Can Blogging Help You Get a Job?

By Lindsey Pollak

According to the Nielsen Company’s BlogPulse, there are over 161 million public blogs in existence. Clearly, writing a blog is an amazingly popular thing to do.  But can writing a blog lead to career opportunities? The answer is increasingly yes.

When done in a professional way, writing a blog can lead to many benefits in your post-college job search, including real internship and job opportunities. Here are a few of the benefits of blogging:

  • Enhancing your online personal brand and Google-ability
  • Demonstrating skills such as writing, design, photography, and analytical thinking
  • Showing your ability to take initiative and commit to a project
  • Connecting you to a whole new network of other bloggers and commenters

Because the barrier to entry is so low — blogging platforms like WordPress.com, Blogger.com and Tumblr.com are all free — blogging is also something you can try for a while to see if you like it. If you do decide to join the blogosphere, here are some tips for getting started:

1. Write for the career you want. While it’s nice to blog about any topic that interests you, the only way your blog will help your job search is if you write about the industry you want to join. If a recruiter checks out your blog, he or she must know immediately what you’re interested in. One of my favorite blog posts by tech evangelist Robert Scoble puts it this way, “Post something that teaches me something about what you want to do every day. If you want to drive a cab, you better go out and take pictures of cabs. Think about cabs. Put suggestions for cabbies up. Interview cabbies. You better have a blog that is nothing but cabs. Cabs. Cabs. Cabs all the time.”

2. Be very careful what you post. The major reason most job seekers don’t blog is because they’re afraid that blogging might hurt their chances more than help them. This is a very real concern. If your blog is filled with photos of cats playing the piano, rants about parking tickets or sad tales of relationships gone bad, you’re not going to impress any employers. Think of your blog as a purely professional forum and you should be just fine.

3. Be consistent. Although I said that you can give blogging a try before you commit entirely, once you do commit to being a blogger, you have to post consistently. (And if you decide you don’t like blogging, delete the entire blog from the web so it doesn’t look as if you abandoned the project. You can share your favorite past posts on Facebook or elsewhere.) It’s up to you whether you want to post once a day, once a week, every two weeks, etc., as long as you post consistently. If your posts are sporadic, it will appear that you’re not fully committed, which does not impress employers.

4. Drive people to your blog. The downside of being one blogger among 161 million is that people may have a hard time finding you. This means you have to be proactive about guiding people — especially potential employers — to your blog. As long as your blog is 100 percent professional, you should list it on your resume, your business cards, your LinkedIn profile, your email signature line, your Facebook contact information, your Twitter profile and anywhere else you can think of.

5. Drive blog readers to your credentials. On the flip side, you want to make sure anyone who comes across your blog is aware that you are a great job candidate. On the “About” page, be sure to include links to your LinkedIn profile and a PDF download of your resume.

Has blogging enhanced your career or helped you land a job? Please share!

Comments

  1. says

    Hi Lindsay! I’m a hug fan of blogging as a part of the job search. I’ve had a blog for the past few months and have been able to interview experts for the blog, grab cups of coffee with people, and in general expand my networks and credibility because I’m sharing content which shows my strengths and interests in the field. I like how you mention that if you like something, talk about it, a lot, in a lot of different ways. Recently I wrote about social causes in the context of business (one of the themes in my blog) along the lines of your work with the Shape What’s to Come Campaign. I wrote a post about it with the link here http://annaholcombe.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/190/. The post was integrated into SWTC’s Twitter stream, and I’ve been able to connect with MIllennial women who are mentors for me here in Chicago.

    • Lindsey Pollak says

      @Anna – Thanks so much for the comment and for your enthusiasm about blogging! I’ll check out your blog, and I’m glad to hear you’re involved with Shape What’s to Come, too. Keep up the great work!
      Lindsey

  2. says

    I cannot agree more with you. You have very concisely laIdout the essence of blogging in day to day life, not just job hunting. After reading your article, I’m all geared up to give blogging a try.

    • Lindsey Pollak says

      @Swathi – thank you for the comment and good luck with blogging. Send us your URL so we can check it out!
      Lindsey

  3. says

    Hi Lindsey,
    Great post on blogging to get a job. In Ontario, Canada, there is a huge shortage of jobs for teachers. However, with technology being pushed by boards – those who can get online and build a profile are going to increase their visibility – and according to Dan Schawbel – visibility increases opportunity. great post!

    • Lindsey Pollak says

      @hiredteacher – Thanks for the feedback! I totally agree with Dan — visibility can make a huge difference in landing (and keeping) a job. Good luck!
      Lindsey

  4. says

    Great points although I think with point number 2 there should be a minor caveat. If you’re looking for a job as an employee in a traditional corporate organization then your point stands, but for those thinking of becoming writers/journalists I think it is far more important to be interesting as a writer than to worry too much about whether your content will offend someone or be seen as trivial.
    Great example is the Australian writer Marieke Hardy who’s blog Reasons You Will Hate Me was full of subjective, ranting topics that lead her to win a a Bloggie award in 2008 and further work opportunities.
    Of course a blogger needs to use a certain amount of common sense depending on the type of industry they’re looking to work in, although bold, provocative writing is often what it takes to get noticed and rise above all the other overly polite and slightly benign blogs that are out there. Just my 2 cents.

  5. says

    I thought Robert Scoble’s comment was interesting, to write for the career you want. But if you want to break into an industry, you probably don’t want to stick to blogging about that industry because you are not yet the expert. I guess some discretion is necessary if you implement Scoble’s advice…

  6. says

    I wouldn’t say my blog/site is very professional, but I blog heavily about the code I write, the projects I contribute to, and general technology stuff. As the article suggests, I also link to my resume, contact details and my code/projects that are out there in public domain. And I’d like to say that this has paid off a lot in the form of job offers and visibility among people who work in the same areas that I do. So I totally agree with the article and truly recommend this form of blogging to everyone!

    • Lindsey Pollak says

      @Lalith – Thank you for the comment — I’m so glad your blog has helped your career. I’m sure this will inspire others!
      Lindsey

  7. says

    I started my blog in an effort to help my own job search by increasing my professional online presence. However, the topic of my blog is on career and professional development for current college students and recent graduates. It’s not tailored to the industry in which I am trying to get a job, but I suppose it doesn’t hurt to blog about a professional topic. One thing I wanted to ask is that my about me page doesn’t seem to get much traffic because the information isn’t briefly introduced on the homepage like new blog posts are; any additional advice on how to drive visitors to the about me page?

  8. says

    Really good advice.

    New graduates should take note of point #1 especially. With little to know experience, blogging can be a key differentiator for a lot of entry-level candidates. I personally have gotten jobs just because of my blog and the quality of writing on it.

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