Blog Writing Results in Job Interview
May 29, 2009
Many times over the past year, we have provided advice regarding developing a public brand and professional image by utilizing social media. Recently, I have been able to see this in action.
(Due to the level of confidentiality involved in the interview process, I can not reveal the identity of my candidate, his blog, or his twitter feed, but the following will serve as a summary of the events that took place.)
The candidate’s career had taken him on a journey where Information Security was not the original function of his employment, but through his own personal interests, accomplishments, and commitment, his position had evolved into the company’s only dedicated information security professional. In his current role, he is well respected by management and has been capable of affecting positive change in both the areas of technology and business process. However, information security had only become his full time job function for the past six years, and some recent changes in corporate direction had caused him to begin searching for a new opportunity.
My client is the Information Security leader for a company that has a sizable commitment to Information Security. Due to this level of commitment, he was searching to hire a Senior team member to assist in carrying out their Information Security initiatives. The key term here is Senior, and the definition as it applied to his team.
The client was pretty stern in the fact that Senior meant having a minimum of ten years dedicated to the Information Security profession. This was a derived from his experiences in leading his organization and what he found to be effective in both hiring and retaining talent in his organization.
Remember – what I believe is not important in this situation. He is the customer, he is the Information Security leader, it is his team, and my job as a recruiter is to carry out his wishes and find the candidate best suitable for him. I have to trust that he knows his organization a lot better than I do, and his experiences hold the key to his success in team building. I also know that if we locate a candidate that meets his criteria, my candidate has a better chance of career satisfaction and longer term success.
Here is the problem – my candidate only was able to demonstrate 6 years of dedicated experience on his resume, and my client wanted a minimum of 10. When I spoke with my client, I urged him to reconsider his stance, and give my candidate credit for the other years of experience when Information Security was only a portion of his job function. In addition to that, the candidate had made us aware of some industry activities that he had participated in, conferences he attended, and his personal blog, He also let us know that he was a guest on a few security related podcasts. As part of our candidate presentation, we referred the client to these resources.
The next morning, we received a note from the client expressing how impressed he was with the candidates written communication skills, his thought processes, and the content contained on his blog and twitter feed. He said that it was possible that his initial impression may have caused him to overlook a solid candidate, and asked us to coordinate an interview and initiate the interview process.
What I can tell you, is that this is purely a case where it was not the resume that opened the door, it was his blogging and his demonstration of his knowledge in the public forum that provided him with the opportunity for consideration.
At this time, we are only at the beginning of the process and a lot is yet to be determined. I will let you know the results in a later blog entry.