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Blogging Does Not Make You An Expert

Lately I find that I disagree with more of what I read from the job search, career, HR and recruiting community than I agree with.

Maybe it’s because being on the other side of 40 I am starting to embrace the life of a curmudgeon. I hope that’s not the case. Hopefully it’s because I have been around long enough to have a finely tuned BS meter.

And so it happens again today that I read something and my BS meter breaks. Not just goes off but breaks...

On Twitter I saw a link to The Secret to a Successful Career Transition: Blogging, clicked and was taken to Brazen Careerist.

Third paragraph in I read:

Looking back more than eight years later, I wish someone would have told me that I didn’t need to wait for a job or title or promotion to become an expert.


They didn’t tell you because it is not true!!!

I agree with the ideas in the article that writing a blog can help with recognition.

It certainly helped me.

What I disagree with is writing and being known makes you an expert.

What it makes you is an empty suit.

I can see the interview now:

Hiring Manager

So tell me about your experience

Job Seeker & Blogger

I have been writing a blog and have more than 100 hundred entries. I can research with the best of them and have many well known contacts in my database.

Hiring Manager

So tell me about a project you have completed. Show me how you have increased sales, cut costs, made something more efficient.

Job Seeker & Blogger

The blog took me 10 days to get up and running with many enhancements along the way. Readership has increased every month and my post an article time is down to less than 17 minutes.

Hiring Manager

Great but of the required or nice to have skills this job requires how many, what do you have?

Job Seeker & Blogger

(inaudible noise)

Hiring Manager

Thank you for your time. We will not be moving forward with you but should we need an expert blogger you will be one of the 25 we contact.

Clearly this has worked time and time again in the opinion, advice giving and consulting world of Social Media and career, resume and life coaching businesses.

I know few if any jobs and careers where writing about it makes you an expert without having done the work.

This blog (and I say this all the time) saved my butt. I had been a one man band of an IT search firm in Minneapolis for many years. I had a great reputation for doing good work.

But few people knew me.

So yes, this blog helped me.

And no, it did not make me an expert.

I already had years and years of experience.

I already had many, many successful and quite a few failed searches.

I already had thousands of hours invested in my career.

OK… I am starting to ramble now so I will stop.

Be careful when taking advice from any writer including mine. Dig into their background to see what their experience and results are.

This goes for hiring managers and those take the advice.

And get yourself a BS meter.

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Susan Gainen

While I agree that in and of itself, blogging cannot make someone an expert, blogging is a portal to knowledge. Done correctly, it can create an opportunity for career advancement.

In the same way that a brand-new journalism degree doesn't give a reporter the years of experience needed to go head to head with a nuclear physicist on the nuances of physics, it should give her some tools to begin to have a conversation that might yield useful information that could be blogged.

(Not a bad idea, actually, inasmuch as it is tough to find entry-level journalism gigs.)

Job seeking bloggers can use their platform to connect with professionals in their fields -- not to portray themselves as experts -- but they can interview the experts and write. They can blog about those interviews and the knowledge that the experts are willing to share.

Pre-requisites: You have to have a blog that is intelligent, sensible, and professional. Before granting an interview, any smart source will look at the blog and make a judgement about the platform. If it has even a whiff of unprofessionalism, the source should smartly decline.

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