Looking for a Job? Write a Blog

July 13th, 2012

There’s a good reason you see so many blogs when you browse the web. Increasingly, this is a way for people to share knowledge, brand themselves as “thought leaders” and—of particular interest to job-seekers—find and get a job.

If you have a special interest in a topic that relates to the kind of job you’re looking for, getting a blog up and running is a great first step toward launching yourself in the world of social media. The  blog posts don’t have to be long (500-600 words tops) or overly formal (a casual, but grammatically correct style is best), but they should absolutely provide value in the form of insights and tidbits of unique knowledge you can pass along. With a library of blog posts and an aggressive approach toward getting traffic to your site, odds are you’ll attract interest from HR recruiters or others in an industry network. If they like what they see, you’ll probably hear from them.

Set up your blog

Look into these sites that will host your blog for free:

Blogger.com – Free and easy to set up

WordPress.com – Free, but with special features you can purchase

Start writing

As noted, blogging is synonymous with informal writing—but that doesn’t necessarily make it easier to pull off. Veteran bloggers suggest writing your first few posts in a Word program, which can be easily revised and edited, and then downloaded into your chosen blog template. In your first draft, don’t worry too much about sentence structure and choosing the perfect words. Focus on getting something down, letting it sit for awhile, then returning to look at it with fresh eyes. Your job is to produce fresh content that has value to readers. (While you’re at it, try coming up with a snappy, topic-related name for your blog, something people can easily remember.)

You might want to start slow, drafting maybe 1-3 posts a week. But your goal should be posting new content at least 5 times a week, so readers get in the habit of checking out your blog on a regular basis.

And remember—Spell-check is your friend! Nothing should ever go up that contains misspelling or simple grammatical errors.

Read and comment on other blogs

Read lots of blogs and comment on the posts you read. Commenting (and finding blogs you can link back to) helps establish relationships with other bloggers and people in positions of influence.

Your blog is your brand

If your blogging goal is to move your job search forward, never forget that your blog represents you; it’s your personal brand. Don’t use this forum to spout off about a pet peeve, unless it’s industry-related and you have a great solution. Don’t get into a blog war with other bloggers. Focus on creating content that you feel good about being read by potential employers.

Meador Staffing Services offers many great tips and resources to help you find the job that’s right for you.

What To Do If You Don’t Have Job Experience

June 8th, 2012

Most, if not all job listings include among their requirements “must have experience in industry.” For recent college grads or others just dipping their toe in the job market, this one phrase seemingly knocks them out of the running before they even start. But not so fast – there are ways around this.

Look for volunteer opportunities

Volunteer work offers great opportunities to build up experience for your resume and broaden your range of skills. With some online research, you may find a start-up or fledgling business that can’t pay but would love your volunteer services. It’s a great opportunity grow in areas where you’d like to excel professionally. Focus on acquiring new skills to include in your resume or expand on the skills you already have.

If you land a volunteer position with a business, be sure to set some boundaries. It’s OK to give all you have during the prescribed timeframe, but since you’re not getting paid, you’re under no obligation to stay late or help out on weekends. (You can, but it’s up to you.) The important thing is that, while you’re gaining experience and skills, you may also be impressing a future employer with your dedication and willingness to help out.

Go back to school

Back in the day, returning to school for an advanced degree might have required significant expense and travel. Getting an online degree is a much more affordable and convenient option. You can easily make working towards an online degree part of your schedule – and you don’t have to leave the house to do it!

While advanced learning isn’t the same as work experience, there are employers out there who will consider this additional knowledge in lieu of experience, when circumstances permit. Plus, you’ll gain experience working on different projects as part of your grad school responsibilities.

Keep networking

Another way to enhance your knowledge of a particular field – while also letting more people know about your job hunt – is to network, network, network.

Are there professional organizations in your area you can join? What about trade shows and conventions? In these places you can meet people face-to-face and attend workshops and seminars to further expand your understanding of the field you’re aiming for.

Fine-tune your resume

If you’re unable to fill out the “work history” part of your resume to your satisfaction, consider focusing on your skills and acquired knowledge. This can be included in a “Professional and Academic Experience” section, where you can freely boast about your academic achievements and the skills you’ve acquired while studying and volunteering. Remember – this all counts as experience, too!

Meador Staffing Services always has exciting staffing and career positions to fill. Find out more today!

5 Steps to Keep Your Job Hunt Moving Forward

October 28th, 2011

Even in a job market that’s notoriously difficult to crack, experts say many candidates sabotage their search by making common job-hunting mistakes.  Are you guilty of any of these?

Passive, not active. It’s not enough to submit your resumes to a handful of online job postings and wait for a response. Sitting at home and waiting for a call will likely get you nowhere. Instead, be an active participant. Work your network and expand it wherever possible. Keep updating your skills. Learn more about what the job market is looking for. Most important, if you get a lead on a position, don’t sit on it! Be ready to respond with a professional and clearly written email and/or follow-up telephone call.

Holding out for the ideal job. You may have in mind a job that’s perfect for you, but the real world doesn’t necessarily work that way. If you pass on job openings that don’t completely fit your search criteria, you may never get called in for an interview. Remember, whenever employers post an open position, they get hundreds of responses. Look more closely at openings that you may be suited for and take the next step. Better to do well in a “not-perfect” job right now and keep searching for that dream job later.

It’s all about me. Job experts note that many candidates think first about what an open position can do for them, rather than what they can do for the company that’s hiring.  Big mistake. You want to know what need you can fill with your particular skills and experience, not what perks or privileges the job may or may not include.

Looking too close to home. Chances are, the job you want isn’t going to be situated around the block — or even within a few miles of your home. Consider open positions that require a longer commute or even full-scale relocation. Opportunities are out there, if you adopt a more flexible mind-set.

A job is a job is a job. A front desk receptionist in one business may be nothing like a front-desk receptionist somewhere else. Don’t make the mistake of focusing on the position, without understanding more about the business offering the position. These days it’s easy to research companies online, so you’re better equipped to explain — by resume and/or interview — how you can best fit their needs.

You’ll find that by following these steps and thinking active, rather than passive, you’ll generate more energy and focus in your job search.