Graduates – or indeed anyone looking to up-charge their career – have you considered blogging as a way to get ahead? If not, maybe you should. It’s a sure fire way to stand out from the crowd.
But, while you’ve probably heard quite a bit about social media and the importance of putting your best self forward you might not have thought about actually setting up your own website or blog.
So, this Q & Angel Wednesday we talked to our consultants about blogging for the ambitious graduate.
1. So what can a blog really do for the job-seeking candidate?
Job applications and CVs can be pretty generic and it can be hard to shine, but a blog can really help set you apart.
A blog can showcase skills and provide an insight into your personality – both bonuses to potential employers.
2. Does it matter what the blog is about?
Well, having a website or blog can showcase a range of soft skills.
These could include:
An ability to work on your own
A proactive nature or initiative
Writing and perhaps other communication skills
Ideas and opinions
An ability to plan – if you have an editorial calendar
Marketing – if you’ve got a clear brand or image
And the list goes on. But, of course it would be great if your blog was relevant to your sector of interest.
3. So what can writing a sector-relevant blog do?
A well researched blog which discusses topics of interest and news in your sector of choice will show potential employers that you’re enthusiastic, knowledgeable and engaged.
Plus, exploring your industry shows your skills, or at least your thinking, is up-to-date – also a great reason for people in between jobs to get blogging.
4. Can I use my blog for networking?
Yes, your blog connections can become a professional network that could help you get to the next level.
So, remember to:
Follow sector experts and key brands
Make intelligent comments on industry blogs
Cultivate links with influencers
5. How should I let employers know about my blog, then?
The simple way to let an employer know about your blog would be to add a link to your CV.
You should also add a link to your website on your LinkedIn profile and any relevant social media feeds, like Twitter or Facebook.
Remember: ensure your social media feeds are on brand and employer-friendly!
6. How can I make sure my social media feeds are employer friendly?
Simple – Google yourself from another computer, so your search results aren’t tailored to you.
See any inappropriate photos or posts? Either delete them or update your privacy settings.
7. Which blogging platform is best?
WordPress.org and blogger and still favourites and free.
But if you’re looking for a personalised URL – ie, yourname.com – then try WordPress.com for a small fee. You could also try easy-to-set-up website builders like Squarespace.
8. What should I include on my website or blog?
Ideally your website or blog should include:
Your blog – with regular posts
An About Page – a short bio which says a bit about your passion for your subject and showcases your personality
Contact Page – including relevant social media links
You could also add:
A portfolio – show off any relevant experience here
A CV – or timeline of relevant experience and skills
9. Any blogging best practice tips?
Blog regularly. There’s nothing sadder than a neglected blog…
Ideally blog at least once a month, if not more. However frequently you choose to post make sure you stick to it.
10. Any last thoughts?
Make your blog look and feel professional.
Don’t go on negative rants or get into online altercations.
Hone your writing skills – you might be used to writing essays, but this should be shorter, sharper and more friendly. Get some tips and templates here on hubspot.com.
And, lay your blog out clearly – we’ve all been on those sites written in a tiny font, in a funky colur on a blinding background colour. Make it easy for visitors to read.
Now over to you:
Have any thoughts on what you’ve read? Are you searching for a graduate job? Want to ask about your particular career issues? Got any burning questions we could put to future Q & Angel guests? As ever, we want to hear what you’ve got to say!
Some next steps:
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