A blog is the online version of You, Inc. It’s a microsite where you can showcase your thinking and writing skills. And where influencers and decision makers can get to know you better. Either because they found your blog through the search engines or clicked through to it from a link in your resume or cover letter.
For lawyers and legal marketing professionals looking for new opportunities take a look at Debbie’s Seven Tips for Blogging Your Way to a New Job. Her advice is sound blog publishing advice, looking for a job or not. Here’s the highlights.
- Start with a topic you’re passionate about. This is your theme, the thread that will run through your blog. You’d better be passionate about it, because you’ll be chipping away at it for months.
- Concentrate on shorter, more frequent entries in your blog. You don’t have to write a long essay each time you post to your blog – a short paragraph or two is plenty—sometimes a sentence will suffice. Your goal is to show that you’re knowledgeable about your topic. In fact, a sentence or two with a link directing readers to a relevant article in the Wall Street Journal or other respected periodical is plenty. The fact that you noticed the article and have an opinion about it is what counts.
- Let your authentic voice emerge. Good blogs have a viewpoint and a voice. They reveal something about the way the blogger thinks—as well as what he or she thinks about. But you don’t want to cross the line into saying things that are critical or inappropriate about your current employer or major players in your industry. The best advice I have is to use common sense. Every time you post a new entry, remember that you are creating a public Web page, easily searchable by Google.
- Use correct grammar and syntax (no misspellings allowed). [I]f you’re blogging your way to a new job, the quality of your writing really does matter. As a refugee from the corporate workplace myself, I can tell you that the ability to write is in woefully short supply at most companies. No matter what type of position you are pursuing, a blog is a way to demonstrate that you can write and think clearly, concisely and concretely. That will put you head and shoulders above most candidates.
- Purposefully organize the content of your blog. A blog provides you with an elegant and easy-to-use writing tool. It is also a mini content management system. Think about the categories you want to cover over time. Are there keywords you should be using that recruiters or potential employers may be searching on? Create a category for that phrase. Title each of your posts with as many specifics and keywords as possible. If you’re quoting an expert or brand name company in your blog entry, include the name in your title. Your blog entry may show up in search engine results alongside the Web site for a Fortune 500 company.
- Post a new entry at least once a week, preferably two or three times a week. You need to write frequently in order to keep your blog fresh. Since each new post or entry is its own Web page, you are increasing the chances that search engines will find your blog. One way to force yourself to write more often is to use your blog as a place to park an interesting tidbit of info or useful URL. When you run across something you’d like to write about, open up your blog and create a draft entry. Give it a provisional title. You can come back later, when you’ve got 20 minutes to spare.
- Include your key contact information on your blog. Your blog may turn up in a recruiter’s or potential employer’s Google search. By building your contact information into your blog template, you make it easy for them to pick up the phone and call or send an email. Additionally, it’s proper etiquette to indicate where you currently work. And also perfectly acceptable to add a phrase such as ‘the views expressed are my own.’
- A bonus tip – have fun when you blog. You may find that blogging is truly a creative outlet. Over time, you might find yourself teasing clarity out of a complex topic or delving into subjects you didn’t know you were so interested in.
Thanks Debbie. I picked up a few jewels in your tips and I am sure my readers did as well. And I am not looking for a new job.