By Allison Volk, Brazen Careerist
12:30 PM EST, November 5, 2013
Blogging has become a great resume builder when pursuing your dream job.
In this competitive market, a blog that highlights both your personality and experience can set you apart from other candidates who only have resumes to show. Blogging on a topic not covered in your past work experience will also impress potential employers and boost your street cred during a career transition.
But what happens when you sit down to create this amazing blog and end up in a staring contest with the blinking cursor on your computer screen?
Follow these four key steps to formulate a killer blog post that will impress your ideal employers and boost your blog confidence at the same time.
1. Give your ideal readers what they want
Pinpoint your ideal reader. Are you writing for a creative executive at an animation company? Or is your ideal reader a partner at an important law firm? Know the tone or essence of your ideal job, and write to match that mindset.
A recruiter at Pixar wants something much different than one at Arnold & Porter Law Firm. Be smart and do a little research. Call the company and notice how the receptionist interacts with you. Check out their website and note the formality of the voice and tone. Then, match your blog content to it.
2. Put on your thinking cap before you start writing
Once you have a good idea of the tone you want, brainstorm a list of topics to write about every week. This will ensure you never waste time trying to invent a clever topic on the fly. Instead, you’ll be able to look at your list, choose one that’s most inspiring and get to work on an outline.
It’s helpful to enlist a friend to do this exercise with you, but you can do it on your own as well. Write down the tone or essence you want to capture in the center of a piece of paper and put a circle around it. Around the circle, write down your areas of expertise. You can start with resume items like “Microsoft Word proficient” and “certified conflict mediator,” then move onto the more unique and quirkier sides of your personality, like “wine connoisseur.”
Each area is the foundation of a great blog post. Do you have a story about a conflict you mediated at work? That’s a great topic. How about your favorite way to use Microsoft Excel to keep track of statistics? Another smart blog entry. The trip you took to Napa Valley to explore vintage wine is good, too; it shows you’re a well-rounded person with interests outside of work.
The bigger the list, the better. You’ll have lots to pull from later on when you sit down to write.
3. Schedule a meeting with yourself
The most challenging part of writing is sitting down to actually do it. (Click here to Tweet this thought.)
Set an appointment with yourself when you know you’ll have some quiet time. Create an outline, and think about what you want to say in this particular blog post. Usually, 45 minutes to an hour will do the trick.
4. When all else fails, ask for help
If you’re still stuck after following these steps, there are professionals who can help make your blog content sparkle. There’s no shame in hiring a professional writer to help you move forward with your blogging goals. Remember, it could be a solid investment in landing that job.
Above all, have fun writing your blog. Find a way to let your personality shine in a professional manner. And then, let the job offers flood in.