Your Blog is Your Online Resume

Ten thousand years ago the editor of a college newspaper sat back and listened to a professor lecture a room full of students about how to market themselves to publications that were searching for writers. Since it was the ice age she didn’t talk about Photoshop, PowerPoint or any of the myriad tools that we now have access to.

Back then the tale she told was to be diligent in cutting our your clips so that they could be displayed in a professional manner. You wanted your portfolio to look beautiful because sometimes your potential employer would spend more time looking at it then reading the articles contained within.

I always thought that was ridiculous and stupid. Because if I was the one doing the hiring I would be more interested in the quality of their writing then how well they could package it. I was young, dumb and naive. At that time I really believed that the working world was filled with people who would go to work and do their jobs because that is what they got paid for.

It never occurred to me that all the political crap we went through during our school year would be there. It never occurred to me that group projects would still be difficult because the load wasn’t shared fairly across the board. But you live and learn and if you want to prosper here in cyberspace than maybe of those same lessons are applicable.

We could argue that your blog is your online resume, especially if you are someone who wants to earn a living as a writer and or use their blog to generate additional income. And if experience has taught me anything it is that though content may be king, you better have a user friendly blog.

User friendly meaning that it is not filled with crap that causes pages to freeze or is hard to read. User friendly meaning that it is easy to find your contact information, an “about you page” and a friendly commenting system.

There is nothing wrong with a commenting system that requires approval of all comments before they go live. However I would argue against using a registration system as those few extra steps often lead to the reader pointing and clicking their way to greener pastures.

So while I want to say that people shouldn’t judge your work on anything but substance the reality is that like it or not, presentation plays a role. It is part of why my blog irritates me- I don’t like the presentation. It is not the clean professional look I prefer, but I am working on it.

What do you think?

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8 Comments

  1. TheJackB September 28, 2010 at 6:57 am

    Thanks James. I wonder if it is the Intense Debate commenting system or something else that causes the issues for you.
    My recent post Dancing at the Movies – Music Video

  2. TheJackB September 28, 2010 at 6:56 am

    Hi Sarah,

    A size 12 boot has to be good for something besides walking, doesn't it. 😉 Always happy to help. Now if I can take my own advice….
    My recent post Dancing at the Movies – Music Video

  3. TheJackB September 28, 2010 at 6:55 am

    Your blog is clean and easy to navigate. That is part of why I keep coming back. I get tired very quickly of the others. You just can't make people jump through too many hoops or they will disappear.
    My recent post Dancing at the Movies – Music Video

  4. TheJackB September 28, 2010 at 6:54 am

    Hi Dieter,

    I appreciate the kind words. I suppose all of these efforts are a continuous work in progress, but it can be slow and frustrating. I like your header- always wonder what lies just past those trees.
    My recent post Dancing at the Movies – Music Video

  5. SeattleDad September 28, 2010 at 4:22 am

    Great points. I read your blog a lot, but don't often leave comments because I have trouble doing so. The bars seem to give my laptop fits.

    Still, it is a great read. Always terrific content.
    My recent post This Is Fun- Giveaway

  6. Sarah Auerswald September 28, 2010 at 2:56 am

    I'm hating my blog's look right now and I keep putting off switching themes. What does THAT say? It's actually pretty easy to change, so I'd better get to it. Thanks for the kick in the butt, Jack.
    My recent post House Of The Week

  7. Keith Wilcox September 28, 2010 at 12:22 am

    presentation does make a huge difference. On my blog I have to screen all my comments because I get so much trolling that I figure it's easier to just screen all instead of try to selectively allow certain ones to pass uninterrupted. You're also right about simple interfaces. Blogging isn't like writing a book where no matter what you do you'll always have a front and a back and everybody knows how to open and consume it. No, in blogging, if the technology isn't somewhat elegant, people go elsewhere. It's an unfortunate truth.
    My recent post You Have a Voice- Be a Contributor on Almightydad!

  8. D.A. Schweiss September 27, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Hi, Jack!

    I know what you mean when you say that you're not fully satisfied with how your site represents you. If my blog is my online resume, then I hope that it speaks well of me. I would love to tweak my own site to be more user friendly, especially when it comes to navigating and submitting comments. I'm still working on that.

    Even if you're not happy with everything about your blog, I find it user friendly enough to keep coming back and reading your great articles. Please keep 'em coming!

    Regards,
    Dieter

    My recent post Music – Sara Bareilles

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