Having a blog is the best way to show a potential employer your mind-set, experience and help them get to know you before they have even met you.
A blog will also help you stand out from candidates who do not have a space to express their views.
Here are our tips for creating a successful blog.
Focus on a relevant field
Before you set up a blog, make sure you focus on a topic of relevance to the industry you’re in. For example, if you’re a hedge fund manager, major on the issues affecting that sector and mix in wider finance viewpoints as you go.
You will need to update it regularly – once a week is perfect for an individual – so think about a ‘content calendar’ to plan ahead. While a lot of ideas for opinion pieces will come to you spontaneously, there are occasions when you will need inspiration, so it’s worth using a feed aggregator such as NetVibes to get a snapshot view of stories that interest you.
Remember not to name any clients that you do not have permission to discuss in public. If you’ve ever signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) then you need to respect confidentiality.
Be clear on your purpose
Remember to put your personality into your posts. Potential employers are investing in you, so make sure they get a sense of who you are and what you think, so they can envisage you as great addition to the team.
The key thing is to write engaging content, or use rich content such as video or podcasting to bring everything to life.
Choose your platform
There are great platforms that you can use to create a customised blog even with minimal coding knowledge. Blogging platforms such as WordPress and SquareSpace come with templates to choose from. The rest of the creativity is up to you!
Make sure you reserve a good domain name.
Stand out on search engines
Recruiters and potential employers will most likely search for you online. This means you need to positive links to surface first on search engines when they search for your name, so a blog is absolutely perfect.
Also, google yourself, what comes up? Probably your social media profiles – are they a positive reflection?
Promote your content on social media
Being active on social media helps you promote your blog content, grow awareness of who you are, and make some valuable connections.
Check out our Twitter tips for contractors and our LinkedIn best practice posts for more information, or check out our podcast on how contractors should use social media to network with iContract’s Eduardo Rastelli.
Don’t limit yourself to your own blog. Use LinkedIn Pulse – LinkedIn’s publishing tool – as a way to widen awareness of your work and get people viewing your LinkedIn profile. Guest blog on other industry and company sites to make yourself known and draw inbound links to your blog.
Good luck with the blogging!