Having spent the last 3 months as a recent graduate facing the scary world of unemployment, thoughts about CVs and job applications have never strayed far from my mind. Whilst there was definitely a time when my blog would have never made it into a job application or interview presentation, I have recently secured my first job with my blog URL placed firmly at the top of my CV. So, here’s why I think you should put your blog on your CV too…
From photography and copy writing to SEO and web development, there’s a reason why the biggest blogs out there are run by a whole team of people. Independently running a blog requires you to wear so many different hats and even if you seek extra help for certain aspects, such as making use of a photographer or buying a pre-made template, I have no doubt that you will have used a whole array of extremely in-demand and CV-worthy skills. Consider the entire production process of creating a post as well as the day-to-day tasks involved with maintaining a blog, then pick out the skills that are most relevant to your industry and job applications. To give you an idea of just some of the blogging related skills that I have talked about in applications and on my CV:
– Creative: photography, styling, (graphic) design
– Marketing: market research, copy writing, editing, social media management/ marketing
– Technical: web development (don’t forget to mention your CMS e.g. WordPress), SEO, Google Analytics, HTML/ CSS, UX design
For even more ideas take a look here.
(Quote actual interviewer). This one only works if you’re certain that you have nothing online that you want to hide! Putting my blog on my CV allowed potential employers to find out as much or as little information about me as they wanted prior to my interview. In my experience, interviewers will always check out your blog or social platforms, should you provide them, as it’s an extremely easy way to find out about your personality, your lifestyle and even how genuine your application is. All of these factors are key to finding a perfect match (for both parties), so if you are confident that your blog showcases your best bits then don’t be afraid to advertise it. Warning: if you don’t provide a link, chances are an interviewer will find your blog anyway, so be prepared!
Hands up who’s been trapped in the vicious cycle of being unable to gain industry experience because you don’t have any experience?! *Raises hand*. For some, blogging may perfectly showcase the experience, knowledge, or skillset required for their ideal job (directly or indirectly). Think: fashion bloggers wanting to become stylists/ buyers; photographers wanting to turn their hobby into a career; beauty bloggers wanting to write content for professional publications; or a lifestyle blogger wanting to start out in PR/ influencer outreach. No one can tell you that you don’t have enough experience to start a blog, so no excuses, get it on your CV!
For a group interview, I was once asked to prepare a presentation addressing the topic of “something you are passionate about”. As if the idea of giving a presentation to a panel of interviewers and fellow candidates didn’t panic me enough, I also had to contend with the added pressure of making sure my topic was unique, well-evidenced, interesting yet intellectual and most importantly, would actually help me get the job! Fortunately for me, blogging ticked all of those criteria and after years of running my blog, it is a genuine passion of mine and one that I know inside out. Not only did this help with preparing the presentation and answering any questions afterwards, I think it had a positive impact on my presenting style and helped me to speak with confidence and passion. Blogging could also help pad out a ‘hobbies and interests’ section on your CV or it could simply be part of your answer to an interview questions about what you like to do outside of work.
– It contains overly personal information that you wouldn’t be comfortable with all your colleagues knowing.
– You’re not proud of your blog or don’t dedicate time to consistently maintaining it. If you’re embarrassed when someone brings it up or your last post was from months ago, don’t put your blog on your CV.
– You have only just started blogging and perhaps don’t fully understand it.
– It raises doubts about your commitment to the applied for job i.e. if you look keen to turn your blog into a full-time job.
– Your blog’s content is NSFW. Enough said!
So whether you choose to slip your blog URL into your contact details at the top of your CV* or dedicate a whole section to it, remember that blogging can be the ideal way to showcase your skills, gain experience and market yourself effectively to prospective employees. Not forgetting to mention that it reminds your interviewer that you are in fact an interesting human with passions outside of work!
*Top tip: if you are placing a live link to your blog on your CV, use a custom URL. This allows you to track it in Google Analytics and find out whether prospective employers are actually looking at your blog.