Sunday, October 03, 2004

The New York Times > Job Market > Before Applying, Check Out the Blogs

The New York Times > Job Market > Before Applying, Check Out the Blogs:
"Five years ago, few people had heard of blogs — online journals that are commonly used to chronicle the lives and opinions of their authors. Now, more than two million Americans are blogging, according to a study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project — and blogging is spreading in the job market, said hiring managers and experts who study blogging.

There is no conclusive data on the spread of blogs to the job market, largely because they are difficult to track, said Michael Gartenberg, a vice president and research director at JupiterResearch in New York who covers blogs. But based on anecdotal information, he said, people are using blogs on both sides of the job search process.

"It's a trend on the rise right now," Mr. Gartenberg said, "especially for employers, who get a much better sense of a person this way. Résumés and interviews are a very scripted process; read someone's Web log and you get a good sense of that person's thinking and perspectives."

Alexander C. Halavais, a professor in the School of Informatics at the State University of New York at Buffalo who studies blogs, also expects blogs to play a larger role in the job market. 'Right now,' Professor Halavais said, 'recruiting this way is invisible, it's not institutional yet. But I would be surprised if, fairly soon, we didn't see blogs become a much bigger part of job searching and recruiting,'"

Job seekers use blogs to establish a strong online presence, display their skills and advertise their availability. For many just out of college, the blog is an essential networking tool because it is common for bloggers to link back and forth to others with recent posts. Corporate recruiters, in turn, use blogs to draw in qualified candidates, and they search for potential hires by reading bloggers who write about topics relevant to a particular industry.

A driving factor behind job market blogging is the search engine Google, said Elizabeth Lawley, associate professor of information technology at the Rochester Institute of Technology. "If you are thinking of interviewing someone, it's almost standard now to Google them online and see what you find," Ms. Lawley said. "If that person has a blog, it's usually the first thing that comes up."

Official corporate blogs are still rare, said John Palfrey, executive director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at the Harvard Law School, largely because "corporate marketing and branding is often an exercise in hypercontrol of a message, and that doesn't work well in a blogging context."

Some businesses do allow their employees to blog individually, however, provided they make it clear that they are operating independently of the company.
con·cept: The New York Times > Job Market > Before Applying, Check Out the Blogs