“NEW YORK – When the staff at a Scholastic Corp. unit heard that Cindy Eng was being hired as their editorial head earlier this year, they did an online search of her name. Fortunately for Eng, their searches led them right to her Web portfolio, a personal Web site that trumpeted her professional accomplishments… ”
The general press is starting to trumpet what career professionals have been advising their clients for years: that an online presence is becoming a key component in career advancement.
Your online presence can and should consist of many elements — white papers or bios on corporate sites, articles and interviews in online journals, mentions and interviews in online trade and industry publications, online resumes and portfolios, and, of course, blogs.
Blogging is perhaps the easiest way to gain an online presence, but as the above article stresses, “Just be sure that your Web site looks professional and your blog, or Web log, is smart, otherwise you will have defeated the whole purpose.”
A web portfolio brings a staple of the advertising and creative fields into broader use. These are specialized web sites that are designed to show off your talents and accomplishments, and are much more than just an online resume. You’ll want to use much greater detail than would be advisable on a resume, and include such things as links to articles you have written, charts and graphs illustrating results you have delivered, white papers on topics relevant to your industry and profession — the possible list is endless.
Your blog should be professional yet conversational, and zero in on topics of interest to others in your field. The objective here is to position yourself as an expert, while demonstrating your thought processes, insights, and communication skills.
Tim Bray, Director of Web Technologies at Sun Microsystems, recently reflected on his blog regarding why blogging is good for one’s career:
“Ten Reasons Why Blogging is Good For Your Career
1) You have to get noticed to get promoted.
2) You have to get noticed to get hired.
3) It really impresses people when you say “Oh, I’ve written about that, just google for XXX and I’m on the top page” or “Oh, just google my name.”
4) No matter how great you are, your career depends on communicating.
The way to get better at anything, including communication, is by practicing. Blogging is good practice.
5) Bloggers are better-informed than non-bloggers. Knowing more is a career advantage.
6) Knowing more also means you’re more likely to hear about interesting jobs coming open.
7) Networking is good for your career. Blogging is a good way to meet people.
8) If you’re an engineer, blogging puts you in intimate contact with a worse-is-better 80/20 success story. Understanding this mode of technology adoption can only help you.
9) If you’re in marketing, you’ll need to understand how its rules are changing as a result of the current whirlwind, which nobody does, but bloggers are at least somewhat less baffled.
10) It’s a lot harder to fire someone who has a public voice, because it will be noticed.”
I heartily agree with all of the above. If you are an executive without an online identity, it is time to begin remedying that. Your executive resume writer or career consultant will be able to advise and assist you with creation of a web portfolio and/or blog that will enhance your name recognition and credibility.