Your old resume might be your best teacher when it comes to content marketing.
Think back to the last time you applied for a job; how much time did you spend crafting your resume? How thoroughly did you research the company you were applying to? Did you prepare your references beforehand? How many drafts did you try?
Now think about your last blog post. Any similarities?
Chances are, you’ve spent a lot more time on your resume than you have on your blog posts. And, if not, you’re either an incredibly successful blogger or you’re unemployable. Either way, you probably don’t need to be reading this post.
So how does a resume make you a better blogger? Well, what turns a good resume into a great resume?
Focused on results and benefits
Great resumes don’t just tell prospective employers what you can do, they also tell them what you have done. A solid job applicant has experience and education that they can point to, but a great applicant can show a prospective employer their past performance complete with testimonials, results and concrete numbers. Resumes that talk about skills only in theory do not impress employers. They see it as a sign of an uncreative mind.
If you talk about things you’ve done in a blog post without backing it up with numbers, your credibility suffers. If you’re publishing a case study, or talking about monetizing a blog, or sharing your secret success formula, you have to back it up with real numbers or you get nowhere.
Back what you say with testimonials
Resumes all include references, and likewise, your content should be well-supported by high-quality references in the form of links, supporting posts, testimonials, and social proof.
Treat your brand evangelists like you do your professional references on your resume; they should be people you respect, trust and have working personal relationships with.
Specific and actionable, leading to one conclusion
Your resume should lead your potential employer to only one conclusion: I have to hire this guy. Likewise, your content should lead your readers to a specific conclusion, whether it’s buying a product, implementing a strategy, reading another article, commenting, sharing on a social network, or subscribing to your RSS feed.
Write with your end goal in mind, and tailor your content to lead your reader directly to that goal. You don’t want to dance around your main objective in a resume; the same pattern should emerge in your content.
Provides inherent value
The benefits of hiring such an accomplished person shouldn’t be hidden under meaningless fluff; it must be obvious to the interviewer that you’re the person they need to hire. At every turn, the value of working with someone as incredible as yourself should be present.
Great content needs to give value to the reader in such a way that it’s impossible to miss or do without. Actionable, usable points or a beneficial discussion should be at the forefront of your reader’s mind, unobscured by fluff.
Customized to the reader
A resume custom-tailored to the potential employer garners a lot more attention than a general-issue letter beginning with “To Whom It May Concern…”.
You’ve got to know your audience. Speaking directly to your reader will net you a lot more attention than just pushing out writing for public consumption. So, with each post you crank out, ask yourself: How well do I know my audience?
Goes above and beyond what is expected
An old folk tale tells of a girl that so thoroughly customized her resume for a job at a Wal-Mart that they hired her even though that store wasn’t recruiting. Designer’s resumes that take forms outside of standard black-and-white text get both the employer’s attention as well as lots of viral attention online.
If you want to be more successful than other bloggers, you have to do what they are not willing or able to do; you have to take your content above and beyond the noise of content being pushed out across the web.
Taking your content beyond normal limits puts you in a unique group of successful bloggers. I hope you remember me when you’re famous, but hopefully, if I’m learning as much as you will be, we’ll be there together.