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The Job Search Secret Ingredient: BLOG

January 9, 2012

Most job seekers who have been on the hunt for any length of time will tell you that looking for a job IS a full-time job.  Networking, social media activity, applying for jobs, and eventually  interviewing, all take time.  With all this time spent looking, some still neglect one important job-search activity that has the potential for a great ROI: BLOG.

I’ve developed an acronym for BLOG to help describe why this is so important:

B =Branding

Branding is one of the most important elements of any marketing strategy.  The American Marketing Association defines a brand as a “Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”  As a job seeker, YOU are the product that you are selling, and it is important to differentiate yourself from other candidates applying for similar jobs.  A blog can be used as an extension of the resume.  Rather than being confined to 1-2 pages, you can add a portfolio of work, including pictures and a project list.  Be sure that your blog is targeted to your career focus and update it regularly to show you are motivated and consistent.  Your readers should be able to tell what sets you apart – are you a bold, cutting-edge risk taker?  Or a collaborative team builder?

L = Leadership

Blogging is a great way to establish your thought leadership and build credibility in your field.  You can showcase your ideas, put them into the proper context, and share them with others.  Business owners have figured this out, and some progressive job seekers have too.  Each post gives you a forum to display your  knowledge of your field, share anecdotes about your career accomplishments, and truly distinguish yourself from other candidates.  Some keys to remember for job seekers are to respect the intellectual property and trade secrets of your employers, and stay positive.  Otherwise, don’t be afraid to go out on a limb if you have an unusual or controversial opinion on something – it could be the difference that shows you are a leader, not a follower.

O = Opportunity

Opportunity does not come to those who wait.  Passively expecting something to just fall in your lap is like expecting to win the lottery without buying a ticket.  If you are a job seeker, you have to be active in your marketing.  You can attract opportunities to you by networking and getting yourself found online.  This must  include more than uploading your resume to a job board and updating your LinkedIn profile.  A search-engine-optimized blog can get you found in searches related to your career field, and it gives you relevant content to promote on your other social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

G = Greatness

According to a recent Cross-Tab research study, Online Reputation in a Connected World89 percent of hiring managers and recruiters review online data on candidates.  So, when a recruiter or hiring manager Googles you, what do you want them to see?  A half-complete LinkedIn profile or personal Facebook profile?  Or an impressive showcase of your knowledge, skills and accomplishments that motivates them to pick up the phone and schedule an interview?  A blog could make the difference between appearing as a mediocre candidate and one who offers greatness.

Some final thoughts:

A blog costs virtually nothing to set up.  Free accounts are available at WordPressBloggerTumblr,  Weebly, and many others.  For less than $25 per year, you can even get your own domain name (I recommend something simple like your first and last name).  The primary investment is time.

Many bloggers successfully monetize the blog with advertisements.  This could be a way to supplement your income during your job search.

Be careful to remember that everything you do online is a reflection on your personal brand.  If you do choose to blog, follow the rule of thumb that if you wouldn’t say it in a job interview, you shouldn’t say it online.

27 Comments leave one →
  1. January 9, 2012 2:26 PM

    Great acronym, BLOG for keyword motivation in a Job search. Thanks. Great article.

  2. January 9, 2012 2:42 PM

    Great post. Something many job seekers could put to good effect. Creative and useful!

  3. January 9, 2012 2:47 PM

    Wow, I never thought about adding as a tool for a job search. This is such a great idea and makes complete sense! Thank you Karleen!!

  4. January 9, 2012 2:49 PM

    Blogging is the best way to let people know what we’re doing and how we perform. So it’s the kwy “weapon” for Job search. No CV nowadays, but blog. I’ve some real example (close friends) that found a new carrer (not only a job) through blogging.

    • January 10, 2012 9:13 AM

      It is a great way to test the waters of a new arena, and even find a new career. I find that here in the US, most companies still ask for a resume, even if they have found great online content from a candidate. I think each activity or document – blog – resume – CV – LinkedIn – gives people a fresh opportunity to shine. Each has it’s own flavor, but it’s all part of the same marketing strategy.

  5. January 9, 2012 3:38 PM

    People are so busy putting “Blogs” into categories that they forget they are good for more than just ranting about general things in your life. This is a great post about another way that blogs can be used. People also tend to think of marketing as “marketing a business” but if you are searching for a job you are marketing you so a blog marketing you and your knowledge should be a no-brainer. And I LOVE your rule of thumb at the bottom of your post!

    • January 10, 2012 9:17 AM

      Thanks Cindy! I wish more job seekers would realize they are in the marketing business, like it or not.

  6. January 9, 2012 4:26 PM

    Great post, Love the BLOG acronym and your last recommendation about not posting anything you wouldn’t say in a job interview!

    • January 10, 2012 9:20 AM

      Thanks Anne! I think people forget that what they say and do online is public. I’ve seen job seeker blogs that insult HR, poke fun at the hiring process, use profanity and complain that they have to wake up before 9 AM for a job interview. What company would want to hire that person?

  7. January 9, 2012 6:04 PM

    Nice job! I like using acronyms myself 🙂

    Very clear post, very clear ‘call to action’ for job seekers.
    Now you just need to get them to do it!
    A kick in the you-know-what might do it for some…:)
    And some guidance for others.
    You’ve provided just enough info for those who want to start a new habit!

  8. January 9, 2012 7:03 PM

    Great post! Love the acronym. I feel like I’m in this position right now – getting caught up in applying and searching for a full time job, and sometimes I find that it’s hard for me to keep up with my blogging. Especially these last 3 months, I feel like I failed completely.

    But I do know the importance of blogging, and this post of yours helped to reiterate all those important points. Thanks for sharing!

    • January 10, 2012 9:21 AM

      You’re welcome Sarah! Good luck with your blogging adventure. Don’t forget to have a little fun with it, too.

  9. January 9, 2012 7:12 PM

    I this this is a great idea for job seekers to be seen and stand out from the crowd. What a great way to showcase your knowledge. The first question I ask job seekers is if they are on LinkedIn. It is always amazing how many say “No, I haven’t gotten around to that yet.” or “Oh, do people really check that?”.

    • January 10, 2012 9:22 AM

      I have clients who have 50% complete LinkedIn profiles, too. They get so caught up in their current jobs that they forget to position themselves for the next job.

  10. January 9, 2012 7:24 PM

    I love the complexity of blogging. I agree with what some above me have said, it is a great outlet for so many things. Although I never thought to use it to my advantage when seeking a job, after reading this article is makes perfect sense. Thanks for the great info here.

  11. January 9, 2012 8:21 PM

    Good point on hiring managers searching for you online. It is so important how we present ourselves online. Just like a company, you need to have a brand and be consistent everywhere you present yourself.

  12. January 9, 2012 8:58 PM

    Karleen,

    We talked about this at Social Media Success Summit 2011 – Digital footprints.

    35% of candidates are turned down for a job based on something in their digital footprint. ~Erik Qualman (author of Socialnomics).

    Great post, groovy acronym! 🙂

    ~Keri

    • January 10, 2012 9:24 AM

      Thanks for that little statistic. I’ll have to keep that in my back pocket for later use!

  13. January 9, 2012 9:27 PM

    Loved the acronym, wouldn’t it be great if instead of finding a job we found a new career with blogging. I love blogging and consistent action does bring results.

    Dave

  14. January 10, 2012 12:37 AM

    Thanks, Karleen, more great advice.

    I’ll be passing this one onto my daughter who is looking for her first full-time job. She has a blog but rarely updates it. this might be just the inspiration that she needs.

    • January 10, 2012 9:27 AM

      Kittie, I would advise her to set a posting schedule she can commit to, and stick with it. Since she doesn’t have work experience to write about, she can write book reviews related to her target industry, publish interviews, etc.

  15. January 10, 2012 5:34 AM

    Love the acronym! I hadn’t thought of how a blog could be useful in a job search, but I do see the value you in everything you’ve listed! Great post!

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