As the job market becomes more competitive by the day, there’s an increasing demand to step out of your comfort zone. Taking additional steps to find a pathway into a new career, by thinking outside the box.
More people are turning online in the hopes of finding entry-level jobs, but very few are actually using the internet to its full potential.
Blogs are a way for you to harness one of the most powerful tools in your career toolbox. It’s an extension to resume.
You first have a cover letter to construct, in order to persuade your employer to take a look through your CV. That’s a cover letter and a one to two page resume displaying your entire work history, qualifications, personal interests, skills, and how versatile you are in the work place.
Not much room to write everything you feel an employer should know about you, so you can land a job.
A clever way around that obstacle is to blog your way into a new career.
You essentially use a technique labelled as crowd sourcing. You set yourself up a blog, highlight your expertise, and build relationships with other experts in your line of work. Or the work you are trying to move into.
If you’re only just at the learning stage, then daily blogging about the challenges you face, your pride when you overcame them, and discuss things with others along the way to get support.
After a while, you can become an expert in anything you’re aspiring to be.
When you have a blog, you’re going to have a string of content there. You’ll probably have pride in the content you’ve published and connect to your social media presence. Perhaps a Facebook page, Twitter page, or a LinkedIn profile.
Just by having a blog URL gives potential employers the ability to see more about you, beyond your CV.
Some things employers can tell from your blog:
1) You can string a coherent sentence together
2) If you post regular, it can show your ability to commit to something
3) It’s definitely going to highlight your enthusiasm for your profession
4) You can forge relationships and interact with other (Social media follower, blog comments, guest hosted blog posts with other bloggers)
5) You’re accountable for what you post
Some posts you put on your blog, may have different opinions. Some other people will post their opinions in your comments section below what you’ve discussed. When you interact with those people, both in agreement and in disagreement, employers will be able to see that you can handle situations in a diplomatic way without causing a further argumentative debate.
These are all things that you employers can see, just from looking beyond your CV, into your social media presence and then onto your professional blog.
First off, research the different platforms available. There’s Blogger, Tumblr, WordPress,Typepad, or perhaps livejournal, just to name a few.
When you’re selecting the platform to use to start blogging for career purposes, you need to consider the people who make up the audience. If you’re interested in a career as a chef, then livejournal could be a platform that lets you blog about recipes you’ve created. Then again, if you’re going to highlight your talents through pictures of what you’ve created, Tumblr could be better option.
To establish the right one for your career, you should try to find existing people on the network first, to ensure you’re in the right place and networking with people who will push your career forward.
Once you’re up and running, you have to contribute. There’s no doubt about that. It’s additional work, but it can be done just one hour of your day. Just to update your blog on what you’ve been doing.
If you’ve been for an interview, put a quick post up about your experiences. If you’ve been invited to one, post about how excited you are.
Curb enthusiasm for others to contribute in your comments. Give people a reason to follow you.
The more you can gain followers and interact effectively, the better a leader you’ll establish yourself to be.
That’s how employers will see your skills in action when you interact with people.
Just be sure that you don’t break the rules and get into a rant about any fellow bloggers. The last thing you want is to sit at an interview to find out that you’ve raved negatively about your interviewer or one of their close friends.
Most successful businesses will pay attention to what is being said about them online. Brands in particular. So avoid any defamatory posts about specific brands. (And people for that matter.) You never know who will contact you when you’re publicly in job-hunting mode.
Another thing to be careful is your topics. You should never get involved in topics covering religion, politics, ethnicity or age related work issues.
When you have a blog up and running, use it to your advantage and connect with others in your field. Offer your expert insight and provide your opinions, either contextually, or via video by contributing to other peoples blogs. You’d be surprised how influential you can be just by using your blog efficiently to aid your career.
Whatever your skills, you can use blogging platforms to display your professional abilities. Always bear in mind, prior to publishing anything that it is an extension to your CV. Another way to bring you to the attention of employers, gaining an advantage over others competing for the same positions as you’re applying for.