Looking for work is a full-time job but with a horrible “paycheck.” I know first-hand, as I’ve previously spent an extended period of time looking for work. I’ve often been asked, “if you knew then what you know now, what would you do differently?”
To this day, my answer is always . . . . blog. When I was unemployed, I had dozens of people suggest to me that I should blog. At the time, I had my excuses crafted: I don’t have time, I don’t know what to write, it will detract from more important job search tasks, people won’t find value in what I have to say, etc., etc.
Since I’ve successfully navigated those waters, I can say from personal experience, these are five reasons that job seekers must blog:
- Improve Visibility & SEO. You need to be active and visible if you want to be found. While Google will find your LinkedIn profile, it simply isn’t enough. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization (improving the natural or “organic” way your site is found via search engines like Google or Bing). Add to your digital footprint and improve your SEO by creating and maintaining a blog. Google ♥ blogs because it’s fresh content.
- Exemplify Subject Matter Expertise. What if your resume or LinkedIn profile isn’t read? What if it’s read, but your expertise doesn’t come across? Having a blog allows you to demonstrate your subject matter expertise with each post. Repetition demonstrates your experience and knowledge.
- Demonstrate Personality. By writing a blog, your personality comes through. Readers get a sense of your style, your passion, your humor. It takes what’s typically a very 2-D digital footprint and transforms it into 3-D.
- Personal Branding & Differentiation. Most LinkedIn profiles look alike, aside from a few differentiators. Since you can only customize your LinkedIn profile to a very limited extent, writing a blog allows you to creatively market yourself. Open jobs often receive hundreds of applicants. How can you stand out from the competition? Try blogging!
- Proactively Share SCAR/STAR Stories. A common interviewing strategy is to share a SCAR (“Situation/Challenge/Action/Result”) or STAR (“Situation/Tactic/Action/Result”) Story with the interviewer to demonstrate your experience, problem solving ability and value to the organization. That’s great, but you need to get the interview in order to tell that story, right? Not if you have a blog! SCAR/STAR Stories can be great fodder for blog posts.
And, if you’d like a bonus reason, creating and maintaining a blog gives you the added skill sets of writing, content management, web development, marketing/promotions, publishing and social media!
Is blogging time consuming? Yes, but make the time – it’s worth it! Will people find value in what you have to say? Yes, you’ll be surprised! If your goal is to be found, be viewed as an industry expert, show some personality and differentiate yourself from the competition, then you must blog!