This is a guest post by Lindsey Harper Mac.
Graduation is drawing near, and many college students are beginning to search for jobs. One important job search tool that is often overlooked is the personal blog. Creating a focused, relevant blog can help you develop a personal brand, make valuable professional connections and share your ideas with others in your field.
Benefits of Blogging
A blog can supplement your resume. Today's job market is extremely competitive. A well-constructed blog can act as an extension of your resume, thus allowing you to separate yourself from other job candidates.
Blogs highlight your talents. If you create a blog that focuses on a subject related to your career, you can use it to demonstrate your knowledge and skills in the field.
Blogs foster connections. A blog related to your career will help you forge connections with other people in your field who may be able to provide you with valuable career advice and job leads.
Blogging to Develop a Brand
Employers aren't just hiring people anymore; they are responding to an individual's brand. An established blog focusing on your interests and ideas demonstrates your brand to potential employers, as well as to other professionals in your field. If executed correctly, blogs can show potential employers and colleagues alike that you are trustworthy, respectable, dedicated to your work and knowledgeable in your field. With so many candidates fighting for jobs, a solid personal brand is more important than ever.
The wheel need not be reinvented when it comes to blogging as a means of creating a personal brand. There are plenty of examples to sincerely flatter through imitation. One fine example is a successful trainer and speaker Mari Smith, who brands herself as a social media expert with much success at her blog MariSmith.com.
Tips for Creating a Blog
Find your niche. Potential employers won't be as impressed with an unfocused blog. Choose a subject area for which you have a passion and make sure that all of your posts relate to it.
Choose a subject relevant to your career. When you blog about a topic related to your ideal job, you are more likely to attract the right readership. In addition, you will have more opportunities to demonstrate your expertise to potential employers if you blog about topics in your chosen field.
Interact with Readers. Interacting with your readers ensures that they will return to the blog. Readers will also be more willing to offer job leads if you engage them. Furthermore, evidence of two-way communication on your blog will show potential employers that you are capable of collaborating with colleagues. Integrating your blog with other social media is one way to both interact with readers and expand your networking reach. I’ve used my own Twitter account, (@harpermac11), to capture new readers and gain opportunities for postings.
Update regularly. Updating your blog regularly keeps your readers coming back for more. Regular updates also show potential employers that you are committed to your career.
Keep it professional. Assume that potential employers will read every post on your blog. Don't create posts that contain inaccuracies, send the wrong message about your personal brand or stray from your blog's topic.
Use social media. Support your blog with engaging social media activities. With a regular presence on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, you can reach to a wide and diverse target audience thus maximizing the impact of your blog’s value.
Today, employers want to see more than just a bachelor’s degree and a resume from potential employees. The competition in the job market is fierce, so it is imperative that candidates find a way to stand out. A carefully constructed blog can demonstrate your knowledge and communication skills, solidify your personal brand and facilitate connections that assist you in your job search.
Image credit: graur codrin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
About the author
Lindsey Harper Mac is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts covering social media and education on behalf of Colorado Technical University. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.