With today’s emphasis on social media, it’s easy to forget about longform internet self-expression. However, blogging is a great way to build and demonstrate your expertise in your industry, especially if you’re just starting out or contemplating a shift into a new role. Here’s how to use the great granddaddy of Twitter and Instagram for professional gain — and do it the right way.
(Photo Credit: Death to the Stock Photo)
1. Demonstrate the skills that make you a good employee.
When you’re bragging about what makes you such a catch for a hiring manager, what do you lean on? If you’re a self-starter, reliable, entrepreneurial, attentive to detail, creative, and driven, there’s no better way to show that than by running your own thing. The upside with blogging is that the financial outlay is relatively small, and you can do a lot with very little time.
The downside, of course, is that if you’re going to blog for professional purposes, you need to do so regularly. A dead blog won’t persuade anyone of your commitment.
2. Show that you’re a rising star in your field.
How did the rock stars in your industry become who they are today? Some of them have a lengthy record of achievement behind them, but others simply showed up and started demonstrating what they know. Short version: they’re important because they believe they are, and they engage in conversations with other people in their niche.
This is not to say that you can have a long, respected career simply by insisting that people pay attention — no one really wants to be the Kim Kardashian of their corner of the business world. But if you have ideas and you need a place to show them off, don’t wait to be asked. Make your own.
3. Act as an online portfolio of your work.
Need a place to gather clips, projects, or URLs? Your personal blog or site is a great place to do it. You’ll look more professional offering a one-stop shop for hiring managers who want to see your work.
Finally, what’s the one way to get fired, via blogging?
By writing anything that you wouldn’t print on a piece of paper and tape to your forehead at your next job interview.
If you’ve done so already, it’s time to scrub up your site.
“Don’t wait for a job interview to remind you (if you remember) to go back and delete past posts,” advises Christopher Jan Benitez at Brazen Life. “Be proactive, not reactive, because you never know when someone may be viewing your blog to scout you as a candidate.”
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