Whether you’re taking that first important step on the career ladder, or you’re hoping to move up a rung or two, blogging is a powerful way to supplement your CV. In today’s tough job market, senior managers are under extreme pressure to justify any expenditure related to hiring staff. Competition for roles is at an all-time high and recruiters have raised the bar when it comes to screening candidates.
To even stand a chance of getting an interview, you need to stand head and shoulders above the crowd. Even the most impressive CV that demonstrates outstanding qualifications, skills and experience is not going to be enough to get you noticed and seated in front of an interview panel. To secure that hot seat you need to differentiate yourself from the competition. That’s where blogging comes in. It’s a highly effective way to get your voice heard above the din.
Promote your credentials
A blog gives you the perfect podium to demonstrate the scope of your knowledge and credentials in and around your chosen field. With each post, you can show potential employers that you have the breadth and depth of understanding of your industry or market in detail that couldn’t possibly be squeezed onto a two-sided CV. You can also take the opportunity to showcase any relevant qualifications you have in the industry at the bottom of the blog, even including logos of the membership bodies where suitable. Once you’ve established your own blog you can explore opportunities to write guest posts for other relevant blogs to further secure your credibility in the industry. If your credentials include using videos or different mediums you can post these onto your blog too, try to demonstrate as many of your qualities and skills on your blog as you can.
Prove your commitment
There’s no better way to prove to a potential employer or recruitment company that you mean business than by taking the time to regularly articulate your thoughts and arguments in a blog. Obviously, you need to make sure you stay on-topic and not be tempted to share your penchant for pugs (unless you’re hoping to secure a dog-related job) or your weakness for whisky (unless you’re wanting to work in a distillery).
Keeping a regular blog proves motivation and commitment – two extremely attractive qualities for a potential candidate to display. It’s worth taking the time to plan your blog schedule, for at least six months in advance, not only does it make life a lot easier for you in the long run, but it will ensure you touch on a wide range of topics – and have every angle covered. Decide how regularly you want to post a blog and map out the topics for each of them. Of course, you don’t have to stick rigidly to your schedule, you can always bump your planned blog post if something topical crops up in the news or your industry press that really gets your juices flowing.
Demonstrate IT expertise
Another quality that would-be recruiters are looking for is resourcefulness. In today’s fast-paced working environments employers need staff that can quickly pick up new skills – especially IT skills. Creating a blog site demonstrates IT prowess and enthusiasm for self-learning.
Whilst setting up a blog only really requires basic IT skills, unless you have actually been through the process, it can seem quite intimidating. The fact that you have taken the time to research the technology to use and how to customise your blog will differentiate you from other candidates. So don’t forget to promote it on your CV!
Develop your network
If you’ve gone to the trouble of writing a blog, then you might as well give it legs to run off and promote your credentials down other avenues that could get you noticed. Posting your blogs on your LinkedIn page or in LinkedIn groups is a fantastic way to help build your professional network and reputation. Remember to share your post across your other social channels too, especially Twitter which is a popular platform for individuals to showcase their experience and ideas to other like-minded professionals. You could even maximise your efforts by putting your blog posts to editors of industry magazines and websites. Imagine the kudos that being a guest blogger would bring to your application.
Showcase your personality
By definition a blog post is quite simply a short, self-published, conversational opinion piece that’s posted online. The most important part of that sentence is ‘conversational opinion piece’. What better way to show your personality, passion and enthusiasm than in a blog? This is your perfect opportunity to showcase aspects of your personality that employers will be looking for in a way that is practically impossible in a conventional CV or in an interview when you’re a bag of nerves. For example, don’t be afraid to inject some humour into your blog (when and where the subject allows) and have some fun with it. The fact that you have a blog demonstrates serious commitment, so here’s your chance to prove you have passion and personality to match.
Get more tips on how to improve your employment prospects: Five Creative Ways to Bag Your Dream Job