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5 Things Not To Include in your ‘About Me’ section

February 25, 2014 1 comment

Tips on what not to include in your biography page

So I constantly come across blogs that feature these ‘about me’ sections that like to prove that they really are the most interesting person since sliced bread AND online. I will hold my hands up and admit that my ‘about me’ pages are probably cringe-worthy and make me wince every time I read over them; as well as those biography pages that float around the internet.

I tend to edit them every couple of months and always stop and think; what on earth was I thinking when I wrote this? 9 out of 10 times it sounded good in my head but on paper or on the dub dub dub it doesn’t sound as impressive. In answer to this I am sharing my top tips on what not to include on your about me page.

What to avoid on your About Me or Bio Page

  1. Top 10 facts you didn’t know about me. These lists come in various numbers; top ten, twenty and sometimes even fifty. Yes it may be great learning new things about people online and secretly we all like a good nose, though it is important to remember everyone can see these lists. Most importantly, future or prospective employers can cast their eyes over this list so make sure it is either professional or extremely interesting. Interesting and relevant enough to get you hired.
    I think these lists also can be a moment of narcissism for some people and it sure does come across that way in their writing. If you want to be taken seriously don’t be too driven by your online persona.
    Some points that make the list just aren’t worth reading. “Billy you’re a contradiction; shy but happy, quiet but loud in private. Hates office jobs but loves the routine of 9-5.” Interesting stuff, huh?
  2. Videos. I won’t dwell on this point too long but badly filmed videos with cheap effects and not much to go on are so cringe-worthy. It is like You’ve Been Framed meets Take Me Out and trust me it really is “no likey, no lighty” with this one.
  3. Choose your photos carefully. Okay I am very hypocritical on this point as some of the photos featured on my other blogs and sites are not strictly what may be deemed professional. I think your online personality has to complement any photos you post. In this retrospect I know ‘glammed up’ photos of myself are not taken too seriously.
    As a general rule of thumb, keep any harmful photographs of yourself under lock and key. They are not for the internet (or the world) to see. I don’t think you have to always feature clean-cut photographs but be wary of who can see these and what impression you want to make.
  4. Timelines. I think timelines are meaningless unless you are a real figure in history and have lived long enough to have a story behind you. I am talking about memorable people such as Mandela or Rosa Parks. Please don’t spend your time telling us just how long you have studied that photography course for and been an online blogger sensation for x number of years.
  5. Be you. I couldn’t finish on another negative so I thought it only appropriate to end with my best piece of advice which is be yourself. Make sure you inject your personality into your website and don’t try to be like anybody else.

If you have any other ‘no-no’s’ to add to this list then leave them below!

Categories: Blog, Opinion Tags: ,

5 Blog Post Ideas for Your Website

January 26, 2014 1 comment

Bang. It’s time to make your content explosive and engaging; the big event that everyone wants to read. So how do you do it? After being on the ‘blogging scene’ a little while, I thought I would share what I find interesting on blogs or sites; the pieces that really work. Here are my top blog post ideas:

1. A picture paints a thousand words. Photographs can be just as, if not more effective (sorry writers), than words. They stand alone and do not need to be supported by any lengthy explanations or superfluous information. Some of the best food and fashion blogs I read are those with high-quality images and nothing else. This prompts readers to interact with the site and leave comments. You leave them wanting to know more.

2. Interview other bloggers or experts. As with any industry you have to know your field, therefore it only makes sense to collaborate with people in the same circle. I love teaming up with other bloggers or companies when possible. For example on my beauty blog I am taking part in the Valentine’s Day blogger swap. This is the perfect opportunity to meet like-minded bloggers (in beauty and fashion) whilst exchanging gifts!

3. Create a weekly, fortnightly or monthly post. I am starting that this year with my beauty blog, by creating a fashion wishlist every month (this coincides with the date of payday, forever imprinted in my mind. A welcome distraction.). This structure lets readers know exactly what to expect from your blog on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis.

4. Run a competition. This can be a great way to reward readers of your blog. The prize does have to be of value to the readers (not necessarily in monetary terms) and has to be worth the engagement; answering a question, going on social media etc.

5. Write a ‘How to’ post. These instructional and often informative articles will never become old in my eyes. People are always searching for help and as long as your site provides a new angle then your content is worthy of a read (or a skim read at least!) For as long as the internet is around, bloggers and writers will continue to provide answers as best they can.

One tip that I haven’t mentioned but have often read is be controversial. I think this can often be misleading to the extent that writers think they have to be extremely opinionated to strike up a conversation or to gain new readers, however this is not the case. I would say it is important to use a blog or site to offer your opinion or value but not just to gain attention; be you. You also have to take into consideration who is reading your blog i.e. employers can see what you say online.
I hope my five blog post ideas can provide you with some form of inspiration for the year ahead. If you have anymore ideas that I haven’t covered then feel free to add your suggestion(s) below. I know I will certainly be referring to this in the coming months.

How Twitter can affect your employability

The English language is an extremely powerful tool and we are continually reminded of this weapon with social platforms such as Twitter. What can 120 characters do?

In one tweet alone someone can go from being hired to fired. This was certainly the case with Justine Sacco in December (2013) who got sacked over her racist tweet which went viral.

It just goes to show that no matter what you say or do in life, there are always consequences.

Having said that there are of course positives. Ying wouldn’t be complete with yang. Twitter can of course be a way to show your employability; showcasing your up-to-date knowledge or skills within a particular area and linking through to your own website or pages online. It can be a great place to extend your job search as opposed to solely relying on recruiters or job pool sites. You can contact the people you need to get in touch with in real-time rather than through your CV or a representative.

Make your personal Twitter account be about you and your interests or views but of course be vigilant. Bear in mind anyone can read what you write. As a company you can communicate with your target audience, though remember that everyone is human, be personal. Companies should expect a (small) backlash of replies. Though not nearly as bad as British Gas received.

If you are handling a Twitter account then get someone to check over your scheduled tweets. A second pair of eyes is always a good idea and this helps you to keep in line with the brand voice and image.

My advice: think [and check] twice before chirping.

 

Useful Twitter and employability articles

Guardian Careers – Twitter tips: how I used social media to find jobs
Forbes – 4 Ways To Use Twitter To Find A Job
Mashable – 6 Ways to Score a Job Through Twitter

Categories: Blog, Opinion Tags: , , ,
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