In today’s competitive job market, savvy job seekers will look for any advantage that allows them to stand out from the pack. One cost-effective and highly beneficial strategy to increase recognition when applying for jobs is to create a personal website. In addition to increasing your visibility, a website shows dedication and can showcase several areas of skill, from career highlights to impressive hobbies.
Even if you’re not looking for a job at the moment, it’s a great idea to maintain a personal website with contact information and an updated resume. This way, in the case of a sudden layoff or company mishap, your odds of finding a new job will be in your favor. As a result, the benefits of having a personal website are relevant for the employed, unemployed and anyone in between. Here are 6 solid reasons why you need a personal website.
Showcase Quality Content and Abilities
A typical resume can aptly describe an ability or skill, but a personal website allows you to showcase it in memorable form – whether it’s an archive of published writings, songs you’ve written or a collection of endorsements. Artists, designers, photographers, writers and most other occupations can showcase the work they’re most proud of via a personal website. Similarly, marketers and advertisers can showcase their best work and give some concept of sales numbers as a result of their work.
Still, it’s important to limit this showcasing to only your best work. Avoid showcasing all of your work, as it can be overwhelming and detract from the content and abilities that you truly excel at.
Provide Convenient Access to Other Online Profiles
Many occupations view an active online profile as a benefit, since it shows a savvy grasp of self-promotion and – in most cases – congeniality and an ability to communicate and appeal to a broad audience. These skills are valued in most occupations. By linking to your social profiles – from LinkedIn to Twitter – or any archives of sites you contributed to, you can turn a scattered online presence into a cohesively impressive one.
Publish an Online Blog to Show Off Personality
Showcasing content and abilities are a great way to express strengths, but employers also care about your personality. A blog is a great way to show off personality and enthusiasm, even if the blog entries are as simple as commentaries on recent events or articles. As long as you can update two to three times per week with versatile content, a blog on a personal website is a great way to establish yourself as a thought leader in a specific industry.
Pitch Your Worth
A personal website enables you to address visitors immediate with a consummate elevator pitch — a few paragraphs that detail your most important details, including major companies you’ve worked for, your education, a professional strength and projects you’ve worked on in the past. Avoid making the pitch into your life story; try to concisely summarize why you’re worth hiring, with some hard details like past employment for good measure.
Improved Search Engine Visibility
When you network with anyone or apply for a job, it’s common for the individual on the other end to search your name on Google. A personal website that’s active and engaging will eventually rise in search rankings, especially if the site is SEO-friendly to some degree. Employers will be impressed if your name is on top of the search results; it suggests that you’re of some notable importance, even if the high search engine ranking is purely due to a well-done personal website.
Superior Level of Effort
In an age where seemingly everyone is on LinkedIn or Facebook, an additional and unique online presence in the form of a personal website will show that you can think outside of the box and are not content with conventional standards. Workfolio found that 56 percent of hiring managers are most impressed by a candidate’s personal website over any other platform; it’s a strong testament to a personal website’s power that over half of hiring managers are wowed by it.
Examples of Note
Keeping the aforementioned six tips in mind, there are several personal websites that serve as great examples of what one should be referencing when creating their own personal website:
- Rachel King provides a clean layout with a home page featuring a strong elevator pitch. The minimalist three-page format – home, about and contact – make it so no visitors are overwhelmed. Instead, they are interested in learning more.
- More outside the box, Red Russak offers a one-page format that blends humor with concisely effective information regarding his greatest accomplishments, skills and past employers. He provides more than enough information to get employers and potential collaborators interested. Ian Enders takes a similar approach with his sleek one-page format and confident cover photo.
- Lauren Nicole Smith’s page offers a great example of providing convenient access to other online profiles; her home page emphasizes her prominent online presence as both a tool and skill. Her portfolio page is also a quality example of a sleek and easy-to-read format to showcase recent and past work accomplishments.