Friday, April 29, 2011

Career Blogging 101 – Getting Started

Monkeys BloggingImage via Wikipedia

So, you’ve decided that it is time to give your career search a boost by starting a career blog.  That’s a great plan and many people have found success by starting a career blog.  It gives you an opportunity to show off your knowledge and your skills.  It is like a long term extension of a resume or cover letter.

If you have not already read the Weekend Questions post called Is Blogging a Good Idea you should go and read that first.  It will give you some ideas of what to blog about and what you should not blog about.
The first thing you need to decide is where you are going to host your blog.

There are several free options that are available to you but the two that I would recommend are blogger.com and wordpress.com.  Both are fairly easy to use for beginners and they have a lot of options as far as designs go so that you can make your blog suit your personality.

When you are choosing a blog design, you should remember that this is a professional blog that employers will be looking at.  With that in mind, you should avoid colors like pink and purple unless they are used only as accents.  Go for simplicity.  Dark colors are ok for the background but make sure the part where your text goes is dark font on top of a light background because it is easier to read.  Graphics are ok too, if they are professional but the best designs are often those without graphics and have one main color with one or two accent colors.

Another thing you will have to decide on is a blog name.  You could simply use your own name with a tagline and sometimes this is the best technique for branding because when employers do a search for you online (and many of them will) they will search for your name and your blog will likely come up first.  You could also choose a name for your blog that is catchy and reflective of your choosen career.  This can be good for attracting people who are searching by job name but it can be difficult to target this group because there are so many options to choose from.  I recommend using your own name and putting the job title that you are targeting in your tag line.  For example, you could call your blog, “Shauna Smythe – thoughts of a medical office assistant” or  “Jon Kappro – journey through the world of software development”.

This is just the beginning though!  I’ll be blogging more about career blogging in the future so if there is something specific you’d like me to address be sure to leave a comment!
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