Q: I'm on the job hunt. How can blogs help? Do they help?
A: Sometimes blogs help. Sometimes they don't. One job seeker, a good writer in the arts, dropped her online extras after a year of no impact.
The advantage of having a blog, particularly if you're unemployed, is that employers may perceive you as doing something constructive while you search. If you do write well and decide to blog, don't stop there. Build employer traffic. Blogs are marketing vehicles to support your search. They're useless if you leave them suspended in the ether, unread by your target market.
Build even greater credibility by serving as a resource for established features online, because you compete against everyone else seeking bandwidth. Any site will likely command more traffic than your blog. At first, hunt for new sites hungry for sources and content. Work up to quotes on sites recognized in your industry.
Even one well-positioned link could separate you from the pack. Point employers to your quotes as marketing rather than PR pieces. Link to them on your resume or in (less-read) cover letters. Strive to develop opportunities, enhance your professionalism and get a job.
Q: I went back to business school at 49 and at 51 earned my AA in Accounting. I had a wonderful job in a small company, but I needed more hours.
The next company had good money and good hours, but they wouldn't pay bills. Then payroll checks bounced or wouldn't cash at all. I left. Eventually, State Unemployment got mine to clear.
Since then I haven't been able to find a position. I've been told I'm overqualified or underqualified.
I'm thinking of having someone rewrite my cover letter and I'd like your opinion on this, because I don't know how to express myself that well. Where do I find a reputable company to do this?
A: Dear Not, Revamping your cover letter won't significantly improve your chances if the resume that follows lets the reader down. Also, if you get someone to beef up both but you can't formulate ideas and express them in person, on paper and on the telephone, your candidacy will resemble Swiss cheese.
Ask people where you received your degree about career services for alumni. They should also know where others have gone to develop a successful campaign.
(Dr. Mildred Culp welcomes your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2011 Passage Media.)