While the news of a national economic recovery is very encouraging, the actual hiring rates in local job markets remain challenging. This is especially true for those graduating from college in May as well as the experienced job seeker. That's why it's important to use every competitive advantage possible in this employment environment. One of those might be right under your nose, or at least your finger tips. It's your blog!
1) A recent study indicates 70% of recruiters now check social networking sites or Google your name during the interview/selection process. If you are in an active job search, a blog can demonstrate your written communication abilities, critical thinking skills and your expertise in a specific area. Be sure that your blog reflects your useful knowledge that may help solve an employer's problem and outlines any thoughtful strategies that could be implemented by your future employer. Do not promote or maintain a blog that consistently complains about an issue without offering a solution. If your topic could be perceived as controversial, always discuss both sides of the issue and facilitate healthy, honest debate on your blog to illustrate how you might handle conflict as a leader.
2) Use these proven tips to maintan or start blogging:
- Choose a topic that you are passionate about and has relevance to a targeted audience.
- Find your unique, creative voice or offer new information or interesting research on a topic.
- Tell your colleagues, friends and family to read your blog. Ask for comments and feedback.
- Make sure a link to your blog is visible on your Twitter and LinkedIn profiles.
- Avoid selling or overly promoting your own products or services on a blog.
- Stay focused and write when you have something to say. Hopefully that's on a regular basis.
3) A blog can be an important part of establishing your personal brand. Present accurate facts and offer information, advice on a topic that may useful to others (or an employer) in your target audience. It's okay to show a bit of personality too. Clever uses of humor in your writing, appropriate, funny photos or videos to help illustrate your points are always effective. If you don't already have a blog, there are variety of excellent tools to help you create one. The most popular and easy to use are Blogger and Wordpress.
4) If you have not found a job, maintaining your blog can be a fun, creative outlet that also keeps your writing skills fresh and takes your mind off the slowly recovering employment market. So go ahead, blog like your job depends on it, because it just might.
Do you have a blog? If so, how do you use it? If not, why not? I welcome your comments below.