Find out why every job seeker should have a personal blog
Did you know that a personal blog might be your secret weapon if you are trying to land yourself a job, and a good job for that matter? Yeah, you heard it right. A personal blog is all that you might need to get that job that you’ve been looking for quite a while.
According to Nick Macario, Chief Executive Officer of Branded.me, having a personal website is one of the best and most effective ways of taking a personal brand the next level, a level that is beyond the standard resume or even the LinkedIn profile. However, several studies have pointed out that only 7% of the entire population of job seekers has a personal blog. The same surveys showed that 42% of the respondents literally struggled to have a personal website in place because they said it was time consuming.
At the same time, 71% of those polled say that they believe having a personal website is either absolutely important or essential and comes in handy when one is building their own brand and 70% say potential employers review their online branded before calling them in for an interview. Moreover, 61% admitted to having gotten their jobs offers thanks to their personal blog. That is the power behind having a personal blog for job seekers.
Employers are nowadays searching for potential candidates online. That is for the reason that they are looking deeper than the candidates’ resumes and work experience and a personal website is a perfect platform to pass the same to employers if one is looking employment. They want to get to know candidates and not only make sure they take pride in their craft, but also want to see if it’s a cultural fit, which is equally as important in many cases.
On his part, Dan Schawbel, WorkplaceTrends founder, said that a personal blog is imperative so that you can not only impress the employers who will find you online but also have a place where you’ll store your achievements over the years.
How a Personal Blog Can Change Your Career
Let’s have a look at how a personal website can help change your career before delving into what you will need to include in the same.
It’s no secret that running a personal website, as s job seeker, can really boost your career development in a few but very powerful ways.
- Employers will certainly take you seriously: Many web marketing strategists agree that having a personal blog goes a long way in making employers take a job seeker seriously. No doubt about that. It literally improves the credibility of a job seeker.
- You become accessible: Having a personal blog will open you to the world as potential recruiters, clients and hiring managers will search and contact you more easily. A website gives them a good platform to check your portfolio and contact you, if you fit what they are looking for.
- A platform to craft your image: There is no other perfect way to tell the world who you are in your own words than having a personal website. It is also a platform in which you can tell who are looking forward to be in your career. Here, you can achieve that by sharing most, if not all, of your achievements or talents. It is also a place where you can “sell yourself”.
What to Include in a Personal Blog
I suggests that a personal website should include the following:
First of all, you will need to figure out a few things before making your website. For instance, answer yourself these questions; why do you need a personal website? What would be the purpose of your site? Who are you expecting to read it? What are some of the information and skills that you want to highlight? According to experts, once you’ve figured out all these, then and only then, you’re good to go and create your personal blog.
This is a section of the blog where you’ll welcome your readers to your website. Give a very brief introduction which should include your names, job title, your credentials as well as anything that you are especially proud of such as “Bestselling Author”.
This segment of the site is particularly important for hiring managers who don’t have that much time to browse the whole website hence the hence to keep your bio or introduction brief but professional and punchy. You can also give bit of the info that is not covered in your resume like your hobbies, interests and accomplishments. Remember to also include a professional photo in this part of your site, of course not some blurry selfies.
Dr. Katherine Brooks, authors of You Majored in What? Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career and director of Liberal Arts Career Services at The University of Texas at Austin, says having or uploading your resume in your personal website is a must. A resume gives a fulsome picture of your qualifications. However, you must go an extra mile to ensure that your resume is absolutely free of any typos and grammatical errors that may turn of potential employers.
Projects or samples of your work
This is particularly a very important part of your website. It is a place where you’ll showcase your projects that you’ve managed to do or you were part of. You ought to include some images and descriptions of the projects that you will put up here. Also, it is always wise to upload samples of your past works in multiple formats in order to avoid any troubles when a potential employers, or anybody else, is trying to download them.
Brooks says that you should add links to all the professional bodies that you’re associated with, links to articles that have been done about you as well as links to professional journals. You can also include links to audios or podcasts that you’ve done. This helps your potential employer to know that you are indeed knowledgeable about your career and committed to it.
In spite of the fact that blogs are mostly considered to be time consuming, they’re important in a personal website. Try to dedicate some time to write consistently as it will create a picture of an expert who is engaged in their respective field (see my Blog).
References or testimonials
Here, you will include any positive feedback or positive things that your former bosses or co-workers or even clients have said about you. Experts say that it would be nice if the testimonials also are in your LinkedIn page so that it is made clear that it is from a real person. At times, it is good to let third parties say something about you in terms of references.
This is a part of a website that seems too obvious to many people to the point of being overlooked. Make sure that potential employers can easily reach you by providing accurate contact information, which should ideally include your name and contact details such as phone numbers and your email. Contact information ought to be in the header or footer of every page of your personal website.
How to Create a Personal Website or Blog
If you like the idea of starting a personal blog, feel free to start with The Express Guide on How to Start a Blog where I explain, step by step, how to get your blog up and running. And don’t worry, you will not need any programming skills. I will show you an automated process that doesn’t require for you to know HTML, CSS, PHP, or others.
Once you have created an information-packed and impressive personal website, you will need to promote it and use it consistently in your daily job search.
A personal website provides the much needed opportunity to job seekers to be more creative and showcase their personality in the best way they can and, as such, increase their chances of being hired in their line of profession.
I recommend you to watch this video. It will motivate you to start doing things.