Is my blog a resume builder?

September 13, 2011 · 33 comments

Two and a half years ago Punch Debt In The Face came in to existence. At first I considered this site an embarrassing hobby (how lame does blogging about money in your free time sound? SUPER LAME!!!!), but now it is a part of who I am. I’ve literally spent thousands of hours writing, reading, editing, coding, graphic designing, stick-figuring, and monetizing my blog in hopes that it continues to grow. Essentially PDITF has become a second job for me (albeit, one I enjoy).

If you’ve been following me for a while (if not you can subscribe here and follow me on twitter here….gotta love shameless self promotion in the middle of posts), you’ll recall I wrote an article about my intentions to begin applying for jobs in the private sector. Two or three times a year, I like to go through my résumé and make sure it’s updated with my latest work achievements, awards, and accomplishments.

Yesterday, I was doing just that when I thought to myself “Should I put my blog on my resume?”. I decided to list out some of the reasons why this blog should be on my resume, and some of the reasons I might want to leave it off. Let’s start with the benefits first….

  • I took an idea in my head and turned it in to a profitable business.
  • I can make my job title be CEO, President of Making Things Really Awesome, or whatever else I want.
  • My work has been featured on The New York Times, MSN Money, TIME and other popular websites.
  • I’ve grown my audience from a couple hundred visits a month to twenty-five thousand.
  • I could also use my blog as an example of all those stereotypical HR terms like “self-starter, engaging, big-picture-thinker, etc”.

There are probably additional reasons why putting my blog on my resume would give a prospective employer a better understanding of who I am and why they should hire me, but I’m too lazy to think of them now. So instead, let’s get on to the reasons why I’ve decided to leave PDITF off…

  • While some of my posts may have been featured on a few pretty cool sites, I typically have pretty bad grammar and spelling issues.
  • If I included my blog, my prospective employers would have access to a lot of my personal data (net worth, current income, religious views, etc).
  • My blogs name is Punch Debt In The Face. Let’s be honest. That doesn’t necessarily scream maturity.

For now I plan to keep on sending my resume out PDITF free, but who knows I might feel a little risky down the road and start experimenting with including it. What are your thoughts on the situation? Would you put your blog on your resume? Why or why not? What’s something you’ve wanted to include on your resume, but didn’t?

 

1 slug | sunkcostsareirrelevant.com

Hell no. If my job were to be a CFP or some other directly related field, then maybe just maybe I might consider it. Unless you’re applying at Huffington Post, I’d leave it out.

2 Jonathan

If needed can you demonstrate all the other qualities (I took an idea in my head and turned it in to a profitable business.
I can make my job title be CEO, President of Making Things Really Awesome, or whatever else I want.
My work has been featured on The New York Times, MSN Money, TIME and other popular websites.
I’ve grown my audience from a couple hundred visits a month to twenty-five thousand.
I could also use my blog as an example of all those stereotypical HR terms like “self-starter, engaging, big-picture-thinker, etc”. ), without it?

3 Kevin @ Thousandaire.com

I don’t want people at my current job knowing I have my blog because I don’t want anyone to think it distracts me from my regular work. I think it’s best to keep that stuff separate unless the two jobs are closely related

4 Ninja

That’s a good point. But honestly how much time at work do you spend thinking about or working on your blog?

5 Larry

Absolutely do not mention this blog on your resumé.

6 Ninja

Ha. Blunt and to the point. I like it :)

7 Larry

But do you understand why, dear lad? You’ve been upfront with virtually everything about your life other than your actual name and position. You’ve taken a tone and attitude that a prospective employer would think of as (at best) goofy and (at worst) unprofessional. You’ve shown photographs of two-legged animals and people with black bars over their eyes. You’ve asked if Dave Ramsey is going to hell. You’ve allowed people like me to write comments. And more.

8 Kate

Larry might be putting it a bit harshly but he has a point. Anything you put on the internet can be traced back to you. You have nowhere near as much privacy as you think.

The point bears consideration: if you aren’t comfortable with your personal information, like your religious views, being considered by potential employers, why have you put them out there at all?

9 Larry

All that said, I don’t think Ninja has done anything on this blog that could really damage himself professionally. So long as it’s kept pseudonymous and not mentioned to an employer, I think no harm has been done or is likely to.

10 Ninja

I have no problem sharing things like my personal views on religion here on the blog because if you (meaning the reader) doesn’t agree with me, it doesn’t affect me. If a potential employer, however, learns that I’m Christian and he is anti-Christianity then I could be out a job I’m qualified for. I don’t post anything on the blog that I wouldn’t talk about in person (p.s. my mom and my in-laws all read my blog).

11 Larry

Since there’s no reply button to N.’s comment of 5:57, I’ll reply here. The issue is not really your religious views, as it’s highly unlikely an employer would discriminate against you based on your Christianity (if you were a Muslim, that might be a different story). It’s more a matter of self-presentation, which all of us regulars here enjoy, but which might well come off as immature and unserious to a potential employer if such a person discovers this site.

12 Mary M

Maybe if I didn’t have a job I would include it. But if you do, what happens when your employer reads the blog after you get the job? You can never bitch about work incognito again.

13 Beef

It would limit your ability to be vocal about certain aspects of your life, give your employer too much information about your personal life, and likely result in either you getting fired from the new job and/or a less enjoyable blog. I would vote no.

14 Rafiki

I don’t think I would put in on my resume if I post personal information like my net worth and debt totals since I don’t want my specific employers knowing all of that stuff.

If I happen to be in an interview and I think mentioning my blog could boost my chances I would though. Or sometimes I would say something sly like, “I have an interest in personal finance, I do a lot of reading and a little writing sometimes just for personal benefit and pleasure”

15 Caulk Philosophy

I’m 99% positive that you should leave it out — *however*, if the job you are applying for is in the realm of social media you MAY be in the 1% range where some heavy consideration is necessary. It is definitely not worthy for your general resume though.

16 Bridget

I mentioned my blog in my cover letter when I applied for the position I currently hold. I didn’t give the web address, but its easy to find. The interviewers told me after I was hired that they took a look at both my blog and my twitter account. Because the job I hold requires proficiency with social media and strong communication/writing skills, I believe it helped me rather than hindered — but I don’t share nearly as much as you. I don’t talk about my income or religious views. Essentially my personal rule is to never post anything online I wouldn’t want printed off and given to my employer, my grandmother and my biggest enemy ;)

17 Peter

I’m leaving it out of mine, and not mentioning to my current boss. i don’t want my employer knowing that I make such a nice second income from blogging, might make them feel less bad to lay me off if the company went through another round of layoffs. :)

18 Ninja

True that. Never thought about the “being laid off” aspect of it.

19 Daniel

I put it on my resume during my recent job search because I was applying to relevant jobs and it showed that I had at least some level of knowledge and interest. Without it, it looked like I was making a strange jump into a different career path.

If it will help you get the job, then definitely! If it’s irrelevant, maybe it’s not the best thing for your resume.

20 Financial Samurai

Not a chance in hell. Walk in the shadows my man!

21 Ninja

I’ve heard through the grapevine you are real tight lipped about your two identities. I respect that.

22 Jana @ Daily Money Shot

My blog name is Daily Money Shot. There is no way I’m putting that on a professional resume. But if I needed to link it for a relevant job, I’d consider it.

23 Cordelia

I only put my blog on my resume when it comes to seeking freelance writing/editing jobs (something I’m doing now on the side). For a 9 to 5 job, I’d never include it because it’s very much centered on how anti-9 to 5 I am. But I’m promoting the hell out of the blog when it comes to landing me some freelance clients, because I think it’s a good means of advertising my abilities.

24 Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager

I have my personal blog on my resume but as a way to contact me. Not with any of the stats or anything.

25 Kristin

Resumes often get passed around to numerous people that you might end up eventually working with, so that’s something to be cognizant of. Sometimes employers have policies where you are not supposed to discuss salary with coworkers. Some people argue that this actually can lead to wage discrimination, because if no-one knows what their coworkers are paid, there’s no way to know if you are getting paid less for the same work. However, that’s the way things are, unfortunately. I tend to be upfront with friends in similar fields when asked, as they are often in grad school and are trying to discern what they can expect once they reach the “real world” in a particular geographic area of the country. However, I don’t ask others and I don’t discuss salary with coworkers.

If you are using a resume to apply to a job and had this blog posted, it would not be hard for the hiring manager or whoever saw your resume to find out your current salary from your various posts. That would put you at a serious disadvantage when negotiating your starting salary. So my vote would be to not include it.

26 MW

I wouldn’t, if I were you. You’ve spent 2.5 years now writing under the shield of complete anonymity, and there are very likely a lot of things on here that you wouldn’t want an employer knowing about you. Forget just the poor grammar, but maybe it’s personal information, an off-colour joke, a radical view on something. There’s basically 2.5 years worth of stuff that could paint you in a bad light. Not that it’s all bad, obviously, but what if a recruiter only reads one post, and it’s the worst, most obnoxious, unfunny, mistake-ridden post, and that’s what you’re judged on, and not the dozens (hundreds?) of other posts that are wonderful and demonstrate your awesomeness. Not worth the chance.

If it seems relevant, I might *casually* bring it up in an interview, if you think it would help, but I’d absolutely keep it off your resume.

But to answer my question, I would, personally, put my own blog on my resume, without a doubt. BUT, and this is a big but, I’m a writer by trade, not just by the dark of night, AND from Day 1, my blog has been written with the assumption that anyone and everyone could, at some point, see it. My answer would be a lot different if I’d started out anonymous, though.

27 Investing Newbie

Ninja, I actually boldly put my blog on my resume at one point and it certainly helped! But, that situation was different because I was a Spanish major looking for a job in Finance and my prospective employer was hugely impressed by how much I was able to teach myself.

However, nothing you write about on this blog would help you in the real world (except if you were a stick figure maker and/or personal finance guru a la Suze Orman/Dave Ramsay). So, yes, I would be hesitant about it. At the same time, you have some pretty impressive accomplisments with this blog. Would it be so wrong for you to hint at it, maybe mention on the bottom of your resume that you blog, in addition to other skill sets you may have? Just a thought….

28 First Gen American

Although I agree with all the above posters that PDITF line item on a resume may is not a good move, what about genericiizing it up. I know in a lot of resumes there’s a line item that lists the computer stuff you’re proficient at. Maybe you just list the computer skills you’ve learned from blogging and not the blog itself. “Proficient at Excel, Wordpress, Photoshop, etc?” But then you’d have to have an answer or example if they actually wanted proof of your work. Is the stick figure blog still going? That was more benign I think and the content is not all yours but some was submitted by other readers right?

29 Emily

It would depend on what type of job I was applying for. Usually when I go job hunting, I run three versions of my resume. One that focuses on my computer skills (for computer/tech work), one that focuses on my social skills (for pr/outreach work) and one that focuses on my high security work (for positions that need bonding, special clearances).
I’m not saying you have to run three versions of your resume. What I am suggesting is that look at the positions you are applying for and include the blog (status, readership, or big connections) when it could display your skills in the field you are trying to enter.
Yes, they will have access to a lot of personal information, but most people aren’t going to read it page for page. They’ll grab a few samples, see where they fall in the timeline of your life and if you have grown and matured since day 1.

30 krantcents

I would have to put it in context. As a teacher, I could use it as a teaching tool. As a former CFO, some companies would look at it as a conflict of interest or worse.

31 Briana @ 20 and Engaged

I’ve included my blog on some of my cover letters to show writing samples, but they’re for writing positions and social media positions. For a “legit” 9-5? I highly doubt it.

32 Evan

No way in hell…the first thing the boss is going to think about is that you are putting his info out there. Boom done. You think think he is going to read 600 posts to learn that you never even mentioned your job title? Not a chance.

Unless you are going for an SEO type job there is absolutely no benefit.

33 Channie

I think it would be a great idea to add your blog to your resume. I am from the Seattle area as well and i know there are several well known companies that would consider you online success a huge asset and would love to hire someone with your colorful and light hearted sense of humor. Go for it!!!

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