In the age of LinkedIn, About.Me, and the raging "you are your network" mentality that abounds when it comes to landing your next gig, traditional resumes aren't going to cut it. Not only are standard CVs flat and passé, they don't really do much to show potential employers your real value. After all, anyone can slap a high GPA or grandiose job achievements onto paper – but when all is said and done, what do you really have to show for yourself?
A digital approach
Blogging is an excellent way to showcase not only your skills, but your passions, ambition and drive. What could show your future boss that you can work around deadlines and deliver consistently better than a well-executed, high-quality blog? A modern resume may come close, but it should be supplemented by creative work.
Not only that, by having your own blog, you're cementing your digital footprint. Everyone is on social media but in reality, more people are reading blogs than they are writing them: According to WordPress, 409 million people view blogs each month. By having a blog dedicated to your industry, you stick out immediately among the crowd of average job applicants. Sure, they can all list their favorite blogs in a job interview – but why not be one of those blogs?
Showing, not telling
With a blog, you can highlight the skills on your resume and provide proof. Creatives especially can benefit from blogs, where photographs, videos and animation can be displayed beautifully and professionally for almost no cost. If you're a writer, you can showcase your superb writing skills. Even if you're in marketing or finance, you can share insight to your thought processes, give opinions on industry matters or share your expertise.
Besides demonstrating your abilities, your blog says leaps and bounds about the type of person you are. Blogging is hard work: It requires commitment, time, energy and mounds of dedication before you ever get a decent following. To persevere through that – to write when no one seems to be reading – means you are persistent and motivated. Most bloggers have an entrepreneurial mindset, are go-getters, and have the desire to connect, with an audience,.Any employer would rejoice to have an employee with those qualities.
Grow and gain exposure
With the right mindset, your blog could develop into something much bigger than your next job. What is the first thing that grows from having a blog? Your social network. By leveraging your social media the right way, your content could be shared in various communities, connecting you to other bloggers and industry leaders. The multiplier effect this can have on your social profiles is incredible, not to mention it leads to opportunities to guest post on other blogs and attend conferences, two things which will grow your audience tremendously.
Your own knowledge will also flourish. As you research and write articles for your blog, you'll constantly sharpen your skills and stay current in your industry. You'll constantly be learning and have plenty of insight to offer in a challenging interview or in a conversation with others in your field.
The first thing employers do when researching employee candidates is – you guessed it – search for them online. Rather than having them find generic Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, consider how their curiosity might be piqued when they find your blog. Not only will they immediately have the chance to learn more about you, they'll be impressed that you have a body of work to show that is driven only by your ambition and nothing else.