As a recent college grad (woo!), I’ve been attempting to help many of my younger friends as they begin the really stressful, unfair, almost inhumane task of looking for full time work while still being a full time student. It’s really easy during this transition period to let things slip that should probably be given more attention. I went a little application crazy around March last school year and went to far as to neglect school work at times. It wasn’t an ideal situation, but it was all about prioritizing, as well as staying motivated and organized.
It’s important to take advantage of small breaks from classes to get yourself ahead of other soon-to-be grads looking for the same jobs that you are. Some students use this time to take on a mini internship or rack up volunteer hours at an agency that relates to their desired field. However, because I get unbelievably friggin’ lazy when I’m told I don’t necessarily HAVE to get out of bed for a few weeks, I found a way to improve my job applications right from under the comfy, warm safety of my Target extra-long twin bedspread: I created my own professional blog.
It took me a few days to actually get it up and running, but the time was so worth it and the content of your blog can vary depending on the work you’re going into. There’s no one correct way to blog, just do what suits your needs! For example, I studied English and had a crap load of media-related extra curricular experience. Naturally, I used my blog as more of an archive/online portfolio. I created tabs that showcased different types of writing, that way even if my future employer was only interested in say my fashion writing, they would still be able to see I have versatile strengths because I also have a huge amount of clips in sports writing and literary analysis as well. I really suggest using it as a platform to show anything and everything that you can do, that way it fits the many types of positions you’ll eventually apply for.
Now, if just my experience hasn’t swung your vote here are 5 reasons why you should just suck it up and join the blogging community:
1.) It is an awesome way to organize your mega-huge, super impressive work from your undergrad. I literally had more clips than I could count, it sucked uploading them all to my site, but at least now I won’t have to go breaking into my college’s media department to get copies of what I wrote five years ago.
2.) It makes you look like your incredibly organized to your future employer. Plus you’re not giving them annoying attachments of your work that clogs their email up. They can literally just click the link you embed in your electronic resume. (Editor’s Note: As someone who frequently looks over intern and writer applications, this is a GREAT tip. Attachments are the worst.)
3.) It is a great self-evaluation tool. While looking at all of your accomplishments and work it is easy to see evident holes in your portfolio, it may inspire you to try new things professionally to become more well-rounded.
4.) It can always be adjusted and expanded. As your career grows, your professional blog can as well. It doesn’t have to sit untouched once you snag your first big kid job. Keep adding projects and accomplishments from your company that you helped orchestrate, eventually it will pay off if you look for other work at different companies down the road.
5.) It can easily be incorporated into other technology-based professional tools. As I’m sure we were all told throughout our classes, we have to be ready for more and more of our lives to be incorporated into technology at social media. Having a prepared showcase for your skills in a technological format will make it really easy for you to use it through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and whatever the hell else they’re coming up with in the future.
I hope I convinced a few of you to at least play around with this idea! Find bloggers you like and note how often they post, and what tone of voice they blog with. Check out my professional blog that I use for writing samples. Look around online and see all the different ways you can fit a blog to your life — just because you’re not a mommy blogger or an amateur chef doesn’t mean you can’t get in the groove and get eyes on your work.
[Lead image via Andrei Zarubaika/Shutterstock]