In a world where distinguishing your resume from everyone else’s can lead to unique opportunities, you might’ve heard some buzz about using social media or blogging to help yourself stand out professionally. But will a blog actually help your resume? The short answer is yes. The slightly longer answer is that it can’t hurt. Keeping a blog for this purpose is more than just updating daily or weekly with whatever is on your mind. If you want to use a blog for your resume, the blog should focus on where you are or where you want to be professionally.
Nearly every field has room for blogging. Writing, publishing, education, business, finance, music, and politics are just some of the industries where opportunities abound. A blog that’s focused on showcasing your skills, experience, or knowledge in whatever field you’re in is a blog that potential employers will find when they Google your name. A blog gives you a chance to build a portfolio of writing samples that showcase your personality.
If you’re going to start a blog, remember that most people visit blogs because they’re looking for information they don’t already have. You’ll need to think about what you have to offer to audiences both within and outside of your field. To start, you can write reviews on products, books, or anything else related to your subject matter. As you gain more knowledge and experience, you can branch out however you want. Using your name for your blog is the easiest way to account for any changes your blog undergoes in the future. It’s less jarring for Kate Michaelson’s Blog to transition from a business to music blog than for Business Diva to suddenly become Lyric Queen. Besides, it’s more professional to use your real name for any blog attached to your career development.
Blogging is very fluid and sometimes simply having content is enough to show a potential employer that you’re a dedicated person outside of your schoolwork. I’ve always had my personal blog on my resume and while I was still job searching, interviewers seemed impressed. I don’t think my blog was a deal maker, but since the company I now work for focuses on educational content creation and editing, my blog was one of several factors that showcased who I am and what kind of writer I am outside of assigned papers and lists of past experiences.
Remember that employers can have dozens or even hundreds of resumes to sift through and because resumes are so formal, they don’t leave much room for embellishment. Linking to a blog on your resume gives employers more information about you that could set you apart before you even shake hands for the interview.
On the flip side, don’t start a blog for the sake of getting ahead. If you’re heart’s not in it for the right reasons, your content will suffer or you’ll abandon your blog not long after you make it. If you don’t like writing, why write more than you have to? You could focus your time on other projects that add to your resume. Blogging is simply one of many tools at your disposal that can help you begin your career. Even if you make a blog intending to use it for your resume, it’s okay if you decide not to list it there after all. A blog can either add to your resume in an employer’s eyes or not affect it either way. It could only have a negative effect if the blog is too personal or covers explicit topics.
Blogging is very popular and in some senses, easy to do, but it’s certainly not for everyone. If you’re thinking about starting a blog, then go for it. There’s no harm in trying, and if you start while you’re a few years away from graduation, you could theoretically have a healthy portfolio of writing samples to send off with your resume.