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Blogging Skills to Use on Your Resume

Alexander Mils instagram.com/alexandermils

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?

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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

1. Writing

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.

2. Editing

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:

Writing Improvement Software

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.

5. Marketing

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?

 

This list of blogging skills to use on your resume can help you return to work or upgrade your position, even if you're not a super successful blogger. #blogging #resumes #resumewriting #bloggers #jobhunting #bloggingskills This list of blogging skills to use on your resume can help you return to work or upgrade your position, even if you're not a super successful blogger. #blogging #resumes #resumewriting #bloggers #jobhunting #bloggingskills This list of blogging skills to use on your resume can help you return to work or upgrade your position, even if you're not a super successful blogger. #blogging #resumes #resumewriting #bloggers #jobhunting #bloggingskills
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Self-Employed Goal Setting: What Works

Self-employed goal setting, in my opinion, is more important than setting goals when you’re an regular ole’ employee. I’m not talking about managers or owners, because obviously they need to create goals, but the peons. Peons isn’t an insult, by the way. That’s just how I thought of myself when I worked outside of my home. Those goal-setting meetings with the bosses were the worst. Seriously, such a waste of time. What are you supposed to say? My goal is to get your job in two years? Or, even better, my goal is to continue doing exactly the same thing I’m already doing every single day because this job requires no creativity. Awesome! But self-employed goal setting is a whole different ball game.

I am obviously self-employed, and if you aren’t aware of what I do, it’s bookkeeping. I have a couple of clients,  but not too many or I couldn’t survive working at home with kids, and I don’t intend to grow my business. You might be wondering why I need goals at all in that place, but I’d argue if I didn’t have goals my business would fail entirely – not to mention this blog. Why would I keep doing it? No one’s making me. I answer only to me. Goals help me stay motivated. But, goal setting can be quite the tricky task, so here’s what research has to say about it.

Is Self-Employed Goal Setting Necessary?

Well, the easy answer is yes. That’s pretty obvious, right? The science is in. Back in the 90s, researchers Dr. Edwin Locke and Dr. Gary Latham basically ruled goal setting research, and everything since then kind of stems from that. The gist is goal setting can be a motivator and improve performance if the goals are clear and the setter isn’t too rigid about achieving them. They came up with five principles of goal setting: clarity, challenge, commitment, feedback, and task complexity. You can read more about those principles here. So, we’ve got a pretty good idea that goal setting works. Now, how does that pertain to self-employed folks? Bloggers, this means you too, whether you’re making money yet or not.

If you’re reading this, you probably are self-employed, or you’re thinking about it. We all know how hard it is, right? We have to do everything on our own, DIY style, and we often sell ourselves short. This is where goals come in. Whether they’re financial, knowledge-based, or something else, if we have something to work towards, it will help us make up for the fact that we don’t have someone to work for. So, the 80% of you small business owners who don’t monitor your goals, it’s time to jump on the self-employed goal setting bandwagon.

For the Goal Haters

Not on board yet, huh? Look, I get it. Making goals sucks. It’s a hassle, it’s a bummer when you don’t hit them, yada yada yada. You can even use find articlesthat prove goal setting doesn’t work, albeit without any citations, although that doesn’t seem to be an issue in this fake news society.  That’s fine. I have my own article about hating schedules, even though everyone and their mother swears they’re necessary if you work from home.  But here’s the thing… I do have a schedule. It’s not a minute-by-minute calendar, but I use an automated to-do list, and I absolutely know which ones have deadlines and which ones don’t. And you goal haters, even if you aren’t writing them down or calling them goals, you know you have them too. Everybody wants something, so call it whatever you want and use it to further your business.

How to Be Successful in Goal Setting

Workplace with notebook on black background

First off, actually hitting your goal isn’t necessarily the successful part. Some people even get sad when they complete their goals, so that can make self-employed goal setting even more confusing. What will make you successful is creating actionable goals that turn into action plans – hitting the goal is only icing on the cake. In fact, some studies have shown that having too specific of goals can hurt companies in the long run because they only focus on one thing and ignore everything else. So, here’s the best steps you can take for goal setting.

Write your goals down.

Your goals need to be out there in the world somehow, so you have a way to track them. If you have other employees under you, you might want to share them, but research is mixed on whether or not you need to tell people about them. I don’t personally; since I work alone I don’t see the point. I usually scribble my quarterly goals down and after I’ve had a chance to go over them I’ll put them into my to-do list and toss out my notes. Also, you need to try and find the sweet spot between too vague and too specific – good luck!

Create actions you can do to achieve your goals.

Think of how you can make your new goals happen. What steps do you need to take? Is there something you can work on every day to help you reach that goal? Hopefully there is, because if you can work on something daily you make it into a habit, and habits are more important than goals. Think about it; if you have a blogging goal to get 100 new Twitter followers, and every day you made 8 comments on someone else’s Twitter feed, it’d become a habit, and you’d easily be able to continue long after you met your goal. Then you should keep increasing followers without much effort. That’s a made up goal, by the way. I have no idea if that would work.

Check your progress.

This one’s pretty easy. Remember how I said I put my goals in my to-do list? Those dates are usually arbitrary, but when they pop up it’s an excellent time for me to reevaluate everything I’m doing. Am I making progress? Did I accomplish the whole thing and need to start something new? You don’t necessarily need a hard date to check on things, but you do need to update your action plan every so often to see if those habits are useful or not. I’m obsessed with my to-do list, probably because of all that dopamine, so when it’s time to check the big goals I have the best time crossing off little goals and making new ones.

Accept that you won’t make all your goals.

I put my goals into writing so I can figure out my action plans, but I don’t really care one way or another if I hit specific targets. I don’t know what I’m doing most of the time, so I have to keep guessing what’s possible and what isn’t. Your business is likely more serious mine, though, and I know how crushing it must feel when you miss a lot of goals. But… Eh. There are so many things outside of your control, if you focus on one particular number, you’re going to make yourself crazy. Remember, the important part is the actions. So when you miss another goal, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re failing. It might just mean it’s time to try something new.

I could probably write a book about self-employed goal setting, but I’ll refrain for now. Instead, let me know in the comments what works for you and what you do to create actionable goals. We’ll figure this out together!

 

Self-employed goal setting is important, even if you aren't a goal-oriented person. Learn about the best ways to set your goals, and what to do if you don't achieve them. #goals #goalsetting #selfemployed #workfromhome #motivation Self-employed goal setting is important, even if you aren't a goal-oriented person. Learn about the best ways to set your goals, and what to do if you don't achieve them. #goals #goalsetting #selfemployed #workfromhome #motivation
Survival Guide

Survival Guide to Working at Home with Kids

Working at home with kids is seriously the worst, friends. No, really, it’s exhausting. So if you’re thinking about doing it, or you are doing it and you’re feeling overwhelmed, there’s a few things you need to know. Of course, this mostly pertains to kids who aren’t in school yet. If they’re in school, they’re not with you, right?

Surviving Working at Home with Kids

Full time is NOT an option without help.

Working at home with kids is exhausting, to say the least. Learn how to survive it if you're crazy enough to try it. #WAHM #workingfromhome #workfromhome #moms #kids
You can trust me, look how fancy my office is.

It might feel like I work thirty-two hours a day, but the timeclock usually says about four. Even without this blog (you can read how much of a time suck it is here), there is no way it would be possible for me to work forty hours a week at home while caring for my children. Actually caring, I mean. I could definitely let them watch TV and occasionally toss them a snack, I guess, but doesn’t CPS frown on that? And I’m sorry, but if you’re working full time with your kids and mostly paying attention to your kids, you either have a joke job or you’re not very good at whatever it is you do. Some people will think working at home with kids is totally fine, and you’ll get the best of both worlds that way. Those people are crazy. You might think this is not very helpful advice, and it isn’t, but if you do work full time from home and have a nanny or daycare, when people give you a hard time now you can show them this. 🙂

You need to have kid specific time.

Do you like to sit there on your phone or laptop with a toy in your hand and halfway pay attention to both your kids and your work? I’ve got news for you. You’re actually slowing yourself down this way. We’ve all heard about the problems with multitasking, but it’s not just that.  You don’t have to spend all day with your kids, but you do need quality time with them. That’s not me nagging you, that’s science. But regardless of science, I find that if I sit and play irritating games with my son for half an hour, he’ll leave me alone for half an hour. That means I can actually focus for thirty minutes. Not only do I get more done in a shorter period of time, but I also feel better about my parenting.

You have to leave the house.

It can be really tempting to stay at home forever when you work at home and your kids are there with you. Like, really tempting. But you do need to get out if you’re going to survive working at home with kids. For one thing, it’ll keep you from going stir crazy. For another, it will wear the kids out. That’s probably more important, isn’t it? Let them go crazy out in the real world so they sleep at home. I’m still relatively new in my city, so I joined a Meetup group for moms to help us all be social. I also discovered a coffee house that has a kids area in the back. There’s a ton of toys and an internet connection, so I can work while my son tests everything. That’s a great way to get out.

Prepping for naps is essential.

Working at home with kids is exhausting, to say the least. Learn how to survive it if you're crazy enough to try it. #WAHM #workingfromhome #workfromhome #moms #kids
They wind down, you power up.

Naptime is the best time to work, right? Besides getting up early or going to bed late (hey – that’s what I’m doing right now!). But, moms are tired too once naptime rolls around. It can be really tempting to run around doing something else and avoiding work. That’s why it’s important to prep your work area before you put the kids down. If everything’s already ready to go, you don’t have an excuse not to work, plus you maximize your working time.

Get comfortable with change.

Kids change and grow all the time. One minute they’re napping three times a day, the next they’re fighting twenty minutes of sleep. Their food changes, their energy changes, everything changes. So if you’re going to survive working at home with kids, you absolutely have to be prepared to change your routine, well, routinely. The biggest changes will come if you add another kid to the mix, of course. It’s like juggling when someone keeps throwing random items into your circle. Routines are good for kids, so you don’t have to abandon them, but make sure you do an honest assessment of your work every couple of months or so. You might have to adjust yourself or the kids.

Working at home with kids is exhausting, to say the least. Learn how to survive it if you're crazy enough to try it. #WAHM #workingfromhome #workfromhome #moms #kids

Working at home with kids is exhausting, to say the least. Learn how to survive it if you're crazy enough to try it. #WAHM #workingfromhome #workfromhome #moms #kids

Working at home with kids is exhausting, to say the least. Learn how to survive it if you're crazy enough to try it. #WAHM #workingfromhome #workfromhome #moms #kids