This article was originally published on The Levo League, which has now ceased operations.
There are a wide variety of things you can do to help launch your professional career including internships, gaining valuable working experience, and creating a well-rounded resume. Since competition for entry-level and even mid-level jobs is very high, it’s important to stand out to prospective employers in any way you can. One way to do this is to start a blog.
Blogs, which are interactive websites full of information for the public to read, can cover a wide variety of topics or niches including lifestyle, fashion, politics, sports, and more. Blogging is generally free, unless you want to purchase a domain name or custom layout, and can be customized to your liking. You are in control of the content and ultimately your online reputation and presence. Here are a few ways that blogging in an appropriate manner can help your career.
It beefs up your writing portfolio
If you are in the field of communications, having excellent writing skills will set you apart from the competition. How exactly do you become a great writer? Practice. Much like any athlete or musician, the only way to excel in your craft is to continue to practice. Having a blog which you post to daily, weekly, or even monthly gives you a variety of writing samples to add to your portfolio. My writing portfolio is filled with articles that I wrote for my personal blog. All writing samples should be recognized, whether it was for a national newspaper or a simple WordPress site.
It shows your expertise in any niche
By writing consistently about a specific topic or group of topics, you will gain credibility. Let’s say you’re looking to work in marketing and run a beauty blog in your spare time. You post articles and tutorials about all aspects of the cosmetic industry and help your readers learn more about this topic. You find an agency that has beauty clients and you are interested in a position with the company. Your beauty blog gives you a leg up on the competition who doesn’t have that background or expertise in the niche. Find things you are passionate and knowledgeable about and blog about them.
It can create job opportunities
Having a public blog where you post about your life, interests, and accomplishments will attract readers from all over. If you optimize your site by including links to your resume, portfolio, and contact information, you’d be surprised at who will reach out to you. Since adding a “Hire Me” section on my blog, I’ve landed freelance gigs at a national magazine and a small fashion boutique. Blogging is the first step to putting yourself out there.
Blogging can also can be viewed as a side job in itself, which looks great on a resume. Running your blog like a business by working with brands or public relations companies, utilizing social media, and analytic tools is impressive to employers. Don’t treat your blog like a joke, treat it like a side business and include it on your resume.
It lets you form valuable relationships
Plain and simple, blogging is a great networking tool. Not only will you meet friends and peers that share the same interests as you, but you most likely will find people who work in a similar field as you. If you begin to work with companies or brands, keeping in touch with them is a great way to expand your contacts. You never know, someone reading your blog may be looking for a new editorial assistant at their company. They say, “It’s all about who you know,” and blogging can introduce you to a whole new circle of people.
It’s important to note that blogs are not successful overnight. Running a successful blog takes a lot of hard work, time, and skill. It certainly isn’t for everyone, but can give your career, job hunt, or resume a nice boost.