So, is it time to update your resume and LinkedIn profile? You can do that, but it’s not enough.
No, really. Resumes are so 2009. LinkedIn profiles may be a little better.
What you need is a blog. Why? For starters, a blog is a more robust example of who you are and what you can do.
Improve and demonstrate your writing skills.
Good writing skills are essential for most jobs. Whether you’re a customer service representative, a journalist, or a team manager, your writing needs to be clear, accurate, and compelling – unless you’re a doctor.
Admittedly, far too much business today is done by email. That said, if your emails to clients are confusing or droll, you won’t be effective.
Rather than learn good writing skills on the job, learn at home. Your blog readers, who will likely be your friends and family at first, will let you know if your writing isn’t making sense. I won’t hear from friends or family for years, but I’ll get an email or direct message when they notice a mistake in my writing.
You don’t have to go solo, though, there are numerous online courses that you can take to help with your writing. Some are free. Some are cheap. A good writing course is worth it.
Improve and demonstrate your critical thinking skills.
Businesses are desperate for critical thinkers. Those who excel do more than regurgitate information. Hiring managers and business leaders want to know that their teams can manipulate and apply information and data in a way that’s useful and beneficial to the organization.
What better way to make sure you’re interpreting information accurately and coming to unique, valuable conclusions than to share your interpretations with the world on your blog and social media?
In 2011, when I posted my first blog post with my name on it, I had to work up the courage. I was concerned about what people would think. They might’ve thought my ideas were stupid, so I was prepared to rebut their rebuttals. They might’ve called out my writing, spelling and grammar skills, so I proofed, proofed and reproofed before I hit publish.
Hitting the publish button for the first time took me way too long. I’ve gotten much better in the last six years, and that’s a skill I can take to any job, whether I work for myself or someone else.
Show your personal brand.
Personal brands are gold these days. It’s harder for businesses today than generations past to market to and attract an audience. Unless it’s aired during the Super Bowl, a television commercial, like a resume, doesn’t carry the same weight as it once did. Therefore, businesses are looking for creative solutions to be recognized and to grow their buyers.
This is why a person with a solid personal brand is valuable to a business.
The best way to show potential business partners or employers your true self is with your blog. If an employer can scroll through even a few months of your blog, they’ll get a somewhat accurate understanding of who you are. Therefore, they’ll have a good idea if you can work together and, if so, of how you can work together.
Take, for example, a hair stylist. If a hair stylist, going through school, posts their work online and their work is consistently good or shows improvement, they can share their blog or portfolio with prospective employers and the hiring employer will have a good understanding of the candidate.
Build a following.
A personal brand backed by a substantial social media following is platinum. You don’t have to be an A-List YouTube star (if that’s such a thing). But, if you have an audience who likes and listens to you, you have leverage when business opportunities arise.
If that same hair stylist also posts their work on Instagram in addition to their blog, and they grow their Instagram following to one thousand, ten thousand, or more, they’re even more valuable to a prospective employer.
Also, the risk of failure for the stylist with the big Instagram following opening their own salon is less because they can guarantee a percentage of their followers will follow them to whatever salon they go.
Build a platform for your other skills.
In today’s economy, it’s good to have multiple streams of income. Employees no longer spend a lifetime working for the same employer. Even staying with the same job, within the same company for more than a few years is considered antiquated. The best way for employees to feel financially secure is to not rely on one source of income.
A blog is a great part-time job. Your blog can focus on your hobby, something entirely different from your day job. Or, it can complement what you do during the day.
Take, for example, someone who wants to be a nanny abroad. Thousands of people want to be nannies in different parts of the world. Being a nanny will be the prospective employee’s primary job. However, they could start a blog about how they went from the idea of becoming a nanny abroad to actually becoming a nanny abroad.
Blog readers can use the nanny’s blog as the template for how to become nannies themselves. Everyone can learn from the mistakes and successes of the nanny. The nanny can continue blogging about their experiences, what they like and don’t like, what they learn, and about other nanny jobs.
They could eventually monetize their nanny blog with ads and sponsored posts. They can become a resource for the nanny industry and write books, make videos, and become a speaker all because of a blog.
Have an accountability journal.
Another value of having a blog is that it can act as your accountability. If you’re striving to achieve a goal, such as paying off debt or losing weight, sharing your goals with the world makes it harder to quit when you don’t succeed as fast or as quickly as you’d like.
Likewise, people with the same or similar goals can act as your support, share their stories to help, and inspire you and others. Plus, everyone can learn from your trials and tribulations.
You can, essentially, create a community of people to help and uplift each other. Connecting with people because of your blog is even better than monetizing it.
Resumes are outdated.
Finally, resumes are static and stale. It’s easy to pad a resume and use the right words to make even the most mundane success seem incredible. Resumes won’t go away anytime soon because they’re an executive summary of your accomplishments.
A blog, though, has life and personality. It can demonstrate everything about you. To be sure, no recruiter or hiring manager will sift through every page of your blog and every video you create, but they don’t have to do all that.
Anyone considering hiring or working with you will easily and quickly get a sense of who you are from your blog. That’s why a blog is a nice complement to your resume.
So, don’t skip updating your resume or LinkedIn profile. But, complement them with a blog and stand out from others. Starting a blog isn’t as hard as you think and the value is more than worth it.
Have you seen success with a blog or have any questions about starting one? Let us know in the #Adulting Facebook community.