Freshly minted Augie communications major Andrew Brynjulson tells ThePostSD‘s Heather Mangan about his design blog, Brenni Fresh. By conducting interviews with oher deisgners, Brynjulson sees his blog as a way “to collect and distribute a wealth of knowledge that goes beyond what I have to offer” (sounds like social knowledge management to me!).

But Brenni Fresh isn’t just a contribution to society. Brynjulson sees his blog as his résumé:

It is my hope that employers are looking to hire people, not resumes. People are expressive communicators by nature, and blogs are a form of expression…. To put it bluntly, I see my blog as a way to prove to employers that I’m more than a resume, more than the sum of my past employments. It’s a matter of showing people that they are investing in you as a potential industry dynamo versus an industry drone [Andrew Brynjuson, interviewed by Heather Mangan, “Blog of the Week: Blogging for a Job,” ThePostSD.com, 2009.10.14].

As Brynjuson acknowledges, not every employer is plugged in to the online world. Some will remain stuck in tradition and conformity. You’ll still need to know how to distill your talent and experience into a nicely formatted sheet of paper or two.

However, if you’re coming from DSU, you’re probably aiming at tech-savvy employers who will spend more time Googling you than perusing the painstakingly-crafted bullet points on that cream-colored paper you send in (if they take paper apps at all). If you have your Web-wits about you, that could serve you well: your online presence can more richly and dynamically capture your talents and experience than any “fancy piece of paper.”

But catch the flipside: an online presence is a lot more content to manage than a two-page résumé. You can perhaps get by with updating that résumé once or twice a year, just when you go out looking for jobs. Maintaining an authentic online presence is an ongoing project. When your blog is out there, it’s out there all day, every day, for anyone, anywhere, subject to scrutiny and criticism in ways traditional résumés never are. Pieces of paper sit in a file folder in a drawer; your blog lays you bare in public, in context, linked to other documents and people in ways you cannot fully control.

Note also that you can’t target a blog the way you can target a résumé. You can craft each paper résumé to each employer’s unique corporate culture and demands. Your online presence is a big picture of yourself, available to everybody. Hmm… if I’m an employer, that’s one more plus I see for blogs over résumés: more authenticity.

Résumés exist because employers needed some artifact that would introduce them to a candidate for a job. Brynjulson recognizes that the Web can do the job of that piece of paper more effectively. But you have to pay attention: putting your words and images online creates a broader, more complex public persona that you must be ready to answer for at every turn.

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