We are definitely in an era where a ton of people have blogs about their lives, personal interests, and other topics. Starting and maintaining a blog shows commitment and anyone who has been updating one for years knows, it takes a ton of time. That being said, blogging is usually not someone’s primary job, and so the question often comes up… should I include my blog on my resume?
On one hand, it should be impressive that you’ve created one and maintained it (and have a big readership?) but on the other hand, it could seem like you’re not 100% invested in the other (primary) jobs you’ve held. As always (I know, I know) it’s not a black and white answer. The answer is sometimes.
I fully realize there are a lot of people out there would straight up say “no, don’t ever include your blog” but in some cases, I feel that doing so can make you a stronger candidate. Here are my guidelines on when you should include your personal blog on your resume.
Include your blog on your resume if…
- The overall presentation (formatting, theme, just the way it looks in general) comes off as professional and polished even if someone were to not read a single word. If you started the blog up a year ago and still haven’t gotten around to branding it, you might want to think twice. The first impression just based on looks alone is a very important one (shallow, I know!)
- The content is mostly geared towards a topic or theme (vs. personal) and you are knowledgable in the area.
- You have a proven following who considers you an “expert” on the topic you are blogging about. The audience itself isn’t so important. However, having a following of readers is a good “gut check” which could indicate whether your interviewer or resume reviewer will also find you to be a reliable source.
- You’ve been working on the blog for a significant amount of time. Showcasing a blog you started last week will not have an impressive amount of content and doesn’t necessarily show any dedication to it. Wait to include your blog until you know you are sticking with it for the long haul.
- It makes you a stronger candidate for the job you are applying for. If your blog is related to the job you are applying for (and meets the other criteria above) it will likely make you a stronger candidate.
Leave your blog off your resume if…
- Your blog contains mostly personal information. You always want to keep your resume and what you talk about in an interview very, very professional. Therefore, really think about if you want your interviewer reading about what you ate for breakfast or did on Saturday night. I especially want to call attention to blogs with lots of photos of yourself – whether they be pictures from your personal life or you posing for your own blog, be aware that it can come across as a little unprofessional if not done in the right way.
- You feel like your blog is good, but not great. You want to put your best foot forward on your resume so if you feel like your blog is decent but you’re not 100% proud of it yet, consider waiting to include it. If a resume reader sees a blog listed on a resume, they’re probably going to go read it.
- It’s about a topic that would not be considered appropriate for work (enough said).
- Many other reasons – Honestly, most of the time, you probably should not include your blog on your resume. I can’t list (or even think of) all of the reasons here, but the more material you share with a recruiter or interviewer, the more they can find that they don’t like (that’s not even relevant to the job).
I know that sounds terrible and I wouldn’t want someone to make a judgment of me based on something I worked really hard on and cared about, but you want to save most of your “first impression” for your in-person interview, and not give too much away online.
If you are on the fence about including your blog for any of the reasons above, I’d say skip it. Unfortunately, unless you really have achieved success through blogging, it’s difficult for some interviewers to see the value. Worse, it can make you seem less focused on your day job.
If you do decide to include your blog (because it is awesome, professional, and aligned with the job you are interviewing for), I would generally suggest putting it in an “additional experience” section versus in the section with your primary roles you’ve held (unless of course it was your primary role) and be sure to include any big accomplishments (i.e. readership, awards won, etc.). There are exceptions for this but you still want to lead with your full-time jobs and have any additional pieces of your resume (blog included) be secondary.