There’s about 80 gazillion blogs out there, and most of them don’t make money. Okay, so that’s a slight exaggeration, and there’s no way to know for sure how many bloggers earn a full time income, but studies suggest it’s about 5%. That’s tiny. But, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t blog at all. In fact, there are plenty of amazing blogging skills to use on your resume if you decide you want to share it. I know a lot of bloggers are mommies trying not to forget the outside world while they raise their darling little children, and once the kids go back to school those mommies might want to get out of the house to work. So, I’m going to show you a few things to make all this blogging relateable to other jobs. Before I get to it, though, I want to tell you a little personal anecdote.
I have a master’s degree in higher education, and one day several years ago I found myself at a job interview for a position I was overqualified for, but would get me out of the for-profit university system. Everything was going fine until the interviewer asked me about my social media presence, which, before this blog, was non-existent. When I told him that, the interview basically ended. Even though social media wasn’t mentioned in the job description, he knew he would be adding that component. So, yeah, I lost a job for not having a Twitter account. Now, I’m not saying that’s typical. What I am saying is don’t discount your blog just because it’s not profitable – you never know when these blogging skills to use on your resume will be needed.
Should you Mention Your Blog on Your Resume?
First thing’s first. You have all these valuable blogging skills to use on your resume, but do you even want to list them? Some say yes; some say maybe. There wasn’t anyone I could find who said flat-out no, so that’s a plus. The IRS will let you choose if your blog is a hobby or a business which says to me that there is no definitive answer here. If the IRS is letting you deduct your blogging expenses, you’ve likely made it far enough that you wouldn’t want to leave the blog off your resume. If not, it probably depends on whether or not it’s related to the job you’re applying for. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tell your employers about it at all. Luckily, Linkedin has great opportunities for users to put all their skills out there, whether they list them on their actual resume or not.
That being said, if you get far enough in the hiring process and you have an active blog with your real name on it, hiring managers are going to see it if they do their due diligence. If you use a pen name that won’t be an issue; I personally write academic papers with my maiden name. If I would have had more backbone I’d do everything with my maiden name. Instead every time my husband tells our son how important his last name is I’ll tell my daughter how insignificant hers is so she might as well tarnish it at every opportunity. Passive aggression is fun! Anyway, if they’re going to know what you’re writing about regardless, you might as well get ahead of it and claim the skills up front.
List of Blogging Skills to Use on Your Resume
Oh, hey, obvious much? This one seems stupid, until you start putting numbers to it. For example, marketers that use blogs get 67% more leads than non-blogging marketers. That link has lots of other fun statistics about blogging as marketing, and if you’re going on a job interview, you might want to bust some of them out when discussing your blogging skills. Not only can you write blog posts, you know what good they can do. How awesome are you? For a great story of how someone used their blog to work all the way up to The New York Times, read about Choire Sicha here.
Be careful with this one. If you’re website is full of errors (or if you can’t find the error in this sentence – yes, I know it’s there, and yes, this is a test) you probably shouldn’t mention editing as a skill. If, on the other hand, you take your writing seriously, editing is a great strength. What employer doesn’t want clean reports? If you’re not a good editor but you think you might want to use this as a skill for a future job, it’s common to use software to help you edit. I recommend Pro Write. It’s helped me learn a lot about professional writing, and although I admittedly write like I’m speaking here, all the reports have been super helpful in my real job. Here’s an affiliate link to get you started:
3. Website Development/Design
Again, I wouldn’t claim this one unless you mean it. Anyone can pick a theme off WordPress. It’s super easy (read how to start a blog here if you’re just considering one now). If that’s all you did to your blog, don’t mention this. If, however, you know words like widget and coding, perhaps this is something you want to talk up. Most employers will hire you specifically to design websites, so it’s not necessarily a skill you’ll need unless it’s a development job, but you can always mention how you’d be happy to spruce up a business’s website if needed.
4. Social Media
You’ve already heard my Twitter story, but social media management is much bigger than many people know. My husband just finished his MBA at the University of Tennessee, and they have a system set up that goes into so much detail about social media marketing it’s insane. There are jobs out there specifically to run major companies social media accounts – think of how Dictionary.com had to get someone new to compete with Merriam Webster’s awesome Twitter usage – but every company needs social media in our current climate, whether they know it or not.
Social media is marketing, but you might want more traditional blogging skills to use on your resume, so marketing by itself is fine. Think of all you do. Pinterest marketing, affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, blah blah blah. Even if you aren’t the one coming up with the marketing ideas yourself, you’ve probably executed so many of them you’d be able to bring your skills to a new company. Marketing is another one of those skills that every business needs, so it can’t hurt to mention it. I have a friend who does marketing for a wound care center, for example. Yep. Wound care. Who knew?
6. Time Management
Unless you are a part-time blogger with no kids who doesn’t work anywhere else or go to school (does someone like that exist?), you have undoubtedly become an expert at managing your time. The time commitments of blogging are no joke, and many bloggers have so much else going on I’m not sure how any blog ever makes it. I’m not even sure how I do it. You’re probably safe using this blogging skill on your resume no matter what job you’re applying for, so I would take some time to show how you manage all that you do.
I know there are more blogging skills to use on your resume, like photography and branding, but I think these are applicable to the broadest swath of jobs. What do you think, fellow bloggers? Do you have other skills you will be using on future resumes?