It seems like everyone’s a blogger now, but you don’t need to have a six-figure following to make an impact through your posts. In fact, they could net you a job. Here’s why.
You don’t need to be a journalist or copywriter to know that writing still matters in the workplace. Want to build a career in marketing, web design or recruitment? Fancy being a project manager or an events coordinator? You’ll need to hone your word skills.
One major bugbear of job hunting is feeling like you don’t have a voice, because your CV is being added to a pile of tens or hundreds of others, and sometimes you don’t even get to prove yourself at the interview stage.
So how do you show you’re worth listening to? A blog could be the answer, especially if you can tie it to your career in some way – for example, if you want to get into advertising, you could review the ads you currently love and hate, and compare them to great ad campaigns from the past. Just keep everything clean, friendly and professional, as you’re trying to impress future employers!
Technology is becoming increasingly important for all of us, so your CV will look a bit plain if you’re just ‘confident using Microsoft Office’. Today’s children and teens learn to code at school, and they seem to know more about the digital world than those of us job hunting. Fortunately, you can catch up.
As a blogger, you’ll learn to use your chosen blogging platform (typically BlogSpot or WordPress), with plenty of help available online from sites like WPbeginner.org. WordPress is also the content management system for many websites, so it may come in handy should you be asked to work online in your next job – for example, updating promotional content or adding pages explaining what your company does. You should also use the right social media to promote your posts; Twitter is where you’ll find the most businesses to interact with, but Instagram is worth trying, too, and Google+ can help with search visibility.
If you want to learn HTML coding, you could sign up for a short course; try a short photography workshop to really enhance your blog images and build lifelong skills. Your images can be embedded via separately hosted sites like Flickr or Smugmug: both great for budding photographers. Before you know it, you’ll have a wide skillset just from blogging.
Maintaining a blog is harder than it looks to readers - you need fresh, original content every time, and that includes images or videos to go with your writing (either your own images or someone else’s, properly credited to them). However, you’ll always be able to demonstrate you’re committed and that you can handle a long-term project: something that might not have been obvious from your CV at first glance.
Blogging is also about self-motivation, because it’s up to you to set deadlines and get things done. You’ll need that same motivation to drive you in the workplace, especially when you’re maintaining a personal workload.
Just as in your career, it’s about quality, not quantity: a great weekly post is far better than three rushed and half-hearted posts per week. Interacting with your readers also proves you’re keen to keep the conversation going. The more you get involved, the more you’ll see results.
That old phrase, ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ can be said of workplace culture – we’ve all met people who are champion networkers. But what happens if you’re breaking into a totally new career path and you don’t have any connections to start with? Yet again, your blog could really help.
Once you’ve established your blog and built up a small following, reach out to influencers and ask to interview or profile them. As long as they’re not A-listers, they’ll probably be willing to speak. You then get the chance to grill them on their career and find out what makes them tick.
Maybe they have a great internship experience to share, or they want to give advice to the next generation of graduates in their field. You never know unless you ask! If you can’t find your influencer’s contact details, try the marketing and PR departments of their company, who will often happily share the company background, which could make a great blog post in itself.
Polly Allen writes graduate careers advice for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment agency specialising in matching candidates to their dream internship. Check out their graduate jobs listings for roles. Or; if you’re looking to hire an intern, have a look at their innovative Video CVs.
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