8 reasons job seekers should start blogging

Consider your blog a wide-open avenue to advancement—or your first job, says this expert.

Have you ever considered the ways a blog can help you get a job? I meet a lot of young people entering the work force, and I always recommend blogging to get ahead in almost any career. Here’s why:

1. Show what you’re made of.

In a job interview, you have to try to convince people of what you know. In a blog, you can show them. Blog about recent events in your industry and your views on trends. Demonstrate your areas of expertise. Blog about what you aspire to be.

2. Build a professional network.

There are lots of examples of people finding jobs through connections in a blog community. Last week I helped connect a young woman with the marketing scene in Chicago because I was impressed with her blog. Your blog community can be a network that gets you a job.

3. Engaging versus advertising.

Face it. No matter how creative, a resume is still an advertisement. I struggle to read a long resume carefully. I will read interesting stories on a blog all day long. Compelling content gets and holds the attention of employers.

4. A marketable skill.

If you look for an entry-level job in sales, marketing, PR, and even HR, there’s a good chance that part of your job will involve social media and blogging. Showing the ability to create content may be the difference that gets you the job over a non-blogger. I would never hire someone who hasn’t shown a capability to blog.

5. Sharpen your professional skills.

If you’re going to blog about a subject, you need to know your stuff. Putting out thoughtful content requires that you stay on top of your game, which will be an advantage to you, especially if job-hunting goes on and on. The more you blog, the more you learn.

6. Expand your reach.

Building your personal brand means showing up in all the places an employer might find you. That usually means LinkedIn. But having a link to a blog on your profile, as well as displaying a feed of your blog posts, gives an employer stalking you on LinkedIn more ways to connect with you and learn about your skills.

7. Blog for the job

A few years ago I interviewed for a VP job at Fortune 100 company. The position had five key deliverables. The week before my interview, I wrote five blog posts, one about each of those goals. If interviewers looked at my blog (and I know they did), they must have thought I was the perfect candidate. Use a blog to connect with job prospects.

8. Extend the interview

The last thing you say to your interviewer: “I’ve enjoyed our time together but there is so much more I could tell you about my abilities. I hope you’ll take a look at my blog (the web address is on my resume) so you can see for yourself the way I think about things.” You know what? They’ll do it. You just extended your interview by another 15-30 minutes. That may make the difference!

What do you think? Has blogging helped you in your professional life?

A version of this article originally appeared on Mark Schaefer’s blog, {grow}.

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