I came across an article in my files by Sarah Needleman in the Wall Street Journal, “How Blogs Are Changing The Recruiting Landscape”.
Although it was written over a year ago, the advice on how to make your blogging recruiter-friendly and highlight your promise of value is still right on target, so I thought I’d share it with you.
Whether you accept it or not, you’re going to be Googled in a job search and your online identity can make or break your chances to land the job you want.
Blogging is one of the most powerful ways to build credibility and control your online personal brand. When people search “your name” or relevant key words that lead them to your blog posts, they mark you as a tech-savvy, thought leader in your niche area of expertise.
Blogging is a great way to control what people find out about you online. The more you blog well about relevant topics, the more “digitally distinct” you’ll be, based on personal branding guru William Arruda’s 5 possible online identity profiles, which I outlined in “Is Your Online Identity Sabotaging Your Executive Job Search?”.
Recruiters routinely troll the blogosphere to locate, learn about, and vet top talent. If they already know about you and are interested in you, your blog becomes a testament to the value you offer.
Robust blogging gives an indication of your knowledge level, niche expertise, passions, personal brand, and, of course, your writing skill.
Doing some additional blogging about selective non-career-related topics provides evidence of how well rounded you are, generating the kind of chemistry that can help recruiters determine whether you’re a good fit for their client companies.
If you don’t have the time to invest in your own blog, the next best thing is guest blogging on another blog, and keeping up with commenting on other relevant blogs.
Look to appropriate sites where you can share your expertise, such as trade publications, professional associations, and maybe company alumni sites. Also check out the career pages of major publications (WSJ, NY Times, etc.).
Here are Sarah’s 7 blogging tips:
1. Clearly identify your specialty. Include a tagline in your blog’s banner so its theme can be quickly recognized. Also, write a concise “about me” blurb that readers can easily find.
2. Show you’re current on hot topics. For example, relate a recent news item about your area of expertise to a project you completed and link to tangible evidence of your work, such as a press clipping or PowerPoint presentation.
3. Provide more information. Include a downloadable resume and if you have a profile on a networking site such as LinkedIn.com, link to it.
4. Exercise common sense. Never write about anything negative or proprietary concerning current or former employers.
5. Omit personal information. Unless it’s relevant to the job you want, avoid writing about how much you love Fido or the cute things your kids do.
6. Keep it polished and current. Post new entries at least three times a month to show that you’re committed.
7. Contribute to other blogs. Insert an inbound link to your blog to draw more traffic and boost its search-engine rankings.
Blogging affords myriad opportunities to build community and networking connections, while expanding your personal ebrand. Make sure recruiters searching for people like you will find what you want them to know about you.