It’s crazy to think how much we’ve been prepped for the career world throughout our lives. Career days in elementary school, placement quizzes in middle school, and job shadows in high school…the list goes on and on. When you combine that with the number of resume workshops, career seminars, and networking events we’ve attended over the years, you’d think we’d be a pro at this now.
But personally, even with the number of career courses and tutorials I’ve completed over the years, I don’t think any of them could amount to what blogging has achieved in successfully preparing me for the career world.
Confused? Maybe I should explain.
When I started blogging, I had no clue what I was getting myself into. As if setting up the blog and hosting wasn’t complicated enough, I hadn’t realized how much work bloggers put into each post they do. I’m talking about the writing, proofreading, graphic design, photography, photo editing, social media management, and so much more. And to say that there’s a *bit* of a learning curve is an understatement. I mean, before I started blogging, I didn’t even have an Instagram or a Twitter, much less know how to market my blog on them!
Wow, does that make me sound unqualified.
Needless to say, I’ve learned a lot since I started blogging, and through that process I’ve gained a valuable set of skills that only blogging could have provided me with. While these skills have helped me in my education, I’ve noticed the majority of my growth to be in my career. Blogging has taught design skills that I have applied in my classes, marketing skills that I have used to promote myself in job interviews and applications, and even gave me the opportunity to be a social media manager. (Which I was chosen for, as I was later told, because of my blog.)
Over time, I have become more and more aware of the incredible ways in which blogging has strengthened my career prospects, and leads me to believe that every student should have a blog/website to learn from and promote their skills to the career world with.
Don’t believe me? These are the 5 incredible ways how blogging can prepare you for the career world:
Your Blog Becomes a Portfolio Website
In some ways, your website isn’t *just* your blog…it’s a portfolio website. This can become the tipping point in any job competition, as it demonstrates to your potential employer that you do indeed possess the skills you put wrote on your application. Attention to detail? Look at that blog post! Enjoys creative challenges? Look at the different design graphics displayed on the site! Understands and exceeds at photo editing software? Your blog’s photos do all the talking!
That being said, by having a blog you’re able to list something more unique than a LinkedIn profile on your applications, something that’s customized to you, your personality, and your interests and goals. Your site showcases the skills you have and the level of expertise you have in each, how you approach various challenges, and how you interact with others. The number of ways just having a blog in itself helps to prepare you for the career world is amazing, and some of those ways are expanded in further detail below.
You Create a Positive Online Presence
The more I enter the career world, the more necessary I believe it is to develop a positive online presence. I mean, just think about it: Hiring managers are now turning to the internet to learn more about their applicants. While anything that’s–*ahem*–less than professional or you wouldn’t want your boss to see should obviously be taken down or set to private, you can easily turn the tables in your favor by developing a positive online presence that will astound anyone who searches you up.
For example, your blog will:
- Showcase your personality and what you will bring to the job/company
- Indicate your interests, hobbies, and goals to online managers.
- Show you have developed and are actively practicing your written communications skills
- Indicate you have knowledge (no matter how little) in coding, web design, or website management
Imagine it this way: if the hiring manager had no access to your résumé/cover letter/CV, what would they learn about you from your online presence? Use it as an opportunity to show them who you really are outside of the standard formatting and bullet points that they see time and time again. Use your blog as your chance to shine.
You Develop a Wide Variety of Skills
During the hiring process, you’re essentially informing the employer of what skills you have, how advanced you are in those skills, and how those skills would benefit the company.
However, your blog not only gives you the chance to show off those skills to the hiring managers (re: portfolio), but it allows you to develop a new set of skills that can further you professionally.
These are examples of skills that you may develop through your blog, which you could then list on job applications and discuss during your interview:
Strong Written Communication Abilities
- Whether it’s a writing-intensive career like journalism or whether you’ll just be sending out company emails, your blog showcases your ability to write clearly and effectively online.
- Written communication skills can include these:
- Varied sentence structure
- Different types of writing (informative, instructive, storytelling, etc.)
- Proofreading and editing
Graphic Design Skills
- If you’ve created graphics for your blog (i.e. logos, printables, Pinterest images for posts, etc.) then you’ve developed at least a beginner level of graphic design skills. You could then list or discuss the tools you’re familiar with (Canva, Photoshop, etc.) and what you’re able to do on those platforms during an interview.
Photography/Photo Editing Skills
- If you take your own blog photos, then you’ve likely developed an eye for photography over time. Whether it be flatlays, landscape, lifestyle, fashion shots, or whatever else it may be, you can use these photos and your photo editing skills (by using tools such as Adobe Lightroom) to create a photo portfolio on your Instagram and your blog itself.
Social Media Management and Marketing Skills
- If you utilize social media to market your blog, have practiced using the platforms, and have spent time learning about how to best market your blog on them, then you now have an extremely impressive set of skills to showcase to your employer.
Social Media Management includes:
- Regularly posting on your social media profiles (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.)
- Regularly commenting and interacting with other profiles that share similar interests or niches
- Responding to comments, private messages, etc.
- Performing hashtag research, setting up auto-schedulers, etc.
Social Media Marketing skills include:
- Sharing your blog posts on social media outlets
- Performing keyword research
- Optimizing posts for SEO
These are just a few of the skill sets that you may develop while blogging. The longer you’re involved in it, the more skills you’ll begin to develop. For example, you may also develop public relations skills as you develop relationships with brands to promote their items, and even web design/management skills as you perform regular site maintenance, upkeep, and maybe even develop your own blog theme.
You Learn to Collaborate with Others in a Professional Setting
If you haven’t heard the news, the blogging world is all about community over competition. Bloggers are constantly sharing other’s work on social media, commenting on their posts, and learning from each other, which allows us to continually build up our knowledge bases and skills. However, one of the best ways to collaborate with other bloggers is through the form of guest posts, which not only helps the blogger whose site you’re guest posting for, but it helps build friendships, partnerships, allows you to reach a new audience, and improves your site’s SEO through the form of backlinks. Other collaborative pieces can include YouTube videos and podcasts.
While this all seems to pertain almost exclusively to the blog, collaborating with other bloggers in an optional setting (i.e. not forced classwork), shows a potential employer that you can successfully collaborate with others, a major and necessary skill in the career world.
Blogging Encourages You To Be Continually Learning
The world is constantly changing, and it’s especially true for the internet. I can’t tell you how many times the Instagram and Facebook algorithms have changed, how many times I’ve had to learn about adjustments in marketing platforms, or even how I had to educate myself about GDPR when it was enacted in May 2018.
However, that being said, these changes are what will push you to be continually learning, not only about what these changes are and how they affect you, but what you can do about them. It keeps you up-to-date about the latest news in the industry, increasing your expertise across these diverse areas.
Additionally, as you work to grow your blog, you will be teaching yourself new tools and practicing skills that you’ve already learned, whether it’s learning how to design graphics for Pinterest, how to edit photos in Lightroom, how to schedule pins in Tailwind, and much more; these are just some of the skills you can use to grow your blog, and also how to market your expertise to potential employers.
Although blogging is often seen as just a hobby or a diary, it can quickly become a fun and amazing job that can provide you with an extensive skill set, portfolio, and opportunities to collaborate with others in your niche. The lessons and tools you learn while blogging can then become extremely lucrative to employers in the job search process, leading to some amazing opportunities in the career world. For more blogging tips, be sure to check out the “Blogging” category, and follow along on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for updates about new posts as they are released.