Blogs -- what did we ever do without them? Remember when we didn't even understand what that ugly word meant? Blog. Is it a noise? An affliction? No, no, we soon learned, it's shorthand for the term "weblog" and it's where people just write ... stuff. Whatever they want.
Now, we can't imagine living without them. Without blogs, where would you find out that a celebrity is supposedly cheating on another celebrity according to close friends who wish to remain anonymous? Nowhere, I say.
But there are worthwhile uses for blogs, too. You can actually learn from them. Link-hopping from one blog to another can be not only fun but can improve your job search and your career. Some blogs are written by experts who give their own advice, while others are penned by authors who direct you to interesting and relevant stories written by others.
Here are nine job blogs you should be reading on a regular basis:
Who's blogging: Penelope Trunk
What she's blogging about: Career advice and personal experience.
Why you should read it: Trunk dishes out advice that's often the exact opposite of what you've been told your entire life, and she does it without kid gloves. Her take on salary negotiations or constructing a résumé might make you change your mind or it might enrage you. Either way, it's always an entertaining and informative read that's often peppered with events going on in her personal life.
Who's blogging: Eve Tahmincioglu
What she's blogging about: Current events and personal experiences as they relate to the professional world.
Why you should read it: You can learn something from bloggers who don't just dispense advice. Tahmincioglu often raises issues without giving you a clear-cut answer. Her thought-provoking posts can leave you scratching your head and re-evaluating issues. For example, her recent entry on "American Idol" might sound silly and unrelated to the world of work, but it was actually a springboard for discussing equal pay for men and women.
Who's blogging: J.T. O'Donnell and various contributors
What they're blogging about: Any questions job seekers might have.
Why you should read it: The site's tagline is "Because every job is temporary," and you can't argue with that logic. Whether you're looking for a job now or don't ever intend to again, you never know when you might find yourself preparing for an interview or writing a résumé. O'Donnell and company also give advice on current topics, such as social media, and how they relate to professionals.
Evil HR Lady
Who's blogging: Evil HR Lady
What she's blogging about: The questions you'd ask your HR representative if you didn't think he or she was, you know, evil.
Why you should read it: Despite her nom de plume, Evil HR Lady is an affable blogger who realizes that she and her fellow industry comrades have a bad reputation as uptight policy wonks -- not to mention that they're often the faces associated with layoffs. She explains how HR minds work, while helping you deal with your own professional quandaries.
On the Job
Who's blogging: Anita Bruzzese
What she's blogging about: Career advice both in and out of the office.
Why you should read it: Your standard job advice is always good to know, but when your problems are bigger, it's nice to have someone like Bruzzese who tells you how to clean up your online persona or how to deal with an immature boss.
Who's blogging: A bevy of career writers
What they're blogging about: Everything from finding a job to knowing what kind of worker you are.
Why you should read it: Only a portion of the job hunt is about finding the job posting; the rest is about understanding what's available and where you want your career to go. With these experts advising you, you'll get plenty of advice and differing opinions on a range of issues.
Who's blogging: Dan Schawbel
What he's blogging about: Applying marketing tactics to your career and building your personal brand, which is essentially the image that you create for yourself.
Why you should read it: On some level, we're all brands. Our work history, age, experience and talents project an image to employers and colleagues, so you should know how to control your brand to get what you want.
Punk Rock HR
Who's blogging: Laurie Ruettimann
What she's blogging about: Workplace trends and current events as they relate to workers.
Why you should read it: Ruettimann's been in HR long enough to know what she's talking about, but she's tired of the beige walls and saccharine tones that come with it. Instead she talks to you like the irreverent friend you sometimes shake your head at, but love to listen to. She's also on top of HR trends so you understand what changes might be coming down the pipeline at your company and know how to handle them.
The Work Buzz
Who's blogging: CareerBuilder.com's team of job search and workplace writers.
What they're blogging about: News happening today, tips for finding a job, advice for achieving your career goals and even some related pop culture articles. And the team also answers your specific job search questions.
Why you should read it: Maybe I'm just partial because I'm one of the writers, but I think the blog is equally relevant to someone looking for a job and to someone who's in an established career. The topics cover all stages of professional life, from first jobs to retirement, which means you'll probably find something helpful.
Anthony Balderrama is a writer for CareerBuilder.com and its job blog, The Work Buzz. He researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/abalderrama.
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