There are thousands of career blogs out there. Most of them suck. Yes, somebody had to say it. Most of the information you can find is geared towards that I call the Black Hole Strategy- getting on job boards and sending out as many resumes as you can without getting carpal tunnel syndrome. On top of that, you’ll find a million articles about how adding one or two “power words” to your resume can somehow get you a great job (Spoiler alert: they won’t).
The following blogs are different. Instead of magic bullet techniques and spamming resumes into the black hole, each of these writers provides real value: through unconventional job-hunting strategies, advice escaping the corporate world or creating work-life balance, or just a bit of tough love, each of these writers has risen above the pablum of cliched career advice, and each provides their own unique perspective on finding your dream job.
1. Unleashing Your Brand (Lida Citroen)
As the name suggests, Lida’s blog focuses on personal branding. While she didn’t invent that concept, she’s the best resources I’ve found for building and managing your professional reputation, and is a particularly good resource for veterans.
2. Abby Kohut
With 18 years’ experience in HR and recruiting, Abby Kohut can teach you how to get inside the heads of recruiters and hiring managers. She posts articles every weekday, with each day being dedicated to a specific aspect of job hunting, such as resume, finding the jobs, or interviewing. This makes her blog a very well-rounded source of job hunting advice.
My favorite articles:
3. Penelope Trunk
Penelope is one of my idols- she’s started multiple successful startups, writes amazing career advice that appears in hundreds of papers, and still finds time to homeschool her kids. I started reading her blog for the career and business advice- she has a rambling style that takes some getting used to, but what keeps me checking her blog every week is her radical honesty (or maybe just lack of a mental filter) about her career, family, sex life, and whatever else she feels like talking about.
Some of my favorite articles:
And I can’t leave off here without showing you this hilarious tweet.
4. Career Enlightenment (Joshua Waldman)
Joshua Waldman specializes in teaching people to use social media to get professional jobs. He is a leading expert on the use of LinkedIn, and was one of the first to recognize Twitter’s potential as a job-hunting tool.
A few of my favorite articles:
5. Nick Corcodilos
Nick is one of my favorite career bloggers because he focuses largely on an issue that’s near and dear to my heart: the rampant pattern of abusive and unethical behavior by employers, towards employees. From bullying bosses, to dishonest recruiters, to companies flat our cheating their own employees, Nick tells you how to deal with some of the thorniest and most infuriating job hunt and workplace challenges.
Here are some of his best articles:
6. Life After College (Jenny Blake)
As the title suggests, Jenny helps young college graduates find their footing in life and get set on a path that will bring them fulfillment, hopefully while paying off that monstrous pile of student debt. She’s worth reading for many reasons, but particularly because she’ll tell you not just how to get a great job, but how a great job fits into a great life.
7. The Undercover Recruiter
Run by LinkHumans, a London-based social media agency, The Undercover Recruiter is the top career and recruiting blog in Europe and the UK. Most aspects of job hunting are the same in Europe as they are in the US, but this blog is a great resource for Europe-specific topics such as long-form CV writing.
8. The Muse
I love The Muse because it pushes readers to focus relentlessly on finding a job they’ll truly love, and in particular a workplace that will be a great cultural fit for them. As such, it’s a great resource for making career changes, and for making sure you don’t take a job you’ll end up regretting.
A few must-reads:
9. Ask a Manager
Ask a manager is a daily (and sometimes several times a day) advice column written by veteran hiring manager Alison Green. As the name suggests, every article answers one or more reader-submitted questions; they range from broadly useful, to occasionally useful and highly interesting, to downright hilarious.
I can’t really pick favorites from literally thousands of articles, so here are a few of her best ones from September 2014.
10. Alexandra Levit’s Water Cooler Wisdom
Alexandra is regularly featured in places like Forbes, CNN and The New York Times because she offers simple, actionable advice for finding a good job in a fairly quick time frame. Moreover, she offers much-needed advice on surviving an unpleasant job and tempering your career expectations (especially needed by millennials).
Some of her best:
11. Keppie Careers (Miriam Salpeter)
Keppie Careers is the brainchild and online home of career/business coach and social media consultant Miriam Salpeter. While she offers a great variety of services, what you’re probably interested in is her career advice- she can help you conduct a targeted job search to get a job you love, and turn an “okay” job into one you’re happy to work at.
A few of her best:
12. Lindsey Pollak
Lindsay is an outlier on this list, because she isn’t a career coach and doesn’t primarily focus on career advice. Rather, she specializes in helping companies hiring, manage and market to millennials. That might make it sound like she doesn’t belong here, but I see tremendous value in reading about how employers view younger workers. For similar reasons, I wish there was a blog that helped fashion models attract and date skinny white guys who went bald in their 20’s.
A few highlights for young professional job-seekers:
13. Dan Schawbel
Dan writes about career development and personal branding, but with a particular emphasis on issues relevant to the younger generations, including long-term trends in recruiting and the workplace. I find his blog particularly fascinating because it’s one of the very, very few career resources which devotes much attention to thinking about how the economy, and the workplace, will change five, ten, or twenty years out.
Here are a few articles that younger professionals shouldn’t miss:
14. When I Grow Up (Michelle Ward)
Unlike most of the bloggers on this list, Michelle focuses not on finding a great job, but on building a lifestyle business in order to escape the corporate environment. Her blog is geared towards women who have decided that traditional jobs simply don’t offer the enjoyment or work-life balance they were hoping for; she offers tips on building income as a freelancer or small business owner, as well as getting by at your day job while building your side business.
A few favorites:
15. CareerBright (Schweta Kare)
First off, I’ll admit that I’m less familiar with Schweta than with some of the other bloggers on this list. However, her blog stands out to me because most of the articles provide advice that is clear, actionable, and applicable to most people. She seems to be a particularly good resource for people who are just entering or re-entering the workforce, and as an added bonus, many of her articles present large amounts of helpful data in infographic form for easy digestion.
16. Campus to Career (Kirk Baumann)
Kirk’s blog, of course, focuses on the needs of graduating students and younger professionals in the workplace, but he brings a unique perspective: he works for both sides of the job market. Kirk both provides career advice to young professionals and students, and consults with major corporations to help them recruit young professionals. My favorite articles of his are the ones which focus on networking, a skill which most students don’t seem to learn in college.
17. Career by Choice (Megan Fitzgerald)
One of the more unique experts I’ve found, Megan focuses entirely on helping people find expat jobs- that is, to move overseas. Whether you want to live somewhere fun and exotic, enrich yourself culturally, go where the money is, or just want to move overseas but don’t know where to start, Megan’s blog needs to be on your reading list. Her advice is great not only for finding international jobs and making yourself a better candidate for those jobs, but also for clarifying your goals and narrowing down what you want to do and where you want to go.
A few must-reads for international job hunters:
18. On the Job (Anita Bruzesse)
Newspaper columnist Anita Bruzzese has been writing about workplace issues for over 22 years now. Her writing focuses mainly on getting by in the workplace, but also covers job searching, college, and unemployment. Her writing has the advantage of being short and to the point, and I think it’s some of the best for developing the proper mentality for being a career top performer.
Here are some must-reads:
19. Maggie Mistal
It’s always a good sign when a blogger tells you exactly what they’re about, and when a coach tells you their approach right on their website. Maggie helps people find their dream jobs through a process she calls Soul Search-Research-Job Search. That means that, like me, she believes in front-loading the work so that you ensure that a) you’re applying for the jobs you’ll really enjoy, and b) you can beat the competition by being better prepared than anyone else.
Here are a few of her best articles from the past three years:
20. Jeff Lipschultz
Jeff heads the Dallas-based recruiting firm A-List Solutions, and is a featured writer on job-hunt.org. While he has a lot of advice, he particularly shines at telling you exactly how certain behaviors, words, or job searching tactics come off to recruiters and hiring managers, and how to really see yourself through the eyes of the people you need to impress.
If you’re not sure how you come off in your job search, you should read these:
21. Eve Tahmincioglu
Eve earns a place in this article for challenging conventional armchair wisdom in several areas- most notably, the commonly-cited cliche that you need to “find your passion.” She’s also a great writer on gender issues, including not only the challenges that women face in career advancement, but also the way that men’s work-life balance issues get overlooked. And like me and many of my favorite writers, she calls out the labor abuse that’s become so endemic in American society.
Here are a few must-reads:
22. Melissa Cooley
If you’ve been unemployed for a long time, or have spent years falling short of your career goals, you should be reading Melissa’s blog. My favorite part about it is the tough love- she calls out people who try to BS their way into a job, or who want better results yet refuse to change their job hunting strategy.
Read these articles for a swift kick in the pants:
23. Margaret Buj
The other British subject on this list, Margaret is a great choice for people who need interview coaching or just a better idea of what they’re doing wrong. I love her blog because, like me, she’s a huge proponent of building a network at your target companies before you apply, and using that network to beat the competition through superior preparation.
The following articles are perfect exemplars of the networking approach:
24. Guerilla Marketing for Job Hunters (David Perry)
In both his blog and his book of the same name, David provides a wealth of unconventional advice for job hunters who realize that this isn’t your parents’ job market anymore. From telling people to take more risks in their job hunt, to “start work before you’re hired,” David’s advice is fresh, creative, and certain to make you stand out.
I consider the following to be must-reads:
25. Ramit Sethi
Finally, we come to the man who has changed my life more than anyone else (sorry Dad). Ramit is easy to dismiss because of his scammy-sounding blog name and crazy eyebrows, but it would be a shame if you did. I’ve followed him for years, and his blog is the only one for which I can honestly say I never miss an article. His writing and his products have had a massive impact on virtually every part of my life, from investing, to earning more money, to setting goals, and even developing my social skills. More than anyone else, Ramit is the person who shaped my own unconventional approach to finding the perfect job and having a successful, fulfilling life.
It’s hard to pick favorite articles here, but if you’re not familiar with Ramit, you might start with these:
Now, more information isn’t always better, and lack of information isn’t usually what holds people back. In other words, don’t subscribe to all 25 of these blogs and spend 10 hours a week reading them. Instead, if you’re interested in taking your career to the next level, I recommend you give each of them a look, and pick just a few of your favorites to start reading regularly, leaving yourself enough time to put their advice into action.
And while you’re at it, you can subscribe to my blog below (for free) and read my free e-book, The 12 mistakes keeping you from your dream job, and what you should be doing instead. Additionally, the first 100 people to join my mailing list by next Tuesday, the 14th of October 2014, will receive a free resume consultation from me, in which I’ll tell you how your resume looks to hiring managers, and what to do to skyrocket your chances of getting a call back and an interview for your dream job.