7 reasons every job-seeker needs to blog


Have you ever considered the ways a blog can help you get a job?  I meet a lot of young people entering the work force and I always recommend blogging as a way to get ahead … in almost any career. Here’s why:

1) Show what you’re made of.  In any interview, you normally have to try to convince people that you know what you know.  In a blog, you can SHOW them.  Blog about current events in your industry, your view on trends and developments and demonstrate your areas of expertise.

2) Build a professional network.  There are lots of examples where people found jobs through connections in a blog community.  Just last week I helped connect a young woman into the professional marketing scene in Chicago because I was impressed with her blog. Your blog community can certainly become a professional network.

3) Engaging versus advertising.   Let’s face it. No matter how creative you get, a resume is still an advertisement. I struggle reading carefully through a lengthy resume. However, I will read interesting stories on a blog all day long.  Compelling content is a way to engage prospective employers in a way that will hold their attention.

4) Point of differentiation.  In today’s world, blogging may be an expectation of many entry-level jobs. Demonstrating an ability to create content may just be the difference that gets you the job over a non-blogger.

5) Sharpen your professional skills. If you’re going to blog about a subject, you need to know your stuff. Putting out thoughtful content requires that you stay on top of your game, which will certainly be an advantage to you, especially if the job-hunting process is a long one.

6) Expand your reach. Building your personal brand means showing up in all the places a prospective employer might find you. Of course that usually means LinkedIn.  But having a link to a blog on your profile, as well displaying a feed of your recent blog posts, gives a potential employer stalking you on LinkedIn more ways to connect with you and learn about your skills.

7) Extend the interview. Here is the last thing you say to your interviewer: “I’ve enjoyed our time together but there is so much more I could tell you about my abilities. I hope you’ll take a look at my blog (the web address is on my resume) so you can see for yourself the way I think about things.”  And you know what? They’ll do it.  You have just extended your interview by another 15-30 minutes and that may make all the difference!

What do you think?  How has blogging helped you in your professional life?

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  • Great post, Mark. I have been trying to convince my son-in-law to become more involved in social media as he hunts for a better position that will use his skills in bio-mechanical engineering and software design. I will encourage him to read this and take these points to heart. 

  • Excellent!   These are yet more reasons why I teach students responsible, professional literate blogging rather than, in my classes, term papers.   The NY Times has a piece debating all this today and I’ve written (of course) a much longer, in dept blog response.  I’ll link to this excellent piece.  Here’s my post:  http://www.cathydavidson.com/2012/01/should-we-really-abolish-term-papers-elucidating-issues-in-the-ny-times-blog-v-term-papers/

  • In a very competitive market, this might make the difference, especially if the competition isn’t on board! 

  • Very interesting take. Why not put term papers to use?  I like it. Thanks for adding to the discussion!

  • This is good stuff. As someone who teaches at the college level, I try to stress to my students the importance of blogging. When I was growing up, we were told that those of us who took Spanish would have an edge in the job market. Now I believe that SM and blogging are the edge for job seekers. It’s becoming that HUGE intangible that sets us apart.

  • That is a real passion for me too Ken.  I speak to so many college classes and hardly anybody blogs … even PR and marketing students.  Universities need to step up and actively make this part of the curriculum and part of the job-hunting life skills they acquire along the way. Thanks my friend!

  • Sherrill Poland

    Love it! One of my communication classes required that we start a blog and our assigned writing assignment were to be posted onto our it. Some of my best writing was done on that blog.
    Mark I remember another blog post you did about how blogging was good for critical thinking, now this post gives you another reason to blog.

  • WOW! You nailed it! What an opportunity to be REAL!

  • Great article Mark and I am living proof that this is spot on.  When I was laid off from Microsoft in May of ’09, I re-dedicated myself to blogging regularly.  Not only did my blog play a significant role in me  getting re-hired back at Microsoft (per feedback from my interviewers), it also laid the foundation for me working towards my current role and contributing to me getting that role as well. Blogging is an incredibly valuable use of time for anyone regardless of their background.  It can provide a a much deeper view into what you bring to the table then a resume can ever bring. 

  • Wow, Mark, what a great article!! As a recent college grad, a few weeks ago, I think this is an essential idea to follow through on for anyone in my position! I just created a blog recently for this same reason, which means I’m on the right track already! Great job!

  • Great Sherrilll!  Thanks for taking the time to comment today! 

  • What a great story and very relevant contribution to the dialogue Jason. Love hearing those success stories!  Thanks! 

  • Good luck Cedar.  Hope it works out for you soon. 

  • Anonymous

    All great points here! Blogging is a great way to expand your personal brand. Also, if you enter into an interview situation with the intent of making a personal connection with your interviewer, having a blog for them to sift though might increase the chances of them finding a more personal connection with you.

  • Great point! Thanks for the idea!

  • Hey Mark, Just wanted to amplify what you said about the importance of blogging. I was blogging relatively unsuccessfully and then I learned the importance of tweeting and blogging from you and other professors at the Rutgers. Since then, I’ve gotten 3 freelance jobs and I have almost 1500 subscribers.

    My blog breaks a lot of the rules. It’s often 1,500 to 2,000 words, way longer than most blogs. And rather than focusing on one subject, my blogs are rather eclectic. My current blog post is “The 7 Reasons You are Here on Earth and The World’s Greatest Card Trick.” Another was,”Why is Lady Gaga like Chocolate Cheerios?”

    And my title, “10 Minutes of Brilliance,” is not very SEO friendly. I doubt anyone is searching for “10 Minutes” or “Brilliance.” But what it lacks in following the rules, it makes up for in authenticity. And when it comes to blogging, authenticity is everything.Of course, my blog is not for everyone. Nor should it be. In fact, two imaginary characters are forever interrupting me on my blog and telling my Readers I either a genius or the dumbest person on Earth. Personally, I think they’re only half right.   Jack Goldenberg

  • Good job Jack. So happy you are getting results from your efforts!

  • Mike Mccarty

    Hey Mark,

    Great, proactive advice.  I can tell you with certainty the thousands of clients we work with are looking at social media.  However, they are looking for information that might cause them to rescind a conditional offer of employment.  What great advice for setting yourself apart from the pack and defining your brand!

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  • Carol Mast

    Great advice!  Although I am not seeking employment (I’m a stay at home mom), I blog as my creative outlet.  However, I’ve always had it in the back of my mind that if I do go back to the (paid) workforce, my blog fills up the void on my resume…I now have “something to show for” (other than my cute kids!).  My elementary school kid also blogs now…he’ll be ahead of the game when he graduates!

  • Yes, I hear the same thing from HR pros. Your social footprint is more important than your resume. Why not populate the web with your GOOD stuff!  Thanks! 

  • That is a superb point Carol.  Reason number 8!!! Thank you.

  • Brian Houp

    Speaking of the ‘rules’ of blogging, do you have any advice on the basics to get started? Just general guidelines… I.E. Number of words, recommended frequency of posts, etc? Im not looking to help in job searching but have been milling over the idea of getting started on a blog. This might be a nice companion to this post for others considering as well. Thanks.

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  • ¬l0rd8arron

    I know plenty of refuge workers who found it imperative having a blog about faeces. You look like another one of these old hats trying to be ‘cool and hip’ by embracing twitter. Looks to me like your a marketeer that basis your work on misleading article titles and, well, faeces.

  • Mark can give you a more complete answer than I can, but here are some things from my prospective. Write what you know about. Make it authentic. Learn enough about SEO so your blog attracts Goggle’s attention. Blog as regularly as you can. Ask for comments from your readers. That also helps more people find you. Make sure to add an alt tag (Simpler than it seems, just read up on SEO for blog). Add a description to your photos since Google can’t read photos. Find out what you need to know about inbound and outbound links to your blog. That’s a start. Good luck.  Jack

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  • Great advice! As an employer running an eCommerce site we are often looking for applicants who have blogging skills. Regardless of weather what position they are applying for, we love it when an applicant can also write a guest blog or two!

  • Great to hear. Thanks!

  • Dtrank

    Hi Mark, 
    I am a journalism student at the University of Oregon. I am also starting to think about potential jobs after I graduate and all the necessary steps to be successful. In one of my current classes we are starting a public relations blog. Blogging is a very new concept to me, there is so much to learn! I like your tip that a blog gives you the ability to show others what your made of. I hope to continue blogging, I plan to take all your advice and to put them into action. After all, tip number four says blogging may be an expectation now. This post really inspires me to be a better writer and journalism student. Thank you for your tips, maybe they can help me find a job after June. 

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  • I’m glad this helped.  I would encourage you to become immersed in all the major social media platforms. Twitter and LinkedIn especially can help you find connections that lead to a job and also give you marketable skills. Good luck! 

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  • Thank you for providing this piece of knowledge. Really impressed after reading this. 

  • I wasn’t a job seeker, but my blog and online profile was a bit part of what led me to my next and current job. It’s nice to be recruited instead of begging for work!

  • Valentino Vranken

    Another reason why you’d want to start blogging is to improve your writing skills.  If you’re new to the scene your first blogs probably won’t be your best, but it’s a learning process.
    As you’ve mentioned, write about stuff you know and you’re good at.  If you don’t know all the details yet, first do some research, next think about what you want to tell the world and how, then start writing.
    Also, read other blogs on your favorite topic.  You’ll quickly distinguish the really good ones from the others (yes, like in all things in life, quality and writing style is different from blog to blog).  By reading blogs that you like, you learn as well!
    And don’t give up, keep writing and your posts will become better and better. Practise means skill improvement 🙂

    Who do you think an employer will choose: someone with heaps of writing experience (and online evidence to prove it) or someone who never wrote anything except a resume?

  • Thanks.

  • Well said. if I was recruiting somebody you can bet I would be reading their blog!

  • Superb advice Valentino.  I would give this same suggestion to anybody looking to be successful in this field!

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  • bryan

    I agree, Grat post! Blogging is a great way to geberate discussion within a topic that interests you. Also, activites like blogging and tweeting are great tools to make yourself visible on the internet and to employers

  • I agree, Great post! Blogging is a fantastic way to generate discussion. I like the idea that a blog is a way to “extend the interview” in the sense that a employer can see your work in action. Keep it up!

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  • KB

    Great post – thank you for all the wonderful tips! I’ve wanted to start blogging but I just don’t know where to start. I have no idea what to write about because I feel like it’s all already been covered/addressed..

  • James Lynch Jr.

    Point number 7 is so applicable that I try to inform the younger generation why it is important to watch how they comport themselves on the social networks now. Even restaurant owners (fastfood and otherwise) will look up a potential employees. This whole article you wrote is a keeper.

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  • Carmen

    Hello Mark – I’m glad I’ve come across your blog – as I kind of need your advice.
    Since discovering how difficult it was to get my foot back into the paid workforce – at age 50 (and after a hiatus from employment due to illness) – I’ve developed a blog: 50 Shades of Unemployment. It’s a case of making lemonade from lemons.
    It’s improved my writing abilities, kept me connected, given me a foot in the social media door, and provided some interesting opportunities to collaborate with other bloggers.

    The content deals with musings about what it’s like being a midlife jobseeker, and associated issues, links etc.

    At job interviews (library sector), this blogging activity seems to interest potential employees – although due to the the blog’s title and content I don’t think potential employers would be impressed. As unemployment is (in Australia anyway) a taboo subject. I write under an alias.

    I am a jobseeking librarian, so do you think it would be a good move to start a second blog that’s specifically library services focused? I could always provide a link to the other blog.
    Cheers, Carmen

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  • This is great advice that could make such a difference to people. One additional element I would like to see would be how to create a blog that is broad enough to appeal to multiple potential employers, but specific enough to actually be good content. For example, should someone who is excited about marketing also share their experiences as a writer of creative fiction, AND their hobby of woodworking? At what point are you muddying the message, rather than demonstrating your strengths?


  • I can answer this on two levels. First, if you are a job-seeker, you should be blogging about the aspects of the job you aspire to achieve. For example, if you want to be a professional event planner, you should be blogging about case studies, style trends, and best practices that an eventual employer might see.

    You can also weave your personal interests into your stories, For example, the theme of my blog is marketing, but I weave in stories about art,sports, history, travel and other things that interest me. All of these subjects can be used to teach and enlighten. Plus, it keeps it interesting for me.

  • Yes, you should create a blog specifically on the career you are chasing. You need to show employers what you can do, how you think.

  • Hi Mark,
    Thank you so much for this thoughtful reply! I like this format for creating a cohesive blog that still allows space for multiple passions and skills.

  • Manoj

    Although I have a blog and a personal website, but I didn’t get benefit while apply for the job.

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  • Miriam Libove

    I love the idea of extending the interview by directing the hiring manager to your blog. Thank you for the suggestion.

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