How Blogging Can Help Your Career

If you’re reading this post then there’s a high chance you’re already a blogger yourself or a regular reader of blogs. Blogging is a great creative and therapeutic outlet and the benefits of blogging are numerous; it’s cathartic, a space for creativity and has also introduced me to so many wonderful people.

Whilst blogging is still just my hobby, it has had a profound impact on my experiences of looking for a job. Despite my 2.1 degree from the 2nd best university in the UK (we are clearly very proud of this) and the numerous sporting and academic activities listed on my CV, it is actually the small paragraph at the bottom of the second page that catches the eye of most interviewers. “Tell us a bit about your blog, what made you get in to blogging?” Having a blog and regularly blogging speaks volumes to recruiters and interviewers as it displays so many skills and attributes, so if it’s not already on your CV, here’s why it should be!

Creativity

Whilst I’ve already acknowledged that blogging is a creative outlet for me, it can also act as a portfolio of work that you can show to interviewers to display your creative skills. Not only does it demonstrate your writing skills, there are also the photographs, post, site layouts and so many more facets that show your creative skillset to potential employers. This is particularly important for any job where creativity is an essential part of the job description. I’ve been looking at jobs in marketing and many of them list strong writing capabilities as a key attribute, what better than a digital collection of passionate writing to illustrate your skills?

Attention to Detail

Re-reading and editing posts is probably my least favourite part of the blogging process, however it is incredibly important to me that the quality of writing and content on my site is of the highest possible degree. Producing grammatically correct and accurate content illustrates to employers that you have an eye for detail and are able to produce quality pieces to a high standard.

Organisation

The vast amount of time it takes to have a blog stands as testament to your organisational and planning skills. Most bloggers don’t simply pick up their laptop when they have a few minutes, bash out a post and that’s them done. Blogging requires a great deal of time, forcing you to plan ahead and manage your time wisely. It demonstrates an organisational ability which almost all job descriptions I have ever read have listed as a key requirement.

Initiative

As well as demonstrating creativity, starting a blog requires initiative, a further attribute that is often discussed during interviews. Having the confidence to put yourself online and the drive to continue to post regularly, shows employers that you have the initiative and determination to start with a concept and follow it through.

Social Media Management

With an increasing number of jobs and industries turning towards digital channels to promote their products, social media is playing an ever growing role in business and marketing. Since we are now in 2019, it’s safe to say that almost everyone will have either a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest account, or all of the above! However it is the extra skills that you develop as a blogger that set you against other candidates. Scheduling platforms such as buffer and Hootsuite, co-ordinating a promotion plan and forward planning layouts are all tools used by most bloggers to increase their reach and reader base.

Collaboration

Most industries will require you to work with either clients or other businesses to achieve objectives, requiring strong lines of communication and often working to a brief. If you have been lucky enough to work with brands as part of your blog, then this is something you should definitely be mentioning in interviews. Whilst you may have worked with a make-up or fashion brand that has no relation to the job you are applying for, the skills you have gained from the experience are extremely attractive to employers and will impressive any interviewer.

Have you ever been asked about your blog in an interview? Please share in the comments if you have any other skills you’ve gained from blogging that would be beneficial in a job hunt! There is also the pinnable graphic at the bottom of the post if you want to save it for later and look back when you’re writing job applications or preparing for an interview!

How blogging can help your career, pinnable graphic.

How to Prepare for an Interview

If you read my post on job hunting in London, you’ll know that interviews aren’t actually something that bother me all that much. This might change as I inevitably become jaded by the constantly spinning wheel of London life, being let down and taken advantage of – or so I’m told! But for now, I’m seeing interviews as a positive thing, a chance to find out more about the company and show them why I’m the right person for the job. Or, a chance for me to find out I’m not the right person for the job and they aren’t the company for me.

One of the major reasons I am able not to feel daunted by big interviews is the preparation I put in beforehand. This might be as simple as reading the company’s website the day before if you are applying for a weekend or after-school job. However as I’m competing in the graduate market since I’ve recently graduated from University most positions I am applying for are hotly contested and I need to put in the preparation to show why I deserve the opportunity.

Research is key!

Before you go in to an interview, I want to know what to expect to give myself the best possible chance. There are a few key points and ways you can research the company in order to arm yourself with all the information you need

  • Google them: potentially exceptionally obvious, but I mean really googling them. Google map the office so you know exactly how to get there, what you’ve got around you and use street view so you can see the exterior of the office so you’re not walking up and down on interview day. Click on the news tab to see when they’ve been mentioned in recent stories and if there’s any breaking news you can bring up during the interview to show that you’re active and enthusiastic about the brand.
  • Know their competitors and what makes them unique: if you’re applying for a marketing job, know who the other main marketing company’s are and why the company you are applying for is different. Brands work tirelessly to promote their USP so by mentioning it and illustrating you understand it they will appreciate your efforts.
  • Check their social media: company’s will often retweet or share information they want to promote and social media is a great way to see what the brand is saying directly from the source. I also think social media is a great way to check out the office culture, see if they include photos or videos of social activities or charity events they participate in.
  • Try and find a recent case study or project and make yourself aware of how the brand created it and what they achieved. They might ask you for examples of their work that you enjoyed or what attracted you to them in the first place and being able to discuss their own work with them shows you are interested in the industry as a whole.

Show your skills

One thing I did recently for a job interview which I think really helped was to print out the job spec and go through each individual pointer and write down how I could display that. For example, the job I applied for included working on events so I wrote beside it a list of events that I had helped organise and what I achieved with each one. This way you know you are going in armed with the right skillset and it can really help affirm that the job is for you.

One question I have always been asked, no matter whether it’s a graduate job in London, a Summer internship or working in my local newsagents, is “Why you?” What can you bring to the job and company. Whether that’s endless enthusiasm, specific knowledge of the subject, contacts in the industry or whatever. Everyone has something unique to offer, so make sure you know what you’re bringing to the table before you go in.

Know Yourself

With that being said, it’s also important to know where your weaknesses lie. Very few jobs are completely independent with no sense of teamwork, so weaknesses aren’t something to be ashamed of. They also are not trying to trick you by asking you this question, they simply want to know what areas you’ll want to lean more heavily on your teammates. However I was always told to pick a weakness that could be turned into a strength. For example, I am so not a morning person. It takes me a good hour or two after getting into work to produce my best, but this means I work exceptionally well in the afternoon and can be even more productive. I’m also super enthusiastic and chatty, and whilst this means I can sometimes get carried away, it also means I’m confident enough to speak to people and put myself out there and have the energy to see a project through. Basically, there’s no such thing as a weakness.

Do you have any other tips? Leave them in the comments so we can all learn from each other and don’t forget there’s a pinnable image at the bottom of the post so you can save it for later!

My tips on how to prepare for an interview, pinnable graphic

The London Job Hunt

Strolling around London on interview day! My London job hunt experience

As a final year student, absolutely the worst question I could be asked was “what are you doing after uni?” My answer was always, “getting a job in London” and I made it sound so easy. I’ll move to London, get my dream job in marketing and start living the city girl lifestyle I’d been dreaming of.

How optimistic was I?! Job hunting is hard anywhere, but the level of competition and opportunity in the capital make it completely overwhelming.

Firstly you have to decide what type of job you want, made ten times harder when you don’t even know what jobs are out there and you see adverts for jobs you never even knew existed! Then you have to decide whether you want to work in a start-up, a small tight-knit team where perhaps you can feel like you make more of an impact, or a larger corporate company with international offices bringing travel possibilities and greater chances of sinking or swimming.

Then you have to actually find the jobs. Trawling through linked in and indeed, career websites and essentially finding the same jobs on every single one of them. Sending off thousands of CV’s to get maybe 10 replies. 7 will be rejections, 2 might be invitations to participate in an online test that will take you about three hours to then be told that all positions are currently full, with only one being a telephone interview that will result in another online test.

It can really feel like one massive, encapsulating and draining circle of application and rejection. But with each rejection or interview you undoubtedly learn something new.

I actually really enjoy interviews. #controversialopinion

At the end of the day, they want you to do well, they need someone to do the job hence why they are interviewing in the first place. All an interviewer really wants to do is find out if you are the right fit for a company. I like to see an interview as the chance to go into the offices, meet members of the team and see whether or not it would be a fit for me, it’s a two way process. I guess it’s a bit like speed dating, you both want to find out each other’s best qualities and see if you have that spark. If you are interviewing for a job you are passionate about then you already know all the answers. You know why you want the job so all you have to do is tell them!

I am by no means claiming to be an expert at interviews. I’ve maybe had 7/8 in my life! But, out of those 7/8 I can say that by seeing the interview as an opportunity rather than something terrifying, I portrayed myself truly and confidently in each one. It’s a hard skill to practise and I’ve not by any standards mastered it, but it’s a skill I am so grateful I was taught at school. As we got older we would have interview practise days, where we would have recruiters or managers brought in and we would be interviewed for made up jobs.

One such interviewer started by shaking our hands as each of us came in the room. We were then split, roughly half and half. The half on the left were told they wouldn’t be considered for a role after their initial handshake. They lacked vigour, intent and firmness. The right half had made it past the first hurdle.

This has stayed with me for two reasons. Firstly, because it was the most savage thing I’d ever seen at 16. Secondly, because it showed me just how important it was to be confident.

So I guess, in amongst the chaos of the city, it’s important to be confident. Remember why you wanted to work in London/that industry in the first place and show that passion to everyone else. People told me I was mad for wanting to move to London, it’s too fast, too big, too crazy, but for me I knew it was the only place where I’d have the career opportunities I wanted. Whilst the dream is seeming a little far away at the moment, in the midst of interviews and researching, knowing that I’m working for it is making it that little bit more exciting.

How do you deal with looking for a job? Do you have any tips for job hunting? Leave them in the comments I’d love to read them!

PS! The photo’s were taken on interview day – keep your fingers crossed for me!!

Work wardrobe staple; to my interview I wore this blue spotty phase 8 shirt dress
My experience of hunting for a job in London as a recent university graduate!