Why you should publish content when you’re looking for a job
Want a job? Work on your digital footprint. Seriously.
Ever feel like it’s impossible to stand out in a sea of other candidates? We know the feeling.
No matter what industry you want to work in, publishing thoughtful, relevant articles and blog posts and sharing them on social media can help you stand out to recruiters. Hiring managers may search your name online; when they discover that you've been publishing content, it shows you've got opinions and ideas, and you take the initiative to get your voice out into the world.
“Recruiters can also get a sense of your writing style and personality from your post,” says Kyra Mancine, a social media specialist at the recruiting office of Oldcastle, a global manufacturer and distributor of building products. “Anything you can do to stand apart from other candidates is a plus.”
But before you dive in, there are a few questions that need answering. With so many websites that could potentially host your content, which ones should you prioritize? How often should you publish? And, the most difficult question of all, what should you write about?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Check out these five tips detailing what, where, for whom and when you should publish content when you’re looking for a job.
What: Repurpose content you created in school
Those hours and hours of writing papers don’t have to go to waste once you have your degree. Why not revisit them and make something new for recruiters to see online?
Alan Guinn, managing director and CEO at The Guinn Consultancy Group, Inc. based in Bristol, Tennessee, advises taking this approach.
“One idea I often float among MBA and Ph.D. candidates I counsel is to connect the dots between research papers they have written and publish their ideas as a book,” Guinn says. “Even [by creating] an e-book, the job candidate can gain significant notoriety in his or her field as an expert and enhance his or her choices for future jobs by being published.”
And of course, commenting on current events is a solid way to get noticed. “Consider posting your own fact-supported take on an industry issue,” says Tara M. Clapper, a blog editor for SEMrush, a search and digital marketing media site. “If you work in marketing, for example, do you have an industry-leading opinion on which live streaming platforms will maintain popularity in the long run? Is there data to support your stance?”
Clapper recommends using an online data service portal, like Statista, to help you craft your take. Or you could look into government, university or think tank data sets. Also, don’t forget to research what others have written on your topic.
Where: Post on multiple platforms
The more you post, the greater your potential reach. The more your content is amplified online, the higher the likelihood that a recruiter will take notice through social media and search engines. That’s why you should publish content on multiple platforms.
As someone who knows a thing or two about getting found, Clapper suggests you publish on LinkedIn Pulse, Medium or your own professional website for starters. Try to get your work published on a reputable industry blog or news site as a guest writer.
For whom: Your target audience
You may be publishing content that’s related to your industry, but is it also related to the position you’re applying for? The content you put out in hopes of attracting hiring managers’ eyes should be specifically tailored for who is going to be reading it.
“Take the time to research the industry professionals you need to reach,” says Gabe Fenigsohn, a research manager at Cardwell Beach, a business consulting firm located in Brooklyn, New York. “What do they read, what feeds are they on and who are their connections? When stellar work meets the right eyes, social media content really does have the capacity to get you the interview.”
When: Publish regularly
What happens online stays online. That’s usually a good thing for job candidates who are proud of the work that they’ve displayed on the web, especially bloggers who are eager to expose evidence of their expertise.
Zaki Usman, CEO of mobile app InterQ located in Ottawa, Canada, suggests posting content routinely once a week. If that’s too much, aim for once a month and work up to once a week.
“Using a set routine is a great way to show discipline in your attitude,” Usman says. “And remember to follow up the blog post by promoting it through Twitter and LinkedIn. Most recruiters will try to find your social footprint, so it’s good to give them something professional to look at.”
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