Blogging ain’t easy. It’s time-consuming, requires a good command of English, and forces you to put yourself out there for public consumption. Quite frankly, it can be scary. But when you compare this to the job search, it’s not much different. You have to spend time reviewing job descriptions, doing research and submitting your application. You gotta have a resume and cover letter free of grammatical and spelling mistakes that best reflects who you are. You have to put yourself out there with each employer you submit an application to and interact with on sites like LinkedIn. Like I said, it ain’t easy.
But with so many folks looking for work, you need to differentiate yourself however you can — particularly if you don’t think you have all the skills and experience a company is looking for. At this point, we all have resumes and cover letters. We most likely have a LinkedIn profile. We’re not coming up in Google searches for felonies. Basically, we have a lot in common. Assuming you’ve got your resume and cover letter in decent order, a recruiter may want to learn more about you.
A good way to welcome them to find out exactly what you want them to know is to have a blog — preferably under your real name. But if you create a tag name for yourself, that’s fine. You can be The Passionate Careerist, The Artsy Programmer, The Mathematics Maven, etc. Basically, you can be who or whatever you wanna be and have them find it. So why not seize the opportunity?
If that doesn’t cut it, let me give you three specific reasons why you should have a blog.
You Get to Be Who You Are
Here’s the thing. There’s a lot of talk out there about maintaining your professional (pronounced stiff) identity, keeping it clean and making sure there’s nothing negative attached to your name. But you don’t want to work somewhere that you have to put on a show everyday you go in. It gets tiring. And over time, it’ll make you wish you were somewhere else. With a blog, you get to be who you are and showcase it. There are some restrictions and that’s fine. I’ll elaborate.
If you have a potty mouth, you’ll most likely have to filter it in the office. If you’re a hardcore Tea Party member, that’s not something you’d be promoting over lunch unless you work in their headquarters. Just keep that type of stuff in mind for your blog. We all do a bit of filtering on a day to day basis, but we don’t feel like we aren’t being ourselves or that we’re being stiff (ll). We’re doing what’s necessary to maintain our relationships and our (casual) professionalism.
With a blog, you can showcase your personality in the words you choose and the things you choose to talk about. And to make it better, you don’t even have to write a lot. You can add a video or podcast that you found interesting and invite your readers to enjoy. Which leads me to my next point…
You Don’t Have to Worry About Traffic
I don’t worry about traffic here. I know that my message is for a limited and targeted audience and that’s fine. On any given day, anybody could stumble across this site. And I’m confident they’ll get a sense of who I am and what I have to offer because I’m talking about things that I’m passionate about. If they don’t like it, that’s fine. Maybe I’m not the person they’re looking for and that’s completely okay.
That’s the risk with a website. You have to be willing to accept this and not get disenfranchised when you don’t see a lot of people reading or commenting about what you have to say. But if you’re doing this right, there won’t be any questions about whether or not you’re worth having in the workplace. Just keep it honest and keep it casually professional. If you can’t keep it professional and have fun, what type of career are you really looking for? Let me reiterate: It doesn’t matter if 1,000 people see your site. All it takes is one person to change your life. Be your best self. Take as few or as many words as you need, have fun, and show them who you are.
You Can Show People What You REALLY Like..or Don’t
This may sound like the previous point, but it’s different. Part of the purpose of the blog is to be “vocal” about what you like/love. You don’t have to write some pandering post before every interview. Actually, I wouldn’t do that before any interview because it’s obvious and fake. But if there’s a field or particular company that interests you, and that you’d love to work in/with, you can talk about it on your site. The most important part is the why though. Why do you like or dislike a particular thing, idea, etc.? The answer to this provides a lot of insight into how you think. And you never know. A point you make on your blog may become a source of discussion during one of your interviews. That’s not a bad thing. If they saw something that was particularly negative or off-putting, they probably wouldn’t have brought you in. So the conversation is likely to be positive.
You may be thinking “What if one company sees I’m talking about a competitor?” My answer is simple:
Do you really think employers expect you to only be interested in one company?
I Recruiters aren’t dumb. We’re They’re more concerned with making sure you wanna be in their respective industry and be associated with excellence. I mean… I they wouldn’t consider other companies competiiton if they sucked.
These are just three reasons why I think you need to make use of a blog. I definitely plan to talk about other reasons in the future, as well as how to go about building a blog from a technical standpoint. Keep this in mind as you’re going through your job search. It may be time-consuming. But remember, finding the career of your dreams ain’t something you can do overnight. A blog is just one tool to help you along the way.