Written by Krystal Covington
I think I was around 19 years old when my mom gave me the most valuable advice she could give me about navigating the job market. Her advice to me was to print copies of my resume on quality cotton paper, walk into businesses who'd posted job listings in the newspaper and request to speak with the hiring manager about the opening.
The goal of that plan was to bypass the competition by letting them get to know me in person and making a professional first impression. The only problem with that plan was that by the time she shared it everything about the job market had changed.
I went to businesses with my perfectly written one-page resume on expensive cotton paper folded into its matching cotton envelope and was immediately rejected by the gatekeeper and asked to apply online. When I asked to speak with the "hiring manager" I was quickly told each time that they do not see candidates until they have applied through the online system and are selected for an interview based on criteria that wouldn't be shared with me.
Today, the process has become even more impersonal with online systems showing recruiters only the candidates with specified keywords and blocking those who haven't mastered the art of "resume SEO" from getting an opportunity. Getting a job today through the traditional methods might me just as complicated as trying to guess Google's SEO formula.
When your resume does hit the top of the stack, there's still work to be done before you'll ever see a call back. Employers are now checking your online presence to match your online brand to the one you've submitted. If things don't match up, you may very well lose your chance to make a live impression for the hiring manager.
So how can you take control of the complicated job scene and get your foot in the door more quickly? Building your brand through thought-leadership can help you stand out as a candidate, get noticed by employers before they post a job, and build a connection with recruiters that makes you more likely to get the job.
Blogging makes you a subject matter expert
When you're viewed as an expert on a subject you improve your chances of being hired and also increase your earning potential. When applying for jobs recruiters will be more likely to call you first because your expertise is proven -- everyone else is just listing their skills while you're out their showing what you've really got.
Blogging makes you searchable
Since 80% of recruiters will "Google" you prior to inviting you for an interview, it's important to ensure that the brand they see is in line with what you've portrayed in your resume. Having a steady stream of blog content that backs up your claims for expertise will make them more comfortable bringing you in for the next steps.
As a blogger, you might also attract recruiters who scour the internet looking for candidates who are not actively seeking work. In my brief stint in the recruiting field (it's not even on my resume) I hunted for passive candidates using boolean search methods on Google. Building your online brand could lead to learning about job opportunities that aren't even listed on public job boards.
Blogging helps you connect with recruiters
Have you ever read a really great article that made you feel a connection to the person who wrote it? Blogging can help you develop an emotional connection to recruiters, which makes them more likely to like you before you even step foot in the interview room. That likability effect can really impact your ability to succeed in both getting the job and being offered more money.
How to get started with blogging
There are lots of ways to get your feet wet in the blogosphere. Here are a few ideas to get your started.
Regardless of which avenue you choose to start blogging, it's important to understand that finding your voice and building your brand as a blogger can often take time. If you're new to blogging, give yourself some time to practice without judging yourself.
Make it a point to ask for feedback and be prepared for positive and negative comments from others, so you can continue improving your performance. The better you get at writing stellar blogs, the stronger your chances of getting more opportunities in your career.
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