The virtues of strategically using a college blog to “brand” the blogger is seemingly catching on. However, it’s worth a word of warning that the emphasis on branding as a potent career tool may inadvertently become a liability. By overemphasizing the point which should be made clear by resume points, the true potential of a blog’s impact can easily be lost through duplication. Here, the argument that such a blog’s best branding content lies behind the mirror will hopefully provide some needed insight on the subject.

Natural Point of Aim

Perhaps relating marksmanship with using your blog to better brand yourself is fitting in that it will force your mind to create new associations, a theme you’ll want to use when blogging. When a sharpshooter takes aim at a bull’s eye, the goal is be in a natural position so the resting shooter need not force his sights to align with the target. Too often, the novice places the alignment of the sight ahead of finding a natural body alignment that guarantees the perfect sight-target relationship. The resulting shots of this mistake reveal the problem in a lack of consistently grouped hits. This is the result of not having a natural point of aim and bloggers can easily fall into this same trap and for very similar reasons.

Mirrors make for bad targets

Blogging to establish your own professional identity involves the combination of strategies, but like marksmanship, the order in which those strategies are employed is crucial and often neglected. One goal of writing a professional blog during college is to differentiate one’s self from others who have similar career objectives. If you think about a mirror in terms of your blog content, you’ll understand how writing a blog can effectively reflect the writer’s accomplishments, subject knowledge and awareness of industry trends. Unfortunately, if this is the focus of your blog’s content direction – congratulations – you’ve just become like everyone else. That face in the mirror has become just another face in the crowd. Like the unskilled target marksman, you’ve failed to adopt a proper position before focusing on your aim.

Blog behind the mirror

If you’re reading talknerdy2me, there’s a good chance that you’re among those whose performance has always been well above average. You may have participated in a gifted program before college and your academic pursuits are leading you into a focused career trajectory. Still, while your academic pedigree may get you noticed – along with many others – your blog can set you apart.  By sharing content that demonstrates your creativity, your exceptional analytic skills and your practical, yet sometimes unorthodox ability to solve complex problems—all talents you developed through your online education experiences distinguish you by your real worth. That’s what lies behind your mirror and that’s what – if your brand focusses first on these traits – will get you noticed as being exceptional, as in exceptionally well qualified over others.

Supporting your blog

LinkedIn, like a hammer, a target rifle, a computer, or any other tool, can be effectively used to support your branding efforts. Like most professional blogs, it can also relegate the writer to the thousands of other such bloggers. It’s no accident that LinkedIn recently added a series of new, non-default sections by which the account holder can truly differentiate themselves. Community activity, causes and volunteer experiences, to name a few, can be linked directly to the theme you’re conveying on your branding blog, supporting your career efforts and setting you still further apart from the competing talent.

Joseph Baker’s business experience in management spans more than 15 years. A leader of development and management teams, he also implemented budget reductions professionally and as an independent contractor. Joseph led strategic planning and systems of implementation for nine organizations, public and private, and worked extensively with small businesses. His education background ranges from teaching to school administration.