11 Best Blogs to Follow While Job Hunting

11 Best Blogs to Follow While Job Hunting. Image (c) 2014 Michael J. Barnes.

I’ve been unemployed since February this year, and have been actively seeking a new job since then… at this point to no avail. I recently met with an employment counselor and she suggested I use my website to blog about my industry – this will help me become more visible with employers and show that I keep up with current trends. She also suggested I blog about my job hunting experiences. With that in mind, here is my first blog of my job hunt. I have decided to discuss the top blogs I have found that have helped me with this quest:

11 Blogs I use in my job hunt…

Why 11? Because other posts I read only list the top 10 blogs, and I decided to put 110% into this post (just as I do in my real life, especially when it comes to my profession).

As I wrote earlier, I’ve been out of work for over nine months. Being out of work for that long, I found that I have had a lot more time on my hands. With that said, I found myself searching out blogs to help me in my job hunting mission. I have found several, but here are the 11 I find myself going back to again and again. I’m no expert in this subject by no means, but I wanted to share the blogs I have found and use. This list is in no particular order, but they are numbered so you can see that there are 11 blogs posted here.

Here are the job hunting blogs

1. Guerilla Job Hunting Created by the people who published the popular Guerilla Marketing books. This is a creative blog that features unconventional job hunting advice, networking tips and profiles of job seekers and their experiences. The site also promotes their products including job search books and DVDs. I put this at #1 due to the fact that it does provide unconventional tips. I have used the advice Guerilla Marketing books in the 90s to help my clients promote their businesses (to great success I might add – and yes, this is a self-promotional plug on my part)

2. The Daily Muse Best for all job seekers, especially those who are looking for inspiration beyond resume and interview tips. The blog’s headline reads: “Daily Career Guidance – Delivered.” This blog does have an extensive database of employers looking for employees as well as advice to employers about seeking employees.
All job seekers, especially those looking for inspiration beyond resume and interview tips.

3. The Undercover Recruiter Focused primarily for job seekers and career development, this blog offers job seeking and career tips, insightful infographics and helpful job searching and interviewing advice. I recently read a post on how to answer the question “Tell Me About Yourself,” and it gave me some really great advice.

4. Guardian Careers Managed by The Guardian newspaper’s website (yes, it’s a newspaper in the United Kingdom), this blog is aimed at graduating job seekers, but the expert advice, comments and discussion can be beneficial to all job seekers. Guardian Careers features a live weekly Q&A where you can post your questions to a panel of experts and get immediate answers. Although this blog is based in Britain, it does list jobs all over the world, even some in the U.S. This site is aimed at graduate job seekers but the expert advice, comment and discussions published here on a daily basis can be beneficial to all job seekers. Look out for their weekly live Q&As which allow you to put your questions to a panel of experts and receive immediate answers.

5. Spark Hire Job Seeker Blog Presented by Spark Hire, a company that specializes in online interviews and video resumes, this blog displays near-daily content with posts dealing with job searching, career guidance, resume styles, and inspiration. Recently finished reading a post dealing with keeping motivated while hunting for a job.

6. Penelope Trunk I was initially reluctant to look up this blog. I’ve read listing about this blog that it was bolstered by posts from Penelope Trunk’s experiences with founding start-ups and her other professional experiences. However, I reviewed the blog and found posts giving career related advice, as well as some relevant life-topics like “You Can’t Get Respect Unless You Know What You Want to be Respected For.”

7. The Employability Coach This blog is produced by a British website Learning To Leap, and gives great advice about being employable. Written by a employment coach, I recommend this site if you’re not sure about what it takes to be a great candidate for the job you want.

8. Career Hub The blog features posts from experienced job search professionals including tips on different career issues, life issues and advice for fellow job seekers. A recent post from a professional resume writer talks about the kind of resume that works now. This post gives great advice on writing “keyword” rich resumes that will get past automatic tracking systems and into the hands of the hiring manager.

9. Careerealism I liked this blog. It is perfect for job seekers who realize that every job is temporary. I recently made that realization, even though I stayed at my last job for over six years. This blog highlights blogs on resume tips, Linked-In and social networking, being laid-off, handling the workplace environment, and, of course, job seeking tips.

10. Ms. Career Girl Geared for job-seeking women, it features job seeking tips, life advise, career confessions and a question/advice section. I was initially hesitant about looking up this blog (as it is geared towards women), but I found some great posts including a post about the Number One Question you should ask in any conversation.

11. Linked-In Job Seeker Blog

As the title suggests, this blog can be found at Linked-In. The blog features posts on how to find jobs through Linked-In, the new Linked-In Job Finding App, and many other posts on using Linked-In for your job search. However, since I am using Linked-In more and more during my job seeking quest, I have found much of the posts to be useful.

Although I still haven’t found a job, I am more hopeful everyday using the advice I have found in these blogs. I hope they will help you in your job search. As a bonus, I have recently discovered a great resource to help me land a new job…

And here’s that one great job hunting resource

I recently came across a website –after I lost my job, was evicted from my apartment and now moving it with my aunt, and desperately seeking a new job – called 211oc.org. This site gives a listing of county run and sponsored services including health care, food stamps, housing, and other services within Orange County, CA (where I reside). However, this isn’t the resource I want to share. The resource I found to help me with my job seeking adventure was through this website.

Orange County One-Stop Center provides employment and training services. Although this center is based in Orange County, it is part of a nationwide network of centers that can be found through America’s Service Locator. When I recently visited this center, I was met with a career counselor who gave me great advice on how to improve my resume, how to use social networking to help me with my job search, and even how I should blog about my job seeking (hence one of the reasons why I am writing this post). The center offers a variety of workshops including resume writing, interview tips, and interviewing practice.

The center also provides some training and a website that provides online training on a multitude of subjects. I highly recommend looking into this resource for help with your job search.

(Here’s another self-promotion plug: I do my own illustrations for my blog posts. If you would like a custom illustration for your blog posts, website, ads, etc., please contact me.)


17 Reasons the Amish Were Right About Drawing Hands

17 Reasons the Amish Were Right About Drawing Hands

The first thing you are probably asking yourself is: “Wait a minute? The Amish have opinions about drawing hands?” I honestly have no idea if the Amish ever said anything about drawing hands, and if they did, they wouldn’t blog about it. I got this headline from a Blog Content Generator and it made me laugh… so I decided to use it as a topic headline. Another truth I must share with you is that many times when I draw hands, the results sometimes make me laugh (but mostly it makes me cry).

Drawing hands can be very difficult. Especially for me. When I was younger, I thought I was pretty good at drawing hands. The fact is, I practiced it, and practiced it, and found I could do it pretty well. As the years passed, I fell out of practice of hand drawing, and as a result I find the effort of drawing hands to be just that – an effort.

Sorry, No Amish… Just Illustrating The Importance of Well-Drawn Hands

Before I continue with writing this post, I must admit (just to avoid any confusion) that I am not listing 17 things the Amish were right about drawing hands. I will, however, press the importance of why hands are important in an illustration. Cartoonist Christopher Hart wrote in one of his best-selling how-to books: How to Draw Comic Book Heroes and Villains, “I can evaluate the caliber of an artist by his or her ability to draw hands – and so can everyone else.” By the way, if you are an aspiring artist, I highly recommend adding this book to your library.

In my early offerings of my on-line comic strip Hospitality Included, I discovered the importance of drawing hands (even cartoony hands). I lost a potential reader due to my lack of attention to the characters’ hands. This reader wrote a comment under one of my offerings how my hands were so amateurish that he would never log in and read another one of my Hospitality Included strips. I needed to delete that comment due to the fact that this comment was so explicitly written (language-wise), that it could not remain on a family-friendly comic strip.

Needless to say, I learned early how hands can make, or break, an illustration. As I wrote previously, I still have issues with drawing hands. Fortunately, I recently discovered a great resource (aside from the book I listed above) on how to draw hands. Another positive thing about this resource is that it is FREE. Cartoon Fundamentals: How to Draw Cartoon Hands written expertly and concisely by ,it is a wonderful tutorial about drawing hands. And although the tutorial is about correctly drawing cartoon hands, I find the techniques could be useful for many types of illustrated hands.

I know… this is a long-winded post about sharing a couple of links, but I wanted to demonstrate how important it is that hands are correctly drawn. And one of these days I will actually accomplish this feat again. To help me with this, I have bookmarked this resource, and I recommend any other artist who finds themselves having troubles with drawing hands to do the same thing:
Cartoon Fundamentals: How to Draw Cartoon Hands

If you have any other resources that could help me, and others, please share them in comments section of this post.

By the way, I drew the illustration at the top of this post. If you are a blogger and would like a custom illustration for your next post, or… if you just want an illustration for your avatar or website… contact me. I’m always Looking To Draw.



New Character: “Jake”

"Jake." Character Concep;t. (c) 2014 Michael J. Barnes

“Jake.” Character Concep;t. (c) 2014 Michael J. Barnes (click image to view larger rendering)

I had originally created this character in my early attempts at using ZBrush. Though I was really pleased with my first concept, I learned so much more since then. With that said, I really wanted this “Jake” character to look more “real.” I think I finally managed to reach this goal. Please let me know what you think.

Technically this is still a WIP (work-in-progress). I am still detailing the coat, pants and other accessories. I will post the completed sculpt at a later date.


New Character: Frank

"Frank." Character Concept. (c) 2014 Michael J. Barnes.

“Frank.” Character Concept. (c) 2014 Michael J. Barnes.

Meet Frank. My newest character concept. The idea behind Frank was to create a half human, half alien rogue. I had in mind from the beginning in this concept to create a dark-skinned character with blond hair and orange eyes, giving him a more alien appearance. However I wanted any other alien features to be softened (skull bones and ridges less pronounced) with the hope he would be a handsome “Face-like” (from the A-Team) character. I hope I achieved this goal.

As always, I created this character using ZBrush, and final production was completed in Photoshop. Feedback would be appreciated.


New Work: “Gaur” — Character Sheet

"Gaur -- Character Sheet." (c) 2014 Michael J. Barnes,

“Gaur — Character Sheet.” (c) 2014 Michael J. Barnes,

Here is my latest illustration. I decided to create this as a one-color line drawing because I wanted to make sure I could still do it. Line illustration is my first love. I first realized that I could draw when I was very young — many years ago — when I discovered that I could draw “Tippy the Turtle.” Like most of you, I grew up reading comic books (unfortunately I didn’t have enough foresight to hang on to them… they’d be worth a fortune today), and knew I wanted to draw for a living.

So, here is my latest submission. I hope you like it.


WIP: Spacesuit/Armor

Spacesuit/Armor - 3D Model - (c) 2014 Michael J. Barnes.

Spacesuit/Armor – 3D Model – (c) 2014 Michael J. Barnes. (Click on image for larger view).

Realizing I hadn’t posted anything in the past couple of weeks, I decided to display this futuristic spacesuit armor that I recently completed for an upcoming illustration. I am estimating that I spent around 60 hours developing the model, mostly because I was concepting as I went, plus I tried some new techniques I learned.

Needless to say, this project was created in ZBrush, with a composite produced in Photoshop.