How many people applying for a job have a blog?
Very few I would wager.
Given the state of economy and the number of people out of work, I am surprised that so few people haven’t cottoned on to the opportunity that a blog offers.
Of course, nowadays, nothing counts more than ‘real-world’ experience, but if a candidate was manifestly interested in pursuing a career in a particular sector, then to showcase their thinking, creative genius and perhaps to illustrate what they might be capable of it has to be worth a shot.
As someone who spent a few years in the recruitment field, I am convinced that the insight gained would have been invaluable to me and the client. I am not suggesting that it be made mandatory or that candidates who don’t blog would be discriminated against, but, given that most jobs require some form of written communication, it would be an excellent medium for candidates to show their capability, entrepreneurial flair and some originality.
It is conjecture, but I am convinced the reason why so few candidates start a blog is because so few understand the paradigm. That said, I know from speaking with my children that they are already being introduced to the concept of blogging. Neither can it be technological: there are so many free platforms including Blogger, Typepad, Tumblr and WordPress.
Perhaps it’s more fundamental – no one asks (to see evidence of blogging).
No ask, No get. Period.
There is of course the downside where a blog has been set up without anticipation of it being scrutinised, only to be unearthed to the ‘shock…. horror’ of the candidate. A few choice words might just sink the application before it even gets going.
And what about video or sound? Again, both media seem eminently suitable to stand the test of differentiation. Just imagine sending a vlog to a prospective employer or consultant! It has to be better than another (yawn) application form.
If this is candidate focused then what of the employer? Is it too much to ask that the person be asked to think of something a little more imaginative than the usual A4 “tell us why you are suitable for this job”. How many ways can you possibly cut that cake?
What about setting up a Soundcloud or Audioboo site, and asking for all applications to be accompanied by a recording to reflect the key issues of the job specification? Perhaps this idea could be taken further and used at the interview or pre-selection stage, where under timed conditions the candidates are asked to prepare a blog post of say 450 words or a podcast as if they were in situ?
The point is that the stale old CV process is just a lazy way to set up barrier after barrier when what is needed is some originality, and ideally a process that more closely mirrors what the real job is all about.
Blogging is free, and it offers real opportunities to secure employment by dint of differentiation.
If a candidate wanted to demonstrate their passion then the proof of the pudding is not just in how creative they can make their application/CV but rather to open up and develop their thinking in a way that is engaging, and captures the imagination of a prospective employer.