I’m Unemployed…What Should I Blog About?

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Whenever I speak about social media and the job search to those that are unemployed, I always have a few attendees who “see the light” and get excited about blogging.  They see the advantages of blogging to start sharing information through social media and establishing their personal brand as part of their job search strategy.  The problem is that they don’t know what to blog about!

If you are unemployed or soon to be in career transition, there are lots of things that you can be blogging about.  I don’t mean blogging about your job search experience, either.  I’m speaking of things that will help you strengthen your personal brand, appear more attractive to potential hiring managers, and help you get found in social media.

Before I even talk about what to blog about for the unemployed, let’s review the 7 benefits of blogging:

  • Blogging is the best way to build and showcase your personal brand
  • Blogging helps differentiate you from everyone else
  • Blogging brings you new opportunities
  • Blogging is the ultimate Pay It Forward
  • You’re Already Tweeting…Why Not Add Your Own Original Views in More Depth?
  • You Can Start to Monetize Your Knowledge
  • Because You Can

By now you are hopefully bought in to the fact that blogging is beneficial not just to those in a job search but to any professional.

Next we should talk about my Golden rule of Blogging: Blog about topics that your target audience is interested in.

If you are looking for a job, your target audience will naturally be the hiring managers at your target companies within a particular industry or profession.  What use is your blog, no matter how useful it may actually be to someone, if it does not stimulate your target audience?   By blogging about your expertise, hiring managers who find your blog will have a solid hold of who you are, what you can do, and how important you can be when part of their company.

So what exactly do you blog about?  If you’re targeting hiring managers, your most natural blogging content should come from your own expertise and experience:

1) Blog About Your Work Experience

The best thing that you can do if you are unemployed is to show off your expertise.  You have probably already prepared for interviews and created SAR (Situation-Action-Result) paragraphs in your resume and LinkedIn profile.  If this is the case, why not use a SAR and create a blog post around it?  Or maybe talk about some of your career accomplishments and takeaways that other professionals can learn from?  Offer insight that will help other professionals in the same situation.  But remember that because of NDAs with previous employers, make sure you do not reveal any information that would violate agreements that you have already concluded with past companies you have worked for!

2) Blog About The Latest News

Another strategy is to blog reactively to news about your industry and/or profession.  If you don’t know them by now, get to know the websites and blogs which feature news and current events about your field of expertise.  More than just offering your own insights to all of these happenings and giving the public your own opinion, why not take it a step further and back up your claims with projects you have done in the past?  This way, you hit two birds with one post: providing your own views and opinions on the matter while leveraging your expertise.  Just like that, you’ll be able to create thought-leadership blog posts that are authentic because you can back it up with your actual experience.  It will also show that you are up-to-date on the latest trends in your industry.

3) Book Reviews

What are the latest must-read books for your industry and/or profession?  Why not talk about the most popular books in your industry or profession, not only showing that you are keeping ahead of the curve but also sharing information and displaying your expertise?  There is nothing as compelling as a convincing book review about your line of profession.  Not many can even find the time to start or even finish reading a book these days (blame it on social media, right? ;-).  Being able to have finished one, understand it and share a certain degree of directed information towards your target audience will obviously help you be seen in a positive light.

4) Industry Exhibitions or Professional Association Meeting Reports

You are still attending these despite your job search, right?  Then write about them and share your experiences and expertise to those that were not able to attend!

If you remember the golden rule of blogging, you can see that there really is never a lack of things to blog about, even for those that are in a job search.   The Internet itself provides a huge pool of opportunities for you to find something to reactively blog about.  That being said, if you run out of things to blog about, you may want to start slow.  I suggest starting to blog once a week, and if you run out of content to blog about, then that may be a sign that you need to be reading more books or attending more professional events!!!

Neal Schaffer
The Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Maximize Social Business, Neal Schaffer is a leader in helping businesses and professionals strategically maximize their use of social media. Neal is the author of three social media books, including the recently published definitive social media strategy book Maximize Your Social. Forbes lists him as a Top 35 Social Media Power Influencer and AdAge lists his blog, Maximize Social Business (formerly known as Windmill Networking), as a top 100 global marketing blog. Neal provides social media strategy consulting and coaching, having worked with Fortune 500 companies and a Grammy-award winning musician. He has presented worldwide on social media at more than 150 events and also teaches social media marketing at Rutgers University. +Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer

@nealschaffer

Author, @MaxYourSocial | Founder @msocialbusiness | Trilingual Social Media Strategy Consultant, Coach, and Speaker | 日米ソーシャルメディア専門家|G+: https://t.co/BqaJvubiP8
No better place to relax your feet than in front of a fire ;-) http://t.co/JzsPYzGCNC http://t.co/uaivFKLPlW - 3 hours ago
Neal Schaffer
PeopleLinx

Comments

  1. julialindsey says

    What a great idea. I never really thought about blogging to get a job.It would give the employer the opportunity to see your communication style. I love the idea of using an SAR to demonstrate your approach to a problem. Some of the things that you blog about would be a possible question on an interview. The blog would give you practice refining your answer to a variety of questions

    Julia M Lindsey
    Our Little Books

  2. says

    Thanks Julia! Well, there are many reasons to be blogging, and if you think about blogging as the ultimate way to proactively control how people perceive of your online presence, it is a personal branding tool that _every_ professional should be considering!

  3. Deanne says

    This is a brilliant article. Thank you so much, I'm recently unemployed and had thought about blogging, but didn't know what to blog about. Some great tips here. Now I realise I have a lot to offer the world and potential employers. :)

  4. V. Temsie says

    This really is a great article, but it seems to be suited to someone more mid-career. I’m 26, and at the beginning of my career, and, quite frankly, still trying to figure out exactly what it is I want to do “when I grow up.” I have experience in event planning, the performing arts, sales, and social media. I realize I could create a blog that is just on how to use social media to sell performances and things like galas and fundraisers for arts organizations, but that seems like too much of a niche market, as I’m not sure I want to limit myself to a non-profit career. My other options would be to post about each one of these aspects separately, but then I feel that my blog would be too vague. What should I do?

    • says

      If you consider “professionals” those who are working, that would be an average age range of 22 to about 60, so at 26 your are on the “younger” side of the spectrum. That being said, I knew people in college who had life experiences that were deeper and broader than a lot of people I know today. So don’t think you don’t have enough experience to blog about!

      I believe that the most important thing here is to know why you want to blog. What is your objective? If it is to build a personal brand, you need to start defining what that is. For instance, I speak fluent Japanese and Chinese but it may not be apparent if you read my blog. Why don’t I mention it more? Because it’s irrelevant to my average customer. I do try to work in these experiences sometimes, but they are not front and center. Just because you have a lot of experiences it doesn’t mean you have to weave all of them into your personal brand, only those that will help you reach your objective.

      So you need to start thinking about what you want to do and how your brand will help you get there. Your blog will now help fuel your brand and achieve your objective. There are creative ways of tying in all of your experiences into a single brand, but that is an art in itself and will require time. What’s more important is what you want to do in your future. I don’t think anything is too niche these days…there are lots of bloggers who talk about social media for non-profits, so your concentrating on the arts side is a great topic which will definitely help you get noticed just by the fact that not many are doing it. But, once again, if this doesn’t interest you, you need to start blogging about what does interest you.

      Sorry to make this a long speech, but I hope it does provide you some information that you can use. Please feel to respond to my comment should you have additional questions!

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