I was a bit of a slacker last week as far as blogging is concerned. I offer apologies for missing two scheduled posts. Since my writing career so far has not materialized my lottery winner-sized salary, current economic circumstances require me to get a paying job. This has been cutting into my daydreaming writing. How dare real life horn in on my writing time? But I do enjoy a roof over my head and food in my belly, so a day job is priority at the moment.
I had an interesting experience on one job-hunting foray. The classified ad looked promising enough: (I am not listing it verbatim for obvious reasons but it is very close.)
Receptionist/vet assistant looking for dependable person for vet hospital. Computer knowledge a plus. Apply in person, no phone calls
I met the qualifications so I went to apply. When I walked into the office and informed them I was there about the job, I was given an application to fill out, no questions asked. I dutifully filled it out and offered my resume as well. The gatekeeper behind the desk scanned my resume and asked “What veterinary experience do you have?” I smiled and said, ‘None’. Her demeanor made a 180 degree turn. “Do you have ANY medical experience?” She didn’t try to hide her annoyance. “No m’aam” I replied, as my hope for a job deflated. She proceeded to give me a five-minute lecture about how I needed certification in this office’s specialty that takes three years to obtain, know very specific surgical procedures and be able to discuss medical terminology with the customers. “This is much more than just a receptionist job. You need to have years of experience doing this sort of thing.” Then she plastered on a smile and added “We’ll keep your application on file in case anything comes up.”
If the classified ad in my situation had been written listing the specific skills needed, it would have easily eliminated many possible candidates, myself included, before they got in the door. A second qualifier would have been in place with a contact number. By the office manager’s response to me, she had given this speech several times that day. With a clearly worded ad her time as well as the time of many job seekers would not have been wasted.
How does this relate to blogging?
When you write a blog post have these points in mind when writing so your readers aren’t wasting their time trying to figure out what they are going to get out of your post.
- Have a clear goal in mind – What are you trying to say? State what your goal is, either in the headline or at the beginning of the post.
- Assume your reader is not an insider or expert on your subject – Cover the bases so they can understand what you are talking about without getting too wordy or talking over readers’ heads.
- Be concise – Say it in as clear a way as possible – think bullet points.
- Don’t assume people can read your mind – Sometimes as writers we have such a vivid picture in our minds of what we want to write, we think everyone else can see it, too. They can’t. Be thorough.
- Be real – Readers want to connect with you and your writing and can spot insincerity and fakery. “We’ll keep your application on file in case anything comes up.”
- Have a conduit for questions and clarification – Make commenting on a post as easy as possible. Have an email address on your blog in an easy-to-find place. Follow up when people comment or have questions – you should be your biggest commenter.
- Don’t take things personally – When people don’t agree with your point of view or make snarky comments have confidence in your own ability. A thick skin will ward off many a pity party.
On the job front I’m hopeful I will find the right fit. But I learned a good lesson about communicating effectively. You can find the positives in any experience if you look for them. Follow these steps when blogging and your readers will have a positive experience. When they don’t feel like they are wasting their time, they will come back for more.