Guest post by Holly Miller:
It’s long been a poorly kept secret that blogging is a valuable content-oriented tool for search engine ranking, for branding exposure and marketing—including marketing your job skills. But be very careful about the words you send out to the world: they can help your search or they could hinder you.
Personal v Professional
When you are blogging for a job, remember that your intention is to write like you want to speak at your first job interview. With a blog, you don’t have to blatantly promote your unique skills in some stuffy cover-letter format, instead you demonstrate your skills, knowledge and expertise by writing intelligently and on-topic over a period of time.
So don’t write things about how badly you messed up the last interview or that the last offer you had was way too low for your skill set, and whatever you do, never gripe about the interviewer.
Instead, post positive things that you learned or things you liked.
Post About the Industry as a Whole
Make your job blog expose the depth and breadth of your knowledge and expertise. Even if you have to research particular points for an hour before you write a post, do it: Your observations, analysis and point-of-view of your chosen field is what matters.
If you are interested in a specific position or an employer with whom you’ve already spoken with, that’s when you might consider mentioning the actual business name. Don’t mention personal names; the individual may not always work there. If you discussed, for example, the future of the company, and it excited you, say so in your blog—just don’t betray any confidential information that may have slipped or told as a test. You’d be surprised how many savvy businesses check the Internet for the business name. And your passion will come through.
Personal Blogs are Not Professional Enough
If you have a personal blog, don’t try to recreate it into a job-related blog. However, if you do have that personal blog, and there are things mentioned either by you or on a comment that ANY employer may professionally or personally find offensive or troubling, remove it right away. Your online reputation is at stake.
It’s sometimes better to create an entirely new blog with a more professional appearance, format and focus. The optimum number of topics for a blog is around 5, plus or minus 3.
Be sure not to post anything beyond your experience level unless you can prove in person that you have that extensive of knowledge. For example, if you post something about the ‘gadget’ NASA is researching, make sure you have realistic understanding of the gadget and the development process already. Everything you say on your blog will eventually need to be backed up in an interview.
Blog as Résumé
Once you have a great looking, professional blog, be sure to include its URL in your contact area on your résumé. Give employers the opportunity to learn more about you before they contact you for an interview.
And finally, keep your blog current. Once you find a job, celebrate it; your readers whether commenting or not, may celebrate, too, but don’t drop the effort. Keep writing. You never know when:
1) you might need it again, or
2) what better job you might land because of it.