Blogging to Enhance a Job Search
Dr. Tamara Fudge, Kaplan University professor in the School of Business and IT
Everyone wants to enhance the chances for a better job, and blogging can help!
You can share your career-related knowledge by posting good content. In what areas do you want to be considered an expert? A web developer might write about the value of validation or appropriate use of color. A medical assistant might write about the need to stick to HIPAA or recommend ways to deal with rude patients. A paralegal might write about courtroom dress code or the need to document everything thoroughly. No matter your career area, you could provide how-to lists, suggestions for certifications, what-if scenarios, and personal experiences. You can also link to other things you have done!
How does this help your job search, you ask? Many employers will look for information about job candidates by simply using a search engine and checking what comes up on the results list. Wouldn’t it be great for those employers to see your blog and find that you know your topics well? You can also list the web address right on your resume to make sure they can find it, of course.
Keeping this in mind, then, remember to post only positive information. Negativity towards anything can have the opposite effect you want, as that employer might perceive you as a simply another complainer who likes to post online. Complainers are not high on the employment list.
Similarly, use professional language. Informality may be construed as insincere or even flippant.
Another perk of writing a blog is that it helps you hone your communication skills through frequent writing practice. This is not only good as a student, but for the workplace, too.
Blogging is free, and you don’t need someone else’s permission to do it! Consider Word Press, Google’s Blogger (also known as Blogspot), or blog.com. Whichever system you choose, it may take you a little time to set up, but these platforms are created so that you don’t need to know any HTML coding to get it done.
Important things to consider:
- Maintain control of what is shown on your blog pages, including comments. Set up your blog to disallow comments if you are worried there may be negative responses, and/or you don’t intend to watch the comments carefully. Alternatively, most systems have a feature where you allow comments only with moderation, which means you get to decide whether or not to let each comment be seen.
- Don’t hide your blog! Make sure you allow the blog to be listed by search engines.
- Encourage your readers to sign up for the RSS feed, so they will get automatic notification when you have entered a new post. There should be a simple link somewhere on your blog pages to a “feed” that takes the reader to information about this.
- Post regularly – for example, once a week or twice a month. Those who sign up for the feed will appreciate the regularity of notifications.
- Proofread! What you post can only have a positive effect on your resume if it shows you can communicate well.
- Make sure your content is original. Any plagiarism will reflect on you quite poorly, and yes, it will be noticed! If you want to share someone else’s ideas, link to them. If you really want to quote or paraphrase, make sure you clearly identify the source material (aha – finally we have a prospective use for APA).
- Highly important: Do *not* post your schoolwork, as it would enable others to cheat. As the “enabler,” you could be held responsible by your school and be subject to a plagiarism report. Always write new content!
- Lastly, customize the design if you have the knowledge to do so. If you’re not very technical, ask a friend to help, and make sure it looks professional when you’re done.
Blogs can be fun and showcase your knowledge. These are great reasons for blogging as you seek to enhance your job search!