With a highly competitive job market and an alarming amount of young people finding themselves unable to begin their career, it’s not surprising that people are opting to go one step further when it comes to getting noticed by employers. Of course, having a strong resume is still crucial, however, there are additional steps a job searcher can take to show their skills and passions – such as starting a blog.
We’ve taken a look at why you might want to take a shot at blogging and how to go about it in order to make a fantastic impression on potential employers.
Recent online polling from ‘Blog Pulse’ has calculated that there are currently over 161 million blogs on the internet. Just how many of those are updated and frequented on a regular basis is unclear, but it cannot be denied that over the past decade, blogging has really come into its own as an art-form.
Of course, just because you have a blog, doesn’t mean you should throw that CV away just yet, but for those in creative professions and recent graduates especially, starting a blog is a great way to bolster your online profile, a profile that potential employers will be checking out pre-interview.
A blog could effectively work as an extension of your social media profile or as a completely fresh tangent. It doesn’t have to be specifically dedicated to your industry of choice for example. In fact, limiting your blog to one specific ‘niche’ topic might not be the route you want to go down, especially if there simply isn’t that much of interest to say about it.
Find A Niche
A niche doesn’t have to be something particularly obscure, it just has to be a subject of which you are knowledgeable and have a passion for. It’s almost impossible to write reams of copy about something you couldn’t care a less about, but if you focus your blog on something that interests you, the words should flow easily. Try not to focus your blog on your trade or industry though, or it might read as a cynical and clinical ‘checklist’ for potential employers.
Of course, you can touch on your industry in your blog, but don’t make it the focus (unless you are particularly enthused by it of course). By making employers see that you are a passionate and literate individual you should (at the very least) earn their respect.
Keep An Eye On Current Topics
Try and keep tabs on what is going on in the world of the topics you have chosen to write about. The best way to do this is by following other blogs and social media. Finding out who the influencers are for your chosen area also works as they will likely have their finger on the pulse and know what is happening. Not all posts have to be breaking news, but in order to write fresh and interesting content you should know what people wish to read about.
Market It But Don’t Go Overboard
Although you should definitely be posting links to your blog on your social media networks and telling all of your friends and associates to read it, you don’t want to become that irritating “Hey, have you read my blog?” guy. Market your blog to people who will actually be interested in reading it by streamlining your social media presence and doing some guest blogging on other, similar blogs to drive traffic to your own.
Engage with the users in your comments section and post comments in other blogs that might make others think you have something interesting to say for yourself. Once your blog starts increasing in popularity, your name will become more ‘googleable’ and you might even be approached by companies who want to offer you affiliate marketing opportunities but it will take time. Rome wasn’t built in a day right?
Consistency is absolutely key in the blogging community. You can’t ‘have a bad week’ as your readers may decide to get their fix elsewhere. Post on a regular basis and let your readers know!
Ultimately, you’re writing the blog to impress people and this should always be in the back of your mind. With the right attitude though you should be able to construct a blog that manages to demonstrate your skill set, commitment, tech savvy and connections, whilst building your own personal ‘brand’ by coming across as witty and informative. It’s a difficult balance and it probably won’t come naturally, but with enough work you’ll find that a blog can be an invaluable tool in helping you net the job of your dreams!
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