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My journey into the working world of advertising has been somewhat unconventional. When I left college, I had no idea what I wanted to do, so I just worked at the finance company all of my friends worked at. When I came back from working abroad, I accidentally fell into caring for adults with learning disabilities and I LOVED it. But after 7 years, I worked my way up to manager and I started to hate it. Unless you have worked in a care company, it is hard to explain what it is like when you get to the higher levels. I worked my way up to service co-coordinator (basically a supervisor), hoping I would be able to action changes that made the customers lives better, but the truth is the people at the top of my organisation couldn’t have cared less about anything other than making money. I realized that I was happier working with the customers, but I simply couldn’t afford to go back to being a carer (the money carers make is scandalous, they deserve the world).
By this time, my blog had been going a good few years. Through contacts made, I had picked up some freelance work looking after some companies social media accounts. When I left my care job, I was honestly terrified, without a clue what to do next. So I used my blog and the very small amount of freelance pieces of work I had done as my CV. I walked out of my care job on the Tuesday, and by the Friday I had a job at a digital start-up with lush offices in the middle of Camden Market. From there, I LEARNED. What we did was on the periphery of programmatic media buying, which is what I do now, but I didn’t leave the software developer alone with my constant questions. Despite the fact I wasn’t doing it, I learned the entire programmatic landscape. This helped me secure a job at a very small ad agency when the start-up went bust, get my six months of experience using the ad-buying software and then (as was always my plan/dream), I got a job at one of the “big four” advertising agencies, where I have now worked for three years and worked my way up three levels to manager.
And this is all from using my blog as a CV.
Why should I use my blog as a CV?
I can appreciate, that because we tend to blog about things that are quite personal sometimes, it can be intimidating thinking about using your blog as a CV. But you need to outweigh the pros and the cons. Yes, it might seem trivial to show your potential employer posts about your favourite lipstick, but running a blog demonstrates several valuable skills. Organisation, for a start, is something that you need to run a successful blog. You need to ensure you are consistent with your posts and hold yourself accountable for getting them completed and posted on time.
SEO is another skill that many bloggers need to learn off of their own backs, and if you are applying for a digital marketing role, this is invaluable to your potential employer. You might be able to show your potential employer in an interview a very high-ranking post to prove how well you understand the SEO process.
How can I use my blog as a CV?
Even if you are planning to use your blog as part of your CV, you will still need to write a good CV in general. If you want to use your blog, you should use this as part of your CV, to demonstrate the skills it has given you outside of your day job. One of the best tips I can give you is to have a couple of different CV’s available for different roles, where your skills are ordered by relevance. For example, if you work in retail, and are looking for a retail job, you would list your retail experience first but then put your blog under hobbies, and list some of the extra skills your blog has given you that could apply to a retail role.
However, if you are applying for a job that is more in the digital marketing field, there is nothing wrong with listing your blog right up there first above your day job, because this is the experience that is relevant to the role that you are applying for. This is the place to show off all of the skills you have learned from running your own blog, and trust me there are many that you can use to show an understanding of digital marketing. Scheduling social posts, for example, is a skill that is worth noting. It’s also worth noting how well you read analytics. Being able to gauge the success of a campaign is incredibly important in the digital marketing space, so if you can prove how you use your social media analytics to increase your blog views then this will look great to a potential employer.
There are even a lot of basic skills bloggers tend to teach themselves, that can be useful in certain roles in the digital space. I haven’t personally ever met a blogger that doesn’t know their way around an excel spreadsheet, and excel is one of the most universally sought out skills in the job marketplace.
Quick tips for using your blog as a CV
- create more than one CV
- start making a list as you complete blogging tasks of which skills you are using
- use SEO results or social campaign results to show off your most successful blogging work
- instead of just linking to your blog, link to a certain post that you feel showcases your skills
Love to know your thoughts guys?