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WEEKEND REVIEW – Durbin Case Study: How do you use a Blog to Get a Job?

Posted on August 26, 2006
Filed Under Blogging for Employment, Personal Branding | Comments Off on WEEKEND REVIEW – Durbin Case Study: How do you use a Blog to Get a Job?

On Weekends, I intend to refer to memorable blog postings I most often forwarded within corporate and among industry peers throughout the last week. Tis my disclaimer should anyone query about original content, that I find it imperative we broaden the reach of noteworthy and informative pieces and the authors who labored to tell us a story, and a substantive one at that. 🙂

In today’s highlight, our prolific friend, James Durbin, provides allegories as an excellent format to highlight the genuine value of “Blogging for Employment” effecting successful employment outcomes for job seekers.

August 18, 2006
Case Study: Getting a Job With A Blog
by James Durbin
Durbin Media Group offers marketing and design services that build brand loyalty

How do you use a blog to get a job? Recruiters and job-seekers are using this medium to get noticed, and I wanted to share an experience that one developer had in finding employment through his blog.

I’d like to present Chris Hammond, an ASP.Net developer in St Louis. Chris writes three different blogs, including a technical blog on DotNetNuke, a relatively new entrant in the .Net field, and one that owes much of its history to open source. The point is DNN experience is cutting edge stuff, a bit like being an experienced Java guy in 1997.

When the story beings, Chris is happily employed with a firm in downtown St Louis. He gets plenty of calls from recruiters, but none of them offer him anything but drab job descriptions and unimaginative projects. They don’t understand why he’s a good candidate – they’re just looking for buzzwords, and his resume has them. He’s not listed on any job boards, but he has been in the past when he looked for a job, and he knows if he needed one quickly, that he can sign up at Monster.com and Dice and get interviews. He is the prototypical passive candidate, with a good company, a solid technical understanding, and no desire to search for a job.

To get better at his job and to showcase his ASP knowledge, Chris participates in the ASP.Net Forums and writes code examples, tips, and announcements at his technical blog. One day, the President of EngageSoftware, a software development firm in St Louis, notices a particularly insightful example of coding prowess in the ASP.Net forums written by Chris. The President follows the link back to Chris’s blog because he notices that Chris lists his location as St Louis.

After reading the blog and checking out the online resume, the Engage Software president sends Chris a recruiting e-mail that piques interest. A set of interviews is arranged, and Chris decides to make the switch to a new company because the area he has interest in developing is one the new company has use for.

Notice several keys here:

1) Chris has been writing on this technical blog since December 2003. He didn’t start a blog, write two posts, and wait for the calls to come in.
2) As a passive candidate, Chris resisted calls from recruiters who lacked an understanding of what he did.
3) By reading the blog, the president of Engage Software was able to get a feel for Chris before sending him a recruiting pitch. The time he took allowed him to make a pitch that Chris responded to.
4) Engage Software has its own blog for marketing.
5) Chris still blogs, and that brings in attention and thought leadership to his company.

So was it the ASP.Net forums or Chris’s blog that led to a new opportunity? In this case, it was both, but the blog helped to reinforce the impression the president received from the forums. Knowing more information about Chris helped the president pitch his company.

The blog enabled a real conversation because it removed some of the uncertainty in the employment process. It’s just one example, but I’ll be looking for more, and when the trickle becomes a flood, we’ll know we are on to something.

If you used your blog to get a job, or if you read someone’s blog and offered them a job, send me your stories at jdurbin@durbinmedia.com

Personal Note: I received a call this morning from Greg Brauns, Analog IC Manager and an alumnus of Renesas. Greg was among those displaced by a facility shutdown last fall and was referred by my RTP insider, Daniel Zheng, (all knowing IC designer of who what where in the NC). Why do I mention Greg? Funny thing. I encouraged GB to develop a blog post detailing the regional job market and the disadvantage of nine years of managerial oversight as opposed to hands-on expertise when applying for design opportunities. It’s a a valuable perspective worth sharing, and likewise, it’s an opportunity to introduce his technical skills to prospective employers.

Hmmm. GB if you’re reading this, give Jim Durbin another input to his series, “Case Study: Getting a Job With A Blog” by emailing us your original contribution and perhaps we can follow your progression as you attempt to Blog for Employment.


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