It’s occurred to me recently, that much like myself, a lot of bloggers are not particularly interested in the whole full time blogger thing. In fact, I blogged a little while back about how you don’t have to do what you love for a living (read that *here*), but something I haven’t really talked about before is how I utilise my blog when applying for jobs.
It’s also a good opportunity to share with you guys what I do for a living, and how I got into the industry because digital marketing does seem like a popular and sensible choice for those who love to blog.
How (and why) I got into the digital marketing industry
When I went to college back in 2006 (OMG 10 YEARS AGO WHAT), I decided to take the courses that I enjoyed the most, with no particular career in mind. I actually ended up dropping a subject because it wasn’t quite what I expected it to be, and because I did this it did limit my choices of which University to go to, as certain Universities didn’t accept that course. Luckily, the one I wanted to go to did accept it, so I’m glad I made the decision that I did.
All through college I was beginning to form the idea of what I wanted to do with my future, and by the time it came to making a decision about Uni, I knew I wanted to go into Journalism. I loved writing, and it seemed the best option for me at the time. So, joining some friends that were already studying at Portsmouth, I chose an accredited course in Journalism with Media Studies.
Fast forward a couple of years spent trying and failing to learn shorthand (probably a lot to do with the fact that my shorthand lessons always fell on the morning after a heavy night before), and learning about the ethics of journalism which clearly were being ignored by the tabloids, I came out of University desperately not wanting to be a journalist. Funny how life works, huh?
Luckily, I knew instead that I wanted to go into marketing.
About 6 months after graduating, I was one of the lucky ones – I managed to get a job that was sorta kinda related to my degree. It was a digital marketing executive role at a local theatre. Whilst at this point moreaboutcat was merely a minuscule glint in my eye, I had been dabbling with blogging and decided to bring this up in the interview. Y’know, it couldn’t hurt, right?
This job was an incredibly varied one. I was running a website, generating sales reports, working with designers to create brochures, designing posters and putting them up around the theatre. Plus a lot of other tasks that went way beyond the scope of a digital role. That’s just the way it is in the arts, darling.
I won’t break down my whole CV for you, but let’s just say that ever since that first role, I have always mentioned the fact that I blog in an job interviews. Without fail. It’d be silly not to – and not just for those that want to go into online marketing roles.
Should I put my blog on my CV?
Personally, I don’t think it’s crucial to put your blog on your CV. On mine, I mention that I blog in my ‘hobbies and interests’ section.
If the role is very specific to blogging then I’d maybe add the link or include a section as work experience just so I could break down in detail how the skills are transferable to the role. It really depends on what the role is you’re applying for, but if you don’t want your employers to see your blog, you are not obliged to share the link.
How to bring up your blog in a job interview
There’s no two ways about it – job interviews can be a scary situation to be in. You feel under pressure to say the right things and act in the right way to secure the position. But one of the comforts I find in going into an interview is that I have a great asset to bring up when answering any question they ask – my blog.
Why is it such a great asset? Because it shows that I am passionate about something, that I have an ongoing hobby that I use to sharpen my writing skills.
Let’s take a look at a few typical job interview questions, and how you can bring up your blog to provide a great answer (FYI, I’m using a few examples from Monster‘s guide on interview questions which is super handy).
What can you tell me about yourself?
This is a pretty obvious one, and easy to bring your blog up for. I’d mention my blog on this question primarily if the job wasn’t related to blogging in any way. Why? Because there’s probably going to be some questions later specifically about digital marketing or blogs that using my experience as a blogger is going to prove more useful for. You don’t want to overdo it because you’ll also need to talk about your other work experience throughout the interview.
However, if this is your first job interview, and you don’t have a CV to back you up, then go nuts.
Can you list your strengths?
Ah, this old chestnut. Running your own blog takes a lot of organisation, prioritisation and passion to maintain. There’s three great strengths I’ll let you have for free. But if you really think about it, there’s lots of other things you could mention here.
What weaknesses do you have?
Ugh, does anyone else hate this question? I always fumble a bit here because of how awesome I am. I kid. It’s because the last thing you want to do in an interview is come across as negative. The best way to answer this is by talking about something you want to develop. Think about how you want your blog to grow, and whether there’s particular areas that you want to put time into learning or improving.
Using your blog in this question is a great starting point for thinking of how best to answer it. Never, ever, say you don’t have any weaknesses. It’ll go down like a lead balloon.
What motivates you?
You know you’re motivated, but you need to prove it. Growing your blog and gaining more readers is a perfect example to throw in here. Keeping it up to date and honing your blogging skills is a great motivator and you’d be crazy not to use this to your advantage when answering this question. If your blog has allowed you to develop your writing, photography and/or social media skills, then BAM. The best opportunity to bring it up.
Hopefully this has proved useful to anyone considering pimping out their blog/blogging skills when looking for a job! I’ve worked in digital marketing now for over 5 years so holla if you ever have any questions!
Have you ever mentioned your blog on your CV/in an interview, or do you prefer to keep it private?