Social media has pervaded almost every aspect of our lives; from sharing pictures with friends on Facebook to following celebrities on Twitter. So it stands to reason that through sites like LinkedIn, companies and job seekers are harnessing the power of social to create a dialogue with one another.
Just take a look at the number of applications for new jobs on a site like reed.co.uk and you’ll see that competition is fiercer than ever. As a consequence we’re seeing candidates are breaking out of traditional social media channels and blogging about their field of expertise in a bid to stand out from the pack. And the results, though diffuse, seem to be very positive. Here are some pointers on how to get noticed by employers through blogging.
Some companies with a strong online presence have sections on their website dedicated to research and comment – and occasionally blogs. Where there are blog pages, contribute in a professional and engaging manner to get yourself noticed and build up a reputation within that community. You can even include a link back to your blog when it is appropriate for the subject being discussed.
However, tread carefully and avoid leaving unsubstantiated negative comments about competitors or wading into contentious topics a potential employer may be involved in. Keep it professional, informed, and topical but let your passion for the subject shine through.
On your blog, mix in personal opinion with industry news and commentary to demonstrate your commitment your chosen field – and to show that you do your research.
Make sure you have the facilities to host a debate for anyone stopping by – such as a comment thread – and link your blog to your Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook accounts so that every time you update it, your online network is alerted.
Engage your audience
Think about it – an interview is a chance for employers to not only to find out what you know but to also get to know you. That’s a lot to cram into a 1-hour meeting, hence it can become a bit of a pressure cooker.
Engaging with a prospective employer through your own blog gives them a chance to get to know you informally: they can get a feel for how you think, how you communicate and your ideas for the future of your industry, without the pressure of a face to face interview. So when you do meet them, the pressure will be much lower as most of the preliminaries will be taken care of and you will both have things to talk about – hopefully some new jobs at their company.
Remember to add a page to your blog with your CV/Biography and contact details. It is no good to get noticed for good work if an employer can’t contact you to talk to you about it.
If you are trying to break into a creative industry, then you’d better be creative about it. Fields like Advertising, Fashion and Animation require certain creative skill sets, so you need to let your prospective employers know you have what it takes by making examples of work they might use.
For example, in advertising, D&AD run yearly competitions by publishing briefs to their website. If you want to break in to this industry, answer the briefs on your blog and engage with agencies who may be interested.
Regardless of the industry, give yourself your own briefs and answer them with your work, then send them out to employers you would like to work for. The very act of doing this will make you better at what it is you do whilst you are looking for new jobs.
Blog for the job you want, not the job you have. The fact that you have little or no experience doesn’t matter: a good blog is an opportunity to show what you can do without being shot down for having no experience. The work speaks for itself so make sure it’s got plenty to say.
Paying for a decent domain name will not only help you look professional, it will help your blog come further up the rankings in Google search results, which helps to build credibility.
Stand for something
Have a ‘cause’ or something you stand for will help you gain a following – a possible improvement in the way customers are treated in your industry or a new way of doing something that goes against the conventional are causes which capture people’s attention, particularly if certain industries are believed to be lacking in these particular areas.
The more people that take note of you in your industry, the greater the chances of being noticed by someone at a company you would want to work for, so heed the advice above and get blogging.