As someone who is currently looking for a new role as a Learning and Development Professional and who blogs I have had a number of people ask me whether I think blogging is helpful.
My take is that blogging can help you show off your knowledge, skills and understanding of your area of work. It can also help you to network effectively and if you include a link to it in your CV can even prompt questions at interview as I have found on a number of occasions. Whether you already have a blog or are looking to start one, below are some tips for incorporating your blog into your job search.
Benefits of Using a Blog in Your Job Search
- Engage with more people. Blogging is really a social activity. You can use your site to engage new people through techniques such as guest blogging, interviews, and exchanging links. You can also encourage your readers to introduce/recommend you to their network.
- Cultivate long term relationships. It’s common for people to spend a year or more looking for a new job these days. A blog makes it easy to stay in touch over a prolonged period.
- Help others. Networking is more likely to be enjoyable and productive if you keep it focused on serving others. Your blog is a way to help people find solutions to challenges you’ve both experienced and attract job offers from people who are looking for a candidate like you.
- Expand your knowledge. You’ll learn valuable information while you’re researching and writing blog posts. It’s a great way to stay up to date in your chosen field even if you’re between jobs or looking for a position that better matches your long term goals.
- Create a portfolio. Think of your blog as a showcase. Potential employers can get to know you through the content you produce. As you establish yourself and gain readers you might even want to consider turning your best posts into eBooks or YouTube videos.
- Operate within your budget. If you’re low on funds, it’s okay to start out small. Set up a free blog on something like WordPress.
- Post regularly. The two top reasons readers give for unsubscribing from a blog is posting too seldom or posting too frequently. Keep your blog fresh but be prudent with more intrusive communications like mass email blasts.
- Stick to your topic. Identify your subject area at the start so you consistently deliver what your readers are expecting. You can always start a separate blog for unrelated interests.
- Participate in forums, social bookmarking and social media sites. Become a regular on sites like Twitter, LinkedIn or forums on topics related to your blog.Exchange guest posts and comments.
- Connect and engage with other popular bloggers in your field. If you write about issues in your area, make reciprocal arrangements to contribute to other local blogs that focus on the same issues.
- Get sticky. Encourage your readers to keep coming back. Thank people for their comments and answer their questions. Create a list of your most popular posts so new visitors are encouraged to read more.
- Stimulate polite debate. One way to get positive attention is to take a bold stance when you’ve got the facts to back you up. Write a thoughtful post about issues that are being debated in your industry. Maybe then invite an article from a colleague or another blogger who takes the opposing position.
In a competitive job market, it’s important to take advantage of every resource available to you. High quality content and strategic networking will make you and your blog stand out in a crowded field.