Can you blog your way to a job?
The Careers Blog is a mere three weeks old – with a following that is steady, rather than stratospheric – so commenting on the career benefits of blogging may seem a little premature. Fortunately you don’t have to take my word for it. I spend a lot of time online at the moment, so it was inevitable that I’d stumble upon (in the old fashioned sense) a post merging together my main preoccupations – careers and blogging. Step forward, ‘7 Ways Blogging Can Improve Your Employability'. It’s no secret that having an active, online presence is a virtual pre-requisite for entry to some careers (PR, journalism), but it seems blogging can open doors in other, unexpected ways. Krishnan Nair was struggling get a foothold in the legal sector, despite numerous applications, and decided to channel his frustration by blogging. Fast forward a year and Krishnan has turned a pastime into a career: 'How blogging helped get my career started'
Blogging is not an instant ‘quick fix’ to your job search woes, but done well it can generate interesting career opportunities and get you noticed. Just make sure you observe a few cardinal rules:
- Choose your topic carefully. According to NM Incite over 181 million blogs were tracked in 2011 so there’s no room for a bland and boring blog. If you make your content interesting, engaging – and even entertaining – readers will find you.
- Think of your blog as a professional platform. It’s fine to let your personal and professional worlds collide occasionally, after all your followers will expect to see a glimpse of the ‘real you’. But don’t post anything that detracts from your purpose. Not many bloggers can transform the trivial into the meaningful – it’s probably best not to try.
- Post regularly. If you start a blog commit to it. This doesn’t necessarily mean daily posts, but you do need to post regular updates. Consistency is essential if you want to develop and maintain a readership.
- Communicate in a clear and compelling way. Use the blog to showcase your writing style and skills.
- Own it! Don’t hide behind anonymity. Link to your blog from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (you should be visible here too) and mention it on your CV. But only if you've followed points 1-4...
Employers regularly scour social media sites looking for reasons to screen out potential employees. A well-written, well-researched and heavily networked blog can attract their attention for all the right reasons. There are myriad benefits to blogging, which the well connected folk at Give a Grad a Go have summarised as:
- Enhancing your personal online brand and Google-ability
- Demonstrating skills such as writing, design, photography, and analytical thinking
- Showing your ability to take initiative and commit to a project
- Connecting you to a whole network of other bloggers
Blogging isn't for everyone – if writing is a chore, and you dread commitment, it's possibly not the medium for you. There may be other job search strategies you can use to accomplish your goals. However, if you're reading this feeling excited and motivated, then maybe you've found the ideal platform to show your skills and shape your future. What's stopping you? Get blogging!