I often come across articles online that recommend that all job seekers should have a blog. This makes some sense as a job-hunters digital brand is becoming more important as technology continues to play an increasingly important role in the job search process. Setting up a blog is straight-forward and free and there are popular sites like Blogger and WordPress that make it easy for a beginner to get started.
For some however, the benefits could be very small and not worth the time and effort. If you are a recent high school graduate who is seeking entry-level employment your time will be better spent contacting employers in person. There are job-seekers who would clearly benefit from using a blog to establish and extend their personal brand. A blog can be used to expand upon your resume, demonstrate your knowledge, show that you are comfortable with technology and to give employers a better sense of your personality and skills. You can link to your blog from your various social media accounts to further expand your online presence. Here are some factors to consider when deciding if blogging would help you in your job search:
- Are you interested in blogging ? Do you have the time and energy to commit to it ? If not, then it is possible you will lose interest in the process over time. You don’t have to create a blog post every day (or even every week) but there must be some regular activity. A blog that has not been updated in three years is a sad thing and sends a message to prospective employers.
- Do you like writing and do you have a perspective to offer readers that will be compelling? Your blog must contain some content that would impress an employer. If it mainly consists of links to funny cat videos on Youtube then you will have missed an opportunity. If you place a link to your blog on your email signature and in social media profiles it will be clicked on. The content can be the deciding factor on whether you get invited for an interview or not.
- Can you separate your personal life from your professional one ? I used to teach a computer class about online resumes and blogs. There was one online resume I used to show students as an example of what not to do. The site in question was used by a job seeker to post their resume. Their mistake was to also to have sections of their blog related to their wildly unusual political, religious and personal views. Employers will not restrict themselves to what you want them to see. If sometihng is on your blog or website it is fair game and employers will see it.
The tangible and intangible benefits of having a thoughtful, well-crafted blog are numerous but it takes a little forethought and planning to make sure that you maximize the potential rewards.