Whenever I speak about social media and the job search to job seekers, I always have a few attendees who “see the light” and get excited about blogging. They see the advantages of blogging to start sharing information through social media and establishing their personal brand as part of their job search strategy.
The problem is that they don’t know what to blog about!
If you are in a job search or soon to be in career transition, there are lots of things that you can be blogging about. I don’t mean blogging about your job search experience, either. I’m speaking of things that will help you strengthen your personal brand, appear more attractive to potential hiring managers, and help you get found in social media.
Before I even talk about what to blog about for the unemployed, let’s review the 7 benefits of blogging:
- Blogging is the best way to build and showcase your personal brand
- Blogging helps differentiate you from everyone else
- Blogging brings you new opportunities
- Blogging is the ultimate Pay It Forward
- You’re Already Tweeting…Why Not Add Your Own Original Views in More Depth?
- You Can Start to Monetize Your Knowledge
- Because You Can
By now you are hopefully bought in to the fact that blogging is beneficial not just to those in a job search but to any professional.
Next we should talk about my Golden rule of Blogging: Blog about topics that your target audience is interested in.
If you are looking for a job, your target audience will naturally be the hiring managers at your target companies within a particular industry or profession. What use is your blog, no matter how useful it may actually be to someone, if it does not stimulate your target audience? By blogging about your expertise, hiring managers who find your blog will have a solid hold of who you are, what you can do, and how important you can be when part of their company.
So what exactly do you blog about? If you’re targeting hiring managers, your most natural blogging content should come from your own expertise and experience:
1) Blog About Your Work Experience
The best thing that you can do if you are unemployed is to show off your expertise. You have probably already prepared for interviews and created SAR (Situation-Action-Result) paragraphs in your resume and LinkedIn profile. If this is the case, why not use a SAR and create a blog post around it?
Or maybe talk about some of your career accomplishments and takeaways that other professionals can learn from? Offer insight that will help other professionals in the same situation. But remember that because of NDAs with previous employers, make sure you do not reveal any information that would violate agreements that you have already concluded with past companies you have worked for!
2) Blog About The Latest News
Another strategy is to blog reactively to news about your industry and/or profession. If you don’t know them by now, get to know the websites and blogs which feature news and current events about your field of expertise. More than just offering your own insights to all of these happenings and giving the public your own opinion, why not take it a step further and back up your claims with projects you have done in the past? This way, you hit two birds with one post: providing your own views and opinions on the matter while leveraging your expertise. Just like that, you’ll be able to create thought-leadership blog posts that are authentic because you can back it up with your actual experience. It will also show that you are up-to-date on the latest trends in your industry.
3) Book Reviews
What are the latest must-read books for your industry and/or profession? Why not talk about the most popular books in your industry or profession, not only showing that you are keeping ahead of the curve but also sharing information and displaying your expertise? There is nothing as compelling as a convincing book review about your line of profession. Not many can even find the time to start or even finish reading a book these days (blame it on social media, right? Being able to have finished one, understand it and share a certain degree of directed information towards your target audience will obviously help you be seen in a positive light.
4) Industry Exhibitions or Professional Association Meeting Reports
You are still attending these despite your job search, right? Then write about them and share your experiences and expertise to those that were not able to attend!
If you remember the golden rule of blogging, you can see that there really is never a lack of things to blog about, even for those that are in a job search. The Internet itself provides a huge pool of opportunities for you to find something to reactively blog about. That being said, if you run out of things to blog about, you may want to start slow. I suggest starting to blog once a week, and if you run out of content to blog about, then that may be a sign that you need to be reading more books or attending more professional events!
About the Author: Neal is recognized as a leader in helping businesses and professionals embrace and strategically leverage the potential of social media. An award-winning published author of Windmill Networking: Maximizing LinkedIn and frequent social media conference speaker, Neal is President of Windmills Marketing, a social media strategy consulting practice that has led social media strategy creation and educational programs for companies ranging from Fortune 500 to Web 2.0 startups.