If you have been on AfterSchoolAfrica for some time now and you’ve been an ardent reader of our Friday article topics, you would have noticed a recurring theme of blogging for recognition.
Two articles ago, it was blogging to get that internship. Few articles past, it was blogging for a scholarship and admission placement. Why the emphasis on blogging?
Because this writer and a few others have discovered this secret hack to finding many things like a job for example. Also, who can deny the impact of the internet in our lives today?
The impact of the internet and social media on our lives is undeniable. Most people have heard of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Blogging even if they do not actively participate. But they do not know the many ways they can leverage these media of communication for professional use and not just for fun and light-hearted communication.
And since finding any kind of position – a job, internship, scholarship etc – means facing more competition than ever (even the least paying job these days has millions of people applying for it WOAH!), it is only sensible to do something different like linking your CV to your blog.
So now you know that you can boost your chances for a position by incorporating a professional blog.
But how and why should you do this?
While you are less busy (some people call it unemployed) and still seeking a job or internship, start a blog. A blog gives you yet another chance of exposure and an opportunity to demonstrate your industry knowledge.
HackCollege aptly says that a well-formed blog is like a resume that’s constantly updating itself. In fact, a blog speaks more than a CV; a blog is an archive of information that shows you know what you’re talking about
even if you are pretending to.
Actually, a good blog could even get you some pseudo-celebrity status. If you’re good enough at blogging, there’s a chance that–whatever industry you enter–your employers will already know you. See?
Why should you blog?
- Develop skills: Running a blog means performing the duties of nearly every position that might exist at a traditional publication. You are the editor, writer, designer, developer, marketer, SEO specialist, social media manager, photographer and more. You may not master each of these positions but you will be exposed to the skills of every single one. So if you’re a writer and you can take your own, professional-quality photos, you are ahead of the competition already.
- Demonstrate a self-starter attitude: If you already have a blog, you probably know that tackling and learning from these endless tasks of blogging will give you a new “I can do” spirit, a very necessary trait in any workplace setting. Even if your formal experience doesn’t perfectly align with the requirements of a certain position, demonstrating a dedication and ability to learn new skills by taking chances and trying new things will prove that you’re worth taking a chance on.
- Show, don’t tell: If you say you are this and a glimpse at your blog agrees that you are indeed this, nothing else is more powerful. Imagine you seek a scholarship and in your Letter of Motivation you lay claim to certain traits, how do you think these claims can be verified? Presenting a potential employer with a blog gives them access to not only your skills, but a timeline of your progress, a taste of your personality and a glimpse into your life. Some employers will like you already just by viewing your ‘About me’ page. All you have to do is show up at the interview.
How to blog?
1. Teach Other People Useful Things
Blogging is about helping other people. Really, if you’re doing it right, life is about helping other people. Running a blog gives you an amazing opportunity to help others by teaching them what you know and in teaching, you could learn more and even solidify the knowledge that you already have so it becomes ingrained. Infact, the potential is amazing.
2. Establish Yourself as an Expert
Have you ever worried that no one would take you seriously because really, what do you know? Well, starting a blog can fix that. Think about it. What if you picked a topic you wanted to become recognized as an expert in, and then wrote just one article per week about it on your blog?
After just one year, you’d have 52 articles. That’s 52 pieces of content that show, for all the world to see, that you know exactly you’re talking about. Coupled with the networking potential, this becomes an incredibly effective way for you to become credible and establish yourself as an expert and obviously, experts get hired.
3. Get Access to Well-Known People
Here’s the thing: Once you start a blog, you become a publisher, managing a whole audience. Part of that audience might be actually popular people depending on your networking abilities. If you start a blog, and well-known people are willing to talk to you, you may even have the opportunity to forge a relationship with them afterwards or to list them as client contacts or for future needs that may arise.
4. Learn Useful Technical Skills
When you’re running a blog, you’re not just writing. Remember, the entire platform is yours to control – content, layout, design… everything.
Because you’re not just a writer, becoming a dedicated blogger means one of two things. Either you learn a few new tricks in order to improve your blog, or you end up paying other people to improve it for you.
If you opt for the first route, here’s a list of some things you can teach yourself:
- Website speed optimization
- Video editing
- App creation
All of which are in hot demand today. Cool. But the point is this:
Starting a blog is easy and doesn’t take much technical skill at all. However, if you’re dedicated, you may eventually want to improve things.
Once you start trying to improve things – your blog’s design, speed, SEO, etc – and start adding new features, you’ll be forced to learn new things. Naturally, these skills don’t just apply to your blog. They’re yours, and now they’re boosting your CV.
5. Express Yourself and Your Ideas
Unless you keep your blog private and locked (don’t), it’s can be found on the entire world and has the potential to be visited by a lot of people.
This is not the time to become a “professional” noisemaker, speaking big, ambiguous English and turning your voice into a boring advert page for your CV. Your blog gives you the chance to express yourself. So show off (within reason) who you are. what makes you interesting. Show how you have fun on a page – with words. Obviously you want to keep things as professional as possible; it means you can still express yourself to a lot of people.
Ultimately, your next job is not likely to rest on the work you have done online and a blog might not count. There are pro’s and con’s of adding your blog to your CV to be considered. While many employers will see blogging as somewhat positive, it can also demonstrate that you want to have a presence outside of work, and employers might ask if you will be committed. Also your blog is likely to show how you write and think and even whether you can write and think.
Where it definitely helps to put up your blog URL, go for it. Create a blog today. The potential is endless.