Will your blog get you screened out?

In the best job search guide online, I recommend you blog to show your talent and passion. But, that’s not the full story – I’ve screened out more job-seekers than I’ve hired because of their blogs.

To make sure no one ends up unemployed because they followed my advice, here’s a guide to making sure your blog doesn’t kill your chances of getting hired.

First, let’s look at the blogs that have killed my interest in a candidate – they’ve included a job-seeker:

  • promoting himself as an online marketing ‘get rich quick’ expert
  • with pictures of himself firing his automatic assault rifle
  • talking enthusiastically about his binge drinking
  • and a few with tragically ugly websites

There’s a lot of common sense advice to give about blogging which I’ll dish out before moving on to my favorite topic – the easiest mistakes talented writers are prone to make.

Don’t:

  • badmouth your previous bosses or employers
  • talk about religion, politics, or sex
  • post unflattering photos
  • babble – keep your posts short and sweet

Do:

  • post consistently and keep it up-to-date (once a month at least if job searching)
  • include your resume in an attractive format (word or pdf)
  • share your personal life (family, friends, pets, interests and hobbies) but keep it PG or G rated
  • be genuine – let your readers hear your thoughts
  • be positive – you can bleed some, but always find the silver lining
  • talk about what’s happening in your profession
  • keep an updated blogroll to show who you follow and read

Now, for the mistakes most easily made by talented people! That’s the presentation – your book cover. You can write great, meaty, wise, or brilliant content, but if the cover of your book is terribly dull, ugly or error riddled – many recruiters will write you off at the cover. Aim to fascinate with your blog‘s elegance. Give yourself some mystique!

First, your grammar and your spelling should be nearly perfect. Use spellchecker! Beg your friends and family to proofread you. Here’s why – easily preventable errors tell your future boss that you’ll need babysitting.

Second, you need a pretty dress. Ugly does not sell. If you’ve been told you don’t have much fashion sense, that’s a sure sign you’ll need help making sure your blog isn’t ugly. Sure, you can find a few examples of ugly blogs written by rich and famous authors like Mark Cuban. Don’t let those throw you off the trail.

Look at these fashion makeovers! Are those really the same women? By the way, if you don’t see much difference in the before and after pictures, you need to let someone else make your blog design decisions. Let me show you a few examples of good/great blog design, the simple and clean look you want for a professional blog:

If you’re using WordPress, here are some minimalist theme choices that will do the job:

So what does your blog look like?

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About the author

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In 1997, Eric Shannon launched the first job board for bilinguals who speak English/Spanish at LatPro.com. Eric still serves as CEO of LatPro Inc., developer of JustJobs.com. He lives in Boulder, CO with his wife and two girls.

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