of your blog. Especially if you were to, say for example, publish on said blog that you were looking for a new job.

  9. That’s a very good point Ann and I wouldn’t recommend the strategy I took with this post to anyone who is currently employed (as opposed to my being self-employed – I’m hardly going to fire myself 😉 )

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  11. It is a good question Piaras and frankly I’m surprised it wasn’t asked sooner!

    Personally, I think the only function of a CV is to get you an interview. Once you get to the interview stage, the CV is pretty redundant and it is then up to you to sell yourself to the interviewers.

    To my mind, this blog is my CV – it should be enough to get me an interview, at least (if not, why was it voted best tech blog at the Blog Awards?).

    I can throw a CV together if someone requires one but personally, I don’t think it should be necessary.

  12. I have done some recruiting in the past, and the first thing a recruiter looks at is filling out his/her requirements… usually 1) a degree or similar qualification, 2) X years relevant experience. In Ireland, you will find it difficult even to get an interview without these two things, in my experience. I know a lot of blogs have a page for CV, this would be very advisable for anyone who wouldn’t mind getting some offers.

    Its not like in the Bay Area, where your average CEO reads the blogs every morning with his white chocolate mocha, and suddenly decides “YES, HIRE THAT MAN!”. Over here, most of the people involved in finding interview candidates are just ticking boxes.

  13. Whomever hires Tom as a result of this blog post is not going to be the type to want a CV. I’d be hiring Tom for his networking and communication abilities. Thus is his cv. That’s his tech passion. Tom may hae DB skills but when does he blog about DBs?

  14. Yeah but there’s other things not mentioned here. Haven’t you won a Golden Spider before? I found that through a quick Google, do prospective employers have to google you to get more info, or would it be more efficient to present them the info? Employers would also be looking for references – is that meant to be who’s linking to Tom in Technorati?

  15. One of your “skillsets” is your wide range of contacts. Do your contacts know they are CV fodder?

  16. Thanks for the comment at Can Blogs = Jobs? Tom.

    I agree with you Tom, and you’re right on both points.

    Despite my admitted lack of using blogs for that recent job search I did use Google once I had everything narrowed down to 6-8 good candidates. The resumes associated with a web presence were a lot easier to trust (…and, incidentally, to contact via either email or phone).

    As for advertising that you’re looking for a job on your blog – that’s a great thing, because you never know who is reading your blog. It’s also a bad thing if your current employer won’t take kindly to you seeking other offers (common here in CA, US and with narrow-minded employers/HR departments).

    HOWEVER, since a current employer already knows your name – they’re more likely to be reading your blog than any “singleâ€? employer you could pikc out of a hat. So, I think the net result of advertising that you’re available is good if your current employer allows it – and VERY bad if not.

  17. Jesus, wake the fuck up people. New age, new media, new thinking, new communication routes.

    The decades old CV model is gone. Turning it from paper to a word doc to a html page *makes no difference*. It is old thinking for an old world that is starting to crumble.

    This is the crapola thinking that made execs turn brochures into websites, turn flyers into spam emails and business cards into banner ads.

    Look at English Cut and Stormhoek. They didn’t take the flyer online. They didn’ take the jingle laden radio ad online. They used the global microbrand. They showed their wares by making you a guest in their offices and being Willy Wonka showing you around his Chocolate factory and showing you how they “make the magic happen”.

    The whole point of this exercise is that the blog is this new communications route, it’s now cv 2.0. There are new ways to hire people that make the CV obsolete and blogs are one way.

  18. Damien, and the whole point of some of these comments is that CV 2.0 is not here yet, in Ireland. Tom asks “So what of it – does this blogging for employment thing work?” and the answer for now evidently is that it does not. Seriously, go and ask whoever is in charge of hiring in 1000 random companies in Ireland what Tom Raftery’s strengths are and they will stare at you blankly. Bring up this webpage, and they will still stare at you blankly. Unless the prospective employer knows the blog intimately, which is extremely unlikely, then the first thing they’re going to say is “he looks good, tell him to send on his CV”.

    How can putting up your degree and work experience on your website be crapola thinking if that actually might get you the job you’re looking for? Seriously, wake the fuck up yourself.

  19. Piaras, James, Damien – great discussion!

    James, to an extent you are correct when you say:

    CV 2.0 is not here yet, in Ireland

    but you are waaaaay wide of the mark when you say:

    Tom asks “So what of it – does this blogging for employment thing work?â€? and the answer for now evidently is that it does not

    I can tell you categorically that the response to this post has exceeded my wildest expectations.
    Nothing is signed, sealed or delivered yet so I can’t say too much but let me just say that I am not lacking in choice!

    None of these companies would have considered approaching me if I hadn’t created my own global microbrand with the blogs and podcasts.

    And none of them have seen my cv. In fact, I haven’t updated my cv since I started blogging.

    In any case, personally, I don’t want to work for a company which wouldn’t hire me from the blog post!

  20. James, I’m fully of the belief that a company should seek you, not the other way around and if you are the best at what you do then you’ll be hired. If every company in Ireland hasn’t a clue who Tom is then it’s their loss.

    Toms current skills should be found by a company looking for web aware, new tech evangelising people. If a company that wants his skills then they should be more than aware of blogging, they should be in this community contributing and conversing. If Tom wanted some mediocre job with a tech ignorant company that has just decommissioned carrier pigeons than having a cv and sending it to them is fine but there’s hardly a need to have it on his blog then is there?

  21. Damien – I agree what you’re saying in theory, and obviously I was wrong in thinking that it was too idealistic. Congrats Tom – let us know what the story is when the ink is dry 🙂

  22. Tom, good luck, but meanwhile why not festoon your site with adsense, your domain must have an impressive amount of traffic

  23. Ireland2006,

    thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    The site does get quite an amount of traffic but not nearly enough to make me a living from Adsense! I use Adsense by going over my site statistics, seeing which posts are popular at the end of each month, and adding ads to those posts.

    In this way, I don’t annoy regular readers with ads while making a bit from people coming in on the long tail – those people are more likely to click on the adsense links in any case.

    I must put this up in a separate post!

  24. Jenny – thanks a million for that link – I hadn’t seen that.

    Paul – you could take it a bit further and publish your cv in atom (or RSS) and allow people subscribe to it via their RSS reader – they get any updates to your cv automatically!

    John – I’m missing something obviously – how do I monetise that?

  25. That was a bit tongue in cheek but judging by the number of responses you’ve received to you just posing the original question, you might charge a minimal sum for blog/CV postings in your sidebar. I tend to doubt that 37Signals will get people to pay the freight they are thinking of asking but there is some price level where all this might make sense.

  26. Fairy Godmother stated, on Apr 23rd, 2006 at 9:01 pm:
    “One of your “skillsetsâ€? is your wide range of contacts. Do your contacts know they are CV fodder?”

    I would imagine that using your contacts is a common practice.
    When Yahoo! hired Terry Semel as Chairman/CEO I have no doubt that his extensive contacts in the media world were a major draw for Yahoo! as they develop(ed) their digital media creation and distribution strategy. Of course, having never seen Mr.Semel’s resume I am not sure if he mentioned his (extensive) media contacts but I would imagine that they were discussed. 🙂
    So, advertising your contacts on your resume is only bringing potential employers’ attention to yet another asset that would be of benefit to their organization (in my humble opinion).

    Fair dues Tom-best of luck.


  27. Tom,

    Riding on the tail of your experiment I am trying to use the blog as a means of getting help in finding a job/interview – or at least in touch with interested companies. Apologies for the blatant borrowing of your idea!

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