We all know that recruiters do the majority of their stalking on LinkedIn. They lurk in the shadows, often anonymously checking your profile, judging your digital persona clinically and dispassionately. “Worked here for a couple of years, did a few interesting projects, nothing too special to make him stand out. Put him on the maybe pile.” You’ll never even know they were there.
There is a whole industry around how to market yourself as a job seeker, but it remains difficult to convey your personality with your LinkedIn profile. A quick glance and they move on. Your summary may contain pretty bullet points and loads of targeted key words, but does that help you stand out from the crowd as the amazing individual you are? Probably not, I would suggest.
Recently, there has been a revolution in the strategic direction of LinkedIn. It has become a publishing platform – where everyone has (or soon will have) the opportunity to share their thoughts on their industry expertise in the form of blog posts. You might feel inundated by them, but each of them is an individual voice – and they get consumed by an awful lot of people. This should be viewed as a gift to any job seeker. They have a chance to promote their innermost thoughts in the most personal way possible.
By blogging, candidates can flip the job search process on its head. In writing interesting content, recruiters and employers actually come to them – and more to the point, start to read their work on a regular basis. When a blog is shared, they reach an entirely new audience, profile views increase, and they can engage with people who may become powerful allies in their job search. The six degrees of separation are reduced when you can reach third-degree contacts. Your writing resonates with them; they become your fans…. they will be happy to help you as you helped them.
Blogging is also an outlet for emotions, a stress reliever during your job search. I would not suggest blogging about how hard you are finding it, or how sick you are of sitting on the sofa eating pizza, but maybe showing your human side would not be such a bad thing. It is all too easy to dismiss a candidate after 10 seconds of reading their CV; it is a lot harder to dismiss a candidate whose writing you have been enjoying for the last couple of months. Connect with people, share something of yourself.
With “Big Data” taking over recruitment as it is the rest of the world, there still needs to be a place for the individual to shine, a place that no computer can measure and where keywords come second to emotions.
A couple of hours a week crafting a meaningful blog is a strategy that will pay off in multiple ways – often from unexpected sources. And when you have found that job, well, keep writing! You are investing in a resource that will serve you well for decades to come. Next time you are looking for a role, you will be able to tell your loyal readers that you are looking…. they will move mountains to help you.
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