My two daughters used to love writing. My oldest preferred expository writing, while my youngest loved dabbling in creative writing, primarily poetry that had taken on an inner angst slant. I loved reading their essays and stories. Proofreading and editing them was a pleasure.
My youngest daughter once asked me if I write. I told her that I do, and she asked if I write for work. This was a tough question to answer because I don’t get paid for blogging, but I see the doors it opens. Blogging is an investment in the future. How do you explain this to a 13-year-old kid?
Now, I tell my clients that blogging can be beneficial to their job search. I’m often met with reactions like, “Be real, Bob.” Here’s what I tell them about blogging for their job search.
Demonstrates your ability to write
If you enjoy writing and are particularly good at it, blogging gives you the perfect platform. Keep in mind that what you write will be read by people who hope to gain some advice from your writing, not your memoir or short stories based on your college years.
Enjoying the act of writing makes it easier to maintain a consistent schedule of posts. Start with one every other week and then increase them to a point where you are blogging once a week.
If you need trusted people to proofread your posts before sending them out, don’t be afraid to ask. Some of my clients have run their posts by me. My comments were usually: “You’re instincts are correct. Run with it.”
It enhances your brand
Blogging is one of many ways you can enhance your online presence. It demonstrates your expertise in your field, especially if what you write is educational and of use to your readers. This means you need to understand the needs of your audience.
I encourage my clients to blog to demonstrate their expertise. “Everyone in this room is an expert at what you do,” I tell them. This is true. From the purchasing agent to the nurse to the software engineer, they all have knowledge to share.
When recruiters, hiring managers, and HR read your posts, they’ll learn more about your expertise and personality than any résumé you write. Use your professional voice. Begin with a story, if you like. Just remember that the purpose of your posts are to educate your audience.
Also, keep your content positive; refrain from bashing former employers. This is one way to severely damage your brand. I’ve seen people submit negative posts on LinkedIn, which remain in the minds of LinkedIn users.
On the plus side, one of my clients went to an interview where the VP of marketing commented that he saw one of my client’s posts shared on LinkedIn. The VP was very impressed with my client’s expertise and offered him the job shortly after the interview.
It’s a great way to network
The third and final reason to blog is to network on social media like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Provide links in your posts to other bloggers’ posts. They will receive a ping telling them you’ve done this.
Other ways to acknowledge bloggers is by sharing their posts with your LinkedIn connections, tweeting and re-tweeting them, commenting on them, sharing them in your groups, etc. These are all effective ways to develop and strengthen your network.
You’ll find that by supporting other bloggers you will receive some love in return. I wrote a post on the qualities of being a curator called To share is golden. This post illustrates how important it is to not only blog, but to share the work of others. I also listed who I consider to be great curators, and I add to the list from time to time.
So, how do you begin? A connection of mine listened to me bemoan about how I wanted to blog, until she told me to simply do it. After a year of putting it off I finally wrote my first blog with my free WordPress account. And now I consistently blog at least one post a week.
Don’t wait like I did to blog. And think of something that really interests you about your occupation. Don’t expect your first post to be a hit—although it may be. Be patient and stick with it.
You don’t have a WordPress account. LinkedIn makes it easy for first-time bloggers. You can “write an article on the platform,” precluding the need to open a free WordPress account (as I did). The mechanics are straightforward. On your LinkedIn homepage you select “Write an article” and take it from there.
I hope my daughters continue writing in their later years because it is rewarding to the soul. They are excellent writers who will someday make significant contributions to this valuable art. Who knows, maybe one of them will be famous for their writing. One can only hope.
Photo, Flickr, domainermike