This is the seventh part of a series explaining how to fill gaps on your resume. Today, we’re going to talk about blogging to fill gaps.
You’ve read it and if you’re in career transition, you’ve experienced it. It’s not right, it’s not fair, but it is the harsh reality of today’s job market. Employers discriminate against the unemployed, because work gaps represent risk, including:
- Risk that you haven’t kept your skills sharp
- Risk that others have felt you’re not a good candidate
- Risk that you really don’t want to work
- Risk that you’ve been in jail – yes, recruiters/HR reps really do screen for this
So what do you do about resume gaps?
Why not fill them?
Blogging is an awesome way to fill resume gaps at the same time as you’re changing, building, or amplifying your subject matter expertise.
One reason that blogging is such an effective resume gap filler is that blogging is a real job – whether you’re blogging for your own subject matter expertise promotion, or for another site.
Want to fill resume gaps? Just blog – it sounds so simple and it’s free to set up a simple blog. So why doesn’t every candidate with a resume gap blog?
Here are 8 reasons you should blog if you’re searching for a job – especially if you’re in career transition:
- Blogging fills career transition gaps: Blogging is a job and it can create some income for you while you’re job searching. You’re probably not going to get rich from blogging – Plus like any other entrepreneurial activity, it takes time to build income. But if your goal from blogging is to fill career gaps, then your goal is to use blogging as a resume builder, not as a get rich quick scheme. As a resume gap filler, blogging is excellent.
- You don’t even have to write: Probably the leading reason job seekers are reluctant to blog is because they’re uncomfortable with their writing skills. The good news is you don’t even have to write – You can also create a great blog by curating, or collecting great articles written by others. For most blog articles, you’ll just need to credit the author and give links back to the original publication (commercial sites will require you get permission before republishing).
- Blogging builds subject matter expertise: By writing or curating, you demonstrate your expertise, because you’re building an audience and leading them. Whether you’re leading them with your own subject matter thoughts and opinions or by recommending an article reading list, you share your thought process as you build your audience.
- Blogging helps you change subject matter expertise: Blogging can be especially
helpful if you’re trying to change careers, job function or industry. In today’s job market, you’ll have a tough time changing careers when there are job shortages and many candidates who are already in the job function or industry you’re trying to change into. Blogging helps you build your experience within your changed job function/industry – plus blogging helps you internalize the language and thought process of professionals already in your target job function/industry.
- Blogging amplifies your subject matter expertise: Blogging can help others see your expertise – it’s a way of providing social proof of your expertise.
- Blogging makes social networking more effective: Blogging works hand in hand with Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook. Social media can help you expand your audience and help employers/recruiters find your blog.
- Google loves bloggers: Blogging can help you be discovered by recruiters/employers through Google searches. Today, when decision makers face a new problem, before they talk to peers, team members or outside resources, they’ll first search Google – as basic due diligence. Blogging can help you be found on the first (or first few) pages of Google, as an expert in providing advice for that exact problem. This encourages decision makers to contact you for a little free advice. Think about this … decision makers with a problem, contact you as a SME in solving that problem (because they found you on Google), seeking a conversation about how you could help them. Doesn’t this sound like something you could translate into a possible job opportunity?
- It’s free: Getting started with a basic blog can be completely free. Of course, there are many ways to get fancy and invest in a more professional looking site. The vast majority of blogs start out on one of the many free platforms available today. I’d recommend WordPress.com or Blogger.com, both available at no cost.
While a curation blog won’t showcase your written communication skills, it will show that you know what you’re talking about, because as a curator you recommend “best of” content for others to read.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that you must blog if you’re looking for a job.
However, blogging gives you an opportunity to get in front of more potential employers so that they find you, helps you change or amplify subject matter expertise, and is a great way to fill career transition gaps.
What’s the downside? Time … Blogging is a time investment. The more you blog, the less time you’ll have to apply to jobs online.
But, if you’ve been reading this blog, you’ve seen many reasons why applying to jobs online is a lousy way to search for a job. You’ll find that blogging is a much more effective way to find your next job.
Don’t believe me? Look online – you’ll find other job seekers in your field/industry who are bloggers. Why not reach out and ask them how blogging has helped their job search?
Readers – If any of you have incorporated blogging into your job search, please comment and share with others the effect blogging has made on your job search.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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