I found my dream job…. and I mean dream job. A blogger / editor job for an experienced teacher. It was there in black and white on the Problogger Job Boards. Sure it was December 21, but I had finished my Christmas Shopping so I sat down and got started.
A Regular Job Interview Process
In my teaching career I have applied for 5 jobs. Face to face interviews are easy. You send in the resume, they check your references and then you hopefully get an interview. My interviews have never lasted more than 30 minutes and I have found out the outcome in a couple of days.
Does that sound familiar to you?
Well applying for an online job is a whole different game.
Problogger Job Interview Process
To gain an online job as a Blogger / Editor I have completed six general steps, and one that is a little crazy.
If you are a regular reader of the Problogger Job board you will notice a trend in Job descriptions. A writing job is pretty straightforward. But many of the Blogger / Editor positions are long and vague. This job wanted a blogger who could do it all, but didn’t give out specifics of the time, pay, or responsibilities.
So I applied with two documents. The first was a standard cover letter and resume that listed my education and experience in teaching and blogging. The second was a two page proposal outlining my strategy for the company. I didn’t know what they wanted, but knew that my resume wouldn’t have given them enough information.
First email contact
About a week later I received an email from the company. They loved my proposal but were worried about location issues; they were in the US and I was here in Australia. I answered with strategies on how to deal with time difference and how we could overcome my lack of understanding of US education issues. For each point, I could see many positives from being outside of the US.
Another week went by and I had a Skype Interview planned for 5:30 in the morning. It would have been so much easier to go to someone’s office then to have an interview online. Since it was a video conference I had to make sure I didn’t look like I just crawled out of bed, my office had to be clean and my 2 year old had to be bribed with a Macca’s breakfast.
The interview lasted nearly an hour and was a standard interview, once I got over the fact that I was on a massive projector screen.
I decided to write a second proposal. It was a synthesis of ideas that came from the interview. An impression from the interview was a concern that I was an unknown person from destination elsewhere. So in the proposal I also gave examples of accountability practices that we could use to keep track of me.
On the 15th of January I was asked to submit a blog article on behaviour management. We had three days to write the post. Simple enough but I took a few risks with my approach.
Keeping up with Appearances
During the month I also made sure I looked after my blog and readers. I spent more time crafting blogs, wrote a Guest Post and became more involved on Twitter. I also put out a call for guest posts (as it was something that concerned the interviewers) Google Analytics is a wonderful tool and I was able to tell that the company was monitoring my blog on a regular basis.
Little Bit Crazy
Well now a month has gone by and the company still hasn’t made a decision yet. I wanted to make them know that I was still excited about the job and that I have strong convictions about my ability as a blogger. I wanted to stand out of the crowd. So I got a little adventurous…
I sent a Thank You Card and a box of Tim Tams. Express. To America. With a note that said “Let’s have another chat over Skype. I have supplies the Tim Tams.”
I had just read a quote from Teresa Taylor, “I never hire someone without having a meal with them. I am absolutely convinced that that’s how you see what people are really like…you can pick up all these lifestyle things that you can’t get out of questioned them sitting in your office.” I wanted to show them that I was happy to have a chat over coffee so they could get to know me better.
I reached out to an online friend. Josh from World’s Strongest Librarian put my post on his site. I wanted to see how others would respond to my story.
I sent this post to Darren.
So Did the Tim Tam’s work? Not sure. I just checked Australia Post and they are still in transit. Somewhere between LA and New York.
I still hope I get the job. I really do want it. But this experience has taught me so much about applying for online positions. Whilst blogging experience is important, what our future employers are looking for is someone they can trust. Especially if that person will be blogging from destination unknown.
We all know that trust takes time to develop with our own blog readers. But time is not a commodity you have when applying and interviewing for an online job. So you also need to find a way to show entrepreneurial spirit.
Have you got any great strategies on how to ace a blogger job and? Let us know.