Is Blogging Required When Job Hunting?

Woman sitting in front of computer monitor; the word "blogging" is overheadAmong the suggested activities that are being promoted to job seekers, “start a blog” ranks pretty high up there.

Blogging has been a very effective tool for many people, and really, there is a reason why so many people blog nowadays. I understand the rationale behind it completely.

  • A blog can raise your online profile.
  • When HR/hiring managers Google you, they will find information related to your ideas about current events and debates that are happening in your industry.
  • You can connect with others in the field.

If it’s something you are interested in doing, that’s great!

BUT…

You don’t have to start a blog.

(There — I’ve said it.)

Now wait — don’t shut off your computer and assume that you don’t need to create and nurture your online image. That’s not what I am saying at all.

You absolutely DO need to be online. The three reasons listed above for having a blog are crucial to your job-search success.

So how do you achieve those objectives without a written blog?

  1. Write a guest blog post. Maybe your reason for not wanting to have a blog is because of the time factor.  Time is a precious commodity, especially when job hunting.  Working to keep blog content fresh to attract readers and increase your ranking on search engines can require more of you than you feel you can give.  Writing a guest post is a wonderful way of getting your name out there without the continuous responsibility of maintaining your own blog.
  2. Do a vlog. A vlog is simply video blogging — instead of writing a blog post, you make a video expounding on some topic or otherwise explaining your point of view and then post it to your blog.  Keith McIlvaine and Chris Brogan use videos from time to time to great effect. If writing is not your thing, maybe vlogging is the way to go!
  3. Comment on other people’s blogs. Blogs are designed to foster two-way communication, so let the bloggers know (respectfully) what you think about their posts or how your point of view gave you a different take on the topic. Trust me — bloggers LOVE comments. :) They will be particularly happy about a reader who puts some real thought into a comment.
  4. Get on Twitter. There’s a lot to be found on Twitter — information sharing, discussions, job postings, the latest on the companies within your industry. But don’t just sit there passively taking it all in! Share articles, blog posts, and insights related to your career. By doing that, people see that you are someone with knowledge and will start to talk with you more. If someone puts up a tweet that raises a question in your mind, ask for clarification! Engaging others in meaningful conversations will further raise your profile.
  5. Participate on LinkedIn. This requires more than simply putting up a profile. You should find and join LinkedIn groups that fit with your profile, like college alumni or professional association groups. As discussions of these groups evolve, you can jump in with your thoughts. This will increase the visibility of your profile as you add value to the conversation.

Just make sure that whatever you do relates in a logical way to where you want to go with your career. For example, if you work in quantum physics and write a post for a blog that focuses on the fine art of underwater basket weaving, it won’t help much. By having a good focus on your field, you will get the kind of exposure that will benefit you.

Once your spot, comment, or tweet hits, monitor it so you can respond appropriately to the reactions. Even if they disagree with you, answering in a thoughtful way will make them more likely to remember you for the right reasons.

Which of these methods would you prefer to use in your online strategy?

Image courtesy of Mike Licht

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