So you want a blog job……
Well some of you seem to if the amount of traffic and subscribers to the feed at the Job Boards are anything to go by.
I’ve just been chatting to a number of the advertisers who have listed jobs and there have been three resounding pieces of feedback:
- They have had a lot of applicants.
- They’ve had some amazing quality applicants.
- They’ve also had some applicants who are not doing themselves any favors in the way they’ve applied for positions.
It’s this last point that I’d like to address in this post.
The fact is that there are significantly more people looking for blog jobs than there are jobs on the market at present. This is definitely changing as more businesses and networks emerge – however for the time being, if you are a blogger looking for work, you need to think quite carefully about how you apply for blogging jobs.
Here are 11 tips to keep in mind as you apply:
1. Act Quickly
Jobs are going quickly. Just a day after opening the boards I’d heard back from numerous advertisers that they thought they’d already found someone for their jobs. While I’d encourage applicants not to rush the process (and come across as not having thought it through) I would suggest that you need to act reasonably quickly when applying for a blog job or you could miss out. 24 hours is a long time in blogging – take any longer than that to express your interest in a job and you might miss out on it.
2. Follow the Instructions
Many of those advertising ask for specific things to be included in their applications. Some ask for examples of writing, others ask for links to your blogs, others ask you to answer a question and all ask you to apply in a certain way (generally via email to a certain email address). A consistent piece of feedback from advertisers has been that many applicants fail to apply in a way that is consistent with the instructions. Failing to show that you can follow steps outlined in a job advertisement isn’t a good first impression to a prospective employer.
3. Sell Yourself
I’ve noticed that at b5 when we last opened up for applications to join the network that quite a few bloggers seemed to be suffering from inferiority complexes and sent in applications that could almost have been interpreted as a list of reasons NOT to hire them. As with any other non blogging job, applicants should see their application as an opportunity to sell themselves for the blog in question. Give concise reasons why you would be good for the blog. Talk about your experience, your knowledge of the topic, your passion for communication, the way you work with others etc. There’s no need to present yourself as something that you’re not or to hype yourself up – but as you write ask yourself whether what you’re adding to your application would make someone more or less likely to hire you.
4. Write Well
Blogging is a written medium and your written application gives your prospective employer a hint as to how well you will perform. See your application as an audition in and of itself and put together a well written, well spelt, well structured application that demonstrates your grasp of grammar and the written language and you’ll be a step closer to securing the position.
5. Give examples of Your work
Most job ads ask for examples of your work so you should be prepared to give them as they can make or break your chances. There are a number of things to consider in the choices you make around what to give as examples:
- unless asked for full written examples include links to your work on your own blog/site (something a number of advertisers have fed back to me)
- if you do need to include full examples, put them at the end of your application where they won’t disrupt the flow of your application letter
- pick examples of your work that relate to the blog you’re applying for (for example pick examples that highlight your expertise in the topic and show off the style of writing that the blog would be in
- pick a number of posts that show your versatility and diversity of writing styles (ie you might like to submit a list post, a humorous post and a ‘how to’ type post.
- if you don’t have a suitable example already – write one specifically for the application
6. Be Concise
Advertisers are reporting that they are getting quite a few applications. I know from personal experience that it takes time to wade through them all so you can stand out by being concise and not overwhelming people with your applications. Don’t be too concise however as you do need to include everything that they ask for and sell yourself (see above).
7. Demonstrate a Knowledge of Blogging
Different jobs require different levels of experience in different fields but it would usually be an advantage to show your understanding of the medium. You can do this by showing your own blog (with a link) if you have one and ensuring that when your potential employer goes to look at it that it’s updated, professional and working. Give examples of how you’ve built your blog over time. If you don’t already have a blog then I’d highly recommend starting one. In my experience, most blog employers are looking for someone with at least some experience in blogging and even a basic personal one that you can show as an example of how you can maintain a blog over the long term can help your application.
8. Demonstrate a Knowledge of the Topic
This is vital in most cases. People don’t generally employ or contract people to write a blog for them on a topic that they have no knowledge in or passion for. Show that you have a good grasp of the topic by talking a little about it and how you’d tackle the blog. The examples of your writing can be a great place to do this.
9. Don’t apply for everything
I’ve discovered over the last few years that there are a few bloggers out there that are serial appliers for blog jobs. No matter what the topic they seem to apply for it, even though they have little or no understanding of the topic in many cases. While I know it can be frustrating to see jobs advertised that you’re not suitable for – it doesn’t do your reputation much good if you apply for them anyway.
10. Demonstrate that you’re willing to go beyond writing well
Over the last few months I’ve noticed a change in how blog networks are advertising for bloggers. While previously they seemed to be just looking for writers – these days they are also looking for people who will go beyond the basics of adding content and are looking for people who will demonstrate an ability to build a blog in other ways. So if you feel you have expertise in another area than just writing demonstrate this also. It might be blog promotion and marketing, it could be building community on a blog , it might be SEO or it could be blog design. The more skills you bring to the blog the more likely you are to get a second look in the initial filtering stage.
11. Stand Out from the Crowd
I’ve already alluded to the fact that there seems to be a significant oversupply in bloggers in comparison to blog jobs at present. This is definitely changing however you need to assume that when you send a job blog application that it will be one of a number of others. As a result you need to consider how you’ll stand out. You can do this by doing all of the above – but you might also want to consider how you can go above and beyond to get the attention of your potential employer. Don’t be gimmicky or cheesy – but be creative and entrepreneurial and you could just get an edge.