How to Evaluate a Job Seeker’s Blog
These days, employers know it’s important to check a job candidate’s online presence. A potential hire’s social media profile on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn or other personal website can often say a lot more about them than their resume and cover letter alone.
What’s rarely discussed, however, is exactly what employers should be looking for when they review these sites. When it comes to a candidate’s personal or professional blog, the things they post—and how they post—can be a great indication of the type of employee they’d be. Here are four things to consider when reviewing a candidate’s professional blog:
1. How’s their grammar and spelling? This one may be obvious, but it certainly shouldn’t be overlooked. When checking out a potential hire’s blog, determine how much attention they give to proper grammar and spelling, as this is a good indicator of their communication skills in general. Even if your position doesn’t necessarily require top-notch writing skills, these types of mistakes can indicate a lot about a person. If you’re seeing lots of typos or the dreaded misuse of “your” and “you’re,” it could indicate that your candidate isn’t very detail-oriented—or at the very least, they may have trouble crafting a grammatically correct email.
2. Do they show genuine interest in your industry? Take a look at the types of content your candidate posts. Is it relevant to your industry? Do they offer genuine insight into things happening in your field? Do they pay attention to the news and current events in general? If your candidate shows a genuine interest in what your company is about, this is a good indicator that they’re engaged and willing to keep up with current industry news and trends. This also speaks to their willingness to focus on improving their professional skills and development overall.
3. Do they have an audience? Take note of how many comments your candidate receives on their blog, and if their posts are shared throughout social media. While this type of information certainly shouldn’t have a huge sway over your perception of them, a solid online following can indicate the candidate is good at cultivating and maintaining relationships, which is a must in nearly any field or industry.
4. Would they be a good fit for your company culture? A candidate’s personal blog can give you a window into their personality, which can help you to determine if the candidate would be a good fit for your company culture. Does their personality shine through in their posts? Do they exhibit a sense of humor? Are they inquisitive? Competent? Do they appear to be generally engaged with the world around them? While a resume can show specific experience and skills, a candidate’s blog provides a much more comprehensive way to determine if they exhibit the specific personal qualities you’re looking for in a new hire.
Professional and Personal Blogs Provide Great Insights
Professional blogs provide a window into a potential hire’s personality, something you often can’t get from traditional hiring materials. Finding the perfect candidate can be tough, so don’t skimp on running a quick check of their personal blog or other social media accounts to see if they truly exhibit the qualities that are necessary for your company.
Just how important is a candidate’s professional blog? Are there any other points you’d add to this list?
Article by Heather Huhman
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.
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