When it comes to social networking, each of the major channels—Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn—has its benefits and drawbacks for job seekers. While each can be an effective method for connecting with people and providing a sense of your skills and personality for potential employers, the downsides include things like privacy concerns and, crucially, the lack of space to go beyond basic information about yourself and your areas of interest and expertise.
Blogging is one of the best methods for overcoming those problems, allowing you the time and space to establish your credentials as someone who is knowledgeable about their field, gain a following, and even gain viral attention.
Below, blogger Yasmin Codron explains 5 ways to leverage your personal blog in the job hunt.
1. It’s all about YOU
Think of your blog as your very own online portfolio. Are you a creative writer and like to write short novels? Do you like to write reviews on plays or movies you’ve seen? Is there something in the news that you want to share your opinions on? Or have you just come back from a holiday and you want to share your travel experiences with everyone? Upload it on to your blog and share with the world! Blogging is a fantastic way to showcase your talents and interests, and this can help employers paint a picture of what you’re really like and enforce the skills that are on your CV.
TIP: Keep some of your blog posts related to your career interests. For example, if you’re interested in social media marketing, write a blog post on current industry news and trends.
2. Positive online reputation
One of the first things recruiters do when they receive your CV is search for you online. They will want to get a sense of who you are, and your online activity can sometimes be a good determiner of this (that means careful with what pictures you’re posting on Facebook…). Having a blog will show employers how you carry yourself both professionally and personally.
3. Expand your network
It’s one thing being able to write well, but it’s another ensuring your blog is interesting to read and attracts followers. Having a dedicated readership shows employers you know how to write well, but that you’re also able to create and maintain connections. This is an extremely valuable skill for the work place, especially if you’re interesting in working in fields like marketing, recruitment or PR.
4. Stand out!
Think of the hundreds of applications employers have to sift through day in and day out—a pretty tiresome and monotonous job. A blog can help to show your skills AND personality, which employers like to see. This helps you to stand out, giving a picture of you as a real person, not just another resume!
5. Work experience
Work experience is crucial for your resume, but can be hard to get, leaving you with blank spaces on your applications, and little concrete experience to talk about in interviews. However, depending how you utilise it, blogging can provide a form of work experience, and can easily provide you with the following (resume-ready) set of skills:
Writing – the more you write, the better your writing skills will become. Employers look for candidates who can write well and there is no better way than building on this skill by practice on your blog.
Networking – once you’ve got the hang of blogging and feel you are ready for a bit of a challenge, offer some guest content to bloggers that you like. This will not only build your online exposure, but can secure you some great contacts to expand your network with.
Social media marketing – share your pieces on social media and encourage friends and family to as well. Follow bloggers on twitter and Facebook, like/comment/share their blog posts to build rapport with them, but also become accustomed to the world of social media marketing. If this goes well, you may even end up with some success stories—with numbers for proof—to share at your next interview.
So get blogging and good luck!
Yasmin Codron is a blogger and marketing assistant for Graduate Recruitment Bureau. Her work involves writing insightful, advice based articles for graduates, students and job hunters.