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Job hunting. If you’re in the middle of it, you’re either not happy with the job you’ve got, you’re actively looking for work, or you are simply seeing what else is out there. Regardless, the prize at the end of your hunt is a change in circumstances. And, as with any hunt, your chance of success depends on preparation, patience, diligence, wisdom and choosing the right tools (and perhaps just a little luck!).
Job hunting ain’t what it used to be, however. In today’s job market, it’s considered downright foolish to search for work without integrating social networking sites (SNS) into your efforts. Any strategy to market yourself without the use of social media will yield less than satisfactory results. In short, job hunting requires an online presence in order to maximize your efforts.
Those with a modicum of internet literacy use tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to look for work, for networking, self -promotion (in the positive sense of the phrase) or for simply staying in touch with others and keeping current on what’s new in their area of interest or expertise. One overlooked effective online tool for job hunting is the blog. Many people just don’t understand that it’s simple to turn your blog into a job hunting tool.
Most of us know someone who blogs, write blogs or we regularly follow one or more. In addition to the seemingly ubiquitous political blogs, there are sports blogs, how-to blogs, humor blogs, even blogs on how to blog. Business magazines and websites blog about the economy or specific industries and/or, the interaction between the two. So, if blogs addressing all those topics (among others) exist, then why not a blog about you? Why not a blog about you as a professional, showcasing your expertise, intellectual curiosity, interests and problem-solving skills?
Let’s be clear about something right away: We are not suggesting that you start a blog when you begin to think about a new job or, heaven forbid, find yourself unexpectedly unemployed. In fact, job hunting shouldn’t be the primary purpose of your blog, it should be something you do which might assist in a job search should it ever become necessary, by promoting you as an expert in your field or industry.
Think of a blog as a self-driven, self-perpetuating form of continuing education. Once you determine you possess the interest and ability to write about something, start writing! You needn’t blog daily or, for that matter, even weekly. What you do need to do is to notify your audience when you’ve posted new content (e.g., notify your Facebook friends and LinkedIn contacts). If you can create a buzz around your posts, the likelihood will increase that your readers will share it with people you don’t know, thereby increasing your exposure.
Let’s assume you’ve established a following. What should you provide for those folks to actually follow? Anything that conveys to them what you know, what interests you have and what you’re good at. If you can engage the reader by making him or her think, perhaps including a question or requesting feedback, you’ll have a blog that the is not only informative but interactive as well.
The benefit of your blog is two fold: 1) You produce a history of written communication that can serve as a sample of the quality of work you are capable of producing should you ever be requested to do so (for example, when you are job hunting); and 2) Your blog will increase your exposure not only to those in your network but, potentially, the networks of those people as well. A wider audience provides greater opportunities when job hunting.