Hack College posted an article on the Case for Student Blogging and @KellySutton posted the same question on Twitter as part as a competition to win a Hack College t-shirt. I’ve been wanting to write about this for some time, so it seems like a good time as any.
I’m going to write a few segments:
- Whether you already have a blog
- How it can get you an internship/job
- My personal experience
- Other intangible benefits
- Whether blogging restricted just to people like me, ie those interested in social meda.
But I Already Have A Blog!
Actually, no, you probably don’t. Having a Meepok Blog (ie one where you talk about the meepok you had over lunch) is not a blog. It is a blog in that you’re capturing down your thoughts, but it’s not a blog where you’re adding value. And that’s the kind of blog you need to have if you’re in school, especially a university looking for an internship and/or employment.
Seriously? A Blog Helping Me Find A Job?
Yes. An article got featured in the New York Times about Christopher Penn’s (from Marketing Over Coffee) social media resume about the same time that Seth Godin questioned the need for a resume at all. ie: Your blog should speak for itself. Granted, we’re early days into this line of thinking, but if you’re just entering university now, a lot can change in the four years till you graduate and join the workforce. In fact, I just saw a social media internship today saying that including a blog and/or Twitter stream would be helpful.
My Personal Experience
I started this blog with no expectations except to contribute to the community. However through it I’ve gotten an invitation to advise a company on internal/external blogging, to be a panelist at a conference that costs $680 to attend and three internships. (Full disclosure: I couldn’t take up two of them, the third has yet to be confirmed). Ultimately it doesn’t matter whether or not it works out. The point here is: When was the last time you heard of offers coming your way just via a blog? No formal submission of resume, no cover letter? It’s a whole new world that frankly, surprised me as well.This can happen to you. But you have to start right now.
Other Intangible Benefits
As the world progresses, more and more of our lives are going to be lived online. Blogging/Tweeting/Podcasting etc creates and online presence and reputation for you. When your prospective employer Googles your name (and believe me, they will), you don’t want the first thing they see to be a story of you drunk at a club via your friend’s blog. You want them to see a thoughtful article you’ve written. Online reputation for your personal brand is priceless, and the difference between a good or bad one is how much effort you put in to develop it.
Another intangible that I’ve found particularly for me, is that it helps me write better and faster. I take an average of 20-30 mins to punch out a blog post. That translates to my school work where I’m writing papers and it takes me 45 minutes to get two pages out and send it for editing. Lightning fast.
Final point on intangibles, the great thing about everything being online is relationships. Whatever you blog about, the chances that someone will pick it up is always there, someone may be scanning Twitter for keywords that you mention in your blog, or simply Googling randomly or using StumbleUpon. Why not provide them an opportunity to connect to you?
But I Don’t Blog About Social Media!
It doesn’t matter. Your blog can be on anything. Drawings/sketches if you’re looking to be a creative in advertising. Commentary on the sub-prime crisis if you’re in finance. What changes in interest rates mean if you’re studying economics. Anything that you can point your future employer to and say “Look, I’ve been on top of this stuff for awhile now, and that makes me more valuable to hire than the other person who just submitted a resume with his grades.”
So what do you think? Are you reading this right now and thinking “Bullshit”, or are you thinking of what to name your blog? Let me know. If you’re thinking of starting a blog but you’re unsure of what to do/how to get about doing it, feel free to drop me a comment as well. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I’d like to help if I can.