As blogging becomes more pervasive in popular culture, CIOs are finding blogs can be truly useful to their careers.
1. Always include your subject matter expertise. If you've just been through an Oracle implementation or have moved to on-demand software delivery, then write about it. Technology executives read each other's blogs for best practices. Who knows who could benefit from your experience and what contacts you might make as a result?
2. Showcase your writing skills. Foreman says that as a recruiter she is always talking about written and oral communication skills, even at the executive level. You might be great in a face-to-face interview, but being able to express your thoughts clearly in your writing will set you apart.
3. Don't talk politics. You could ostracise half of your audience. Instead, stick to business topics, talk about your technology expertise or your interest in, say, sports. Be true to the subject matter you've chosen for your blog. Also, use the right keywords; you want your blog to be among the results of keyword searches for your topic of interest.
According to Rebecca Foreman, VP at executive recruiting service firm Polachi, blogs are an excellent way to highlight not only your career accomplishments but also your personal interests. And 67% of senior executives from US technology companies who blog do include personal information in their blogs, according to a recent Polachi survey. Foreman says that she often looks for personal interests that align with the position she is trying to fill.
For example, in looking to fill a position at Segway, she wanted someone with a passion for transportation. That's not something you'd put on a résumé, but it's something you might write about in a blog. Foreman searched blogs for executives who had interests in bicycling or Harleys, or were trained as private pilots and enjoyed flying in their free time.
"We want to find what's not on the résumé," she says. "There is more to a person than their role at a company." Many people might have the necessary skill set, but personal affinities like being a mountain biker can make you the ideal candidate, she says.
A solid third of the Polachi survey respondents said they've been contacted by recruiters who wanted to speak with them after reading their blog. The survey also showed that 80% of executives who blog think it helps them with professional networking.
It worked for the County of San Diego's new CIO, Bill Crowell, who blogged about his career quest on CIO.com at "CIO Job Search: A Real Life Chronicle". The blog provided a powerful personal marketing tool and fodder for his final – and successful – interview with the county, says Crowell.