Tuesday, January 24, 2012

7 reasons every job seeker should blog

Have you ever considered the ways a blog can help you get a job? I meet lots of young people entering the work force and I always recommend blogging as a way to get ahead—in almost any career. Here’s why:

1. Show what you’re made of. In most interviews, you try to tell people that you’re knowledgeable about a given topic. In a blog, you can show them. To that end, blog about current events in your industry, your view on trends and developments and demonstrate your areas of expertise.

2. Build a professional network. There are numerous examples of people finding jobs through connections in a blog community. This month, I helped connect a young woman into the professional marketing scene in Chicago because I was impressed with her blog. Your blog community can certainly become a professional network.

3. Engage instead of advertise. Let’s face it. No matter how creative you get, a résumé is still an advertisement. I struggle to read carefully through a lengthy résumé. However, I will read interesting stories on a blog all day long. Compelling content is a way to engage prospective employers in a way that will hold their attention.

4. Stand out. In today’s world, blogging may be an expectation of many entry-level jobs. Demonstrating an ability to create content may just be the difference that gets you the job over a non-blogger.

5. Sharpen your professional skills. If you’re going to blog about a subject, you need to know your stuff. Putting out thoughtful content requires that you stay on top of your game, which will certainly be an advantage to you, especially if the job-hunting process is a long one.

6. Expand your reach. Building your personal brand means showing up in all the places a prospective employer might find you. Of course that usually means LinkedIn. But having a link to a blog on your profile, as well displaying a feed of your recent blog posts, gives a potential employer stalking you on LinkedIn more ways to connect with you and learn about your skills.
7. Extend the interview. Here is the last thing you say to your interviewer: “I’ve enjoyed our time together but there is so much more I could tell you about my abilities. I hope you’ll take a look at my blog (the Web address is on my résumé) so you can see for yourself the way I think about things.” And you know what? They’ll do it. You have just extended your interview by another 15 to 30 minutes and that may make all the difference.

Mark Schaefer is the executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions. He blogs at grow, where a version of this article originally ran. 

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