Whether you think of your blog as a hobby or, like me, you treat it as a part-time job, you'll know how much work is involved. Planning, writing, creating images, editing, scheduling, social media - it's a job that never stops.
It's also a job that can get you very far in life, as I've found myself.
Running an online presence is no easy task. So let me ask you something...
Do you include your blog on your CV? Do you write about it in your covering letters?
If not, do you think you should?
I can spend anywhere between 7 and 30+ hours a week on running my online presence, including my blog, social media, newsletter and anything else I want to create.
Just think of everything you do for your website on a daily basis and all the skills you use - don’t you think all of those would look seriously great on your CV? Especially if you’re applying for jobs in social media, writing, marketing, journalism, or any job that involves a strong set of digital skills.
Digital is the way forward for every business and that’s where bloggers have the advantage. So if you’ve not yet got your blog on your CV, or you don’t mention it in your covering letters, I’m going to tell you exactly why you need to do this and how to do it.
Include a live link on your CV
When you submit your CV for a job application, always submit it as a PDF. This is something I got taught from a Careers workshop I went to. It looks so much cleaner and more professional. That way, when you include your contact numbers and email address, you can include the social media platform you’re most active on (for me, that’s Twitter), and a live link to your blog.
Now, you could just put the name of your blog. So for mine it would just be “A Branch of Holly”. But putting a link in means that when an employer is viewing your CV on their computer, they can click straight on that link and be taken to your blog.
Pretty cool, right?
Include it in your experience
What you blog about and the industry you’re applying to work in will determine exactly what you put on your CV. Each of your applications and each CV you submit should always be different when you’re applying for certain jobs.
For instance, this is how you could lay it out.
Name of your blog
Time scale you’ve been working on it
Bullet points of the work involved
So using my blog as an example would look something like this:
FOUNDER - A BRANCH OF HOLLY
SEPTEMBER 2013 - PRESENT
A Branch of Holly started as a lifestyle blog at abranchofholly.com and has since grown into an online resource for creatives and bloggers about building a fulfilling online presence.
- I create content for bloggers and online beginners to help build their online brand and social media presence
- I teach people about social media and share tutorials and tips from my own strategies that I have implemented
- I build an engaged community using a weekly newsletter and social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Periscope. I also monitor and schedule content for all my social media platforms using Buffer and Tailwind
- I create content including articles, tutorials, eBooks and videos, and create monthly reports using Google Analytics to track my progress
There, you’ve got a brief summary of what your brand is all about, and four bullet points of the main tasks involved - exactly what you’d do when describing your main responsibilities for a job.
So those four bullet points are your general comments. Then what you want to do is tailor those depending on the type of job you were applying for.
For instance, let’s say you were applying for a job in social media. You would include information such as:
- Prepared and executed a social media strategy to expand my social following across all platforms to 5,000+ followers
- Set up a social scheduling strategy based on market research and the online activity of my audience to reach the largest amount of targeted people
Or, if you were applying for a job in online writing, you could add:
- Create content ideas for specific categories on a daily basis and stick to a strict publishing schedule
- Edit, research and write content regularly, including creating images and sharing to social media platforms
You see? Each type of job you apply for can take different skills and responsibilities from what you do for your blog.
Edit your CV to fit the job, but don’t stray too far from the basics. Your employer wants to know the foundations you’ve got for building your online presence. Keep it simple.
Include it in your covering letter
I’m going to let you in on a secret here. This is how you can seamlessly include your blog into your covering letter. Every interview I’ve had has picked up on this and asked me more about it.
The thing is, interviewers don’t just want to know about your skills and experience. They want to know about you. So next time you write a covering letter, let this be your last paragraph:
“Aside from professional qualifications, I will also bring a fresh personality to [insert company name] through publishing content on my blog, A Branch of Holly. This means I am fully practised in SEO, web editing and HTML and am more than capable of contributing ideas, plans and visions that are necessary for your organisation’s values and needs.”
Then when you list three of your skills like I did then - SEO, web editing and HTML - list the three skills that the person reading this application wants to know you have. You’ll nail it.
Add it to your LinkedIn profile
This is just like adding your blog to your CV. Focus on the main responsibilities you have for your blog and what you do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to keep it going. You don’t need to list every detail - your main points will do. The best thing is to keep it focused. You don’t need to talk about how you do things - just what you do. Save the explaining for interviews. Write in the present tense too, to show you’re active.
But feel free to list all of your skills. Everything from design, writing and the more technical aspects - this will help employers find what they’re looking for.
Remember, LinkedIn is just like a search engines. If you include the keywords that someone is looking for, then chances are they’ll find you.
Do you include your blog on your CV and LinkedIn? Do you talk about it in your covering letter? If not, after reading this post, do you think you will? Let's talk in the comments