In this day and age, so much of the job hunting and application process has moved onto the internet. You’ve probably heard about the importance of LinkedIn, but it also may be worth considering to take your online presence to the next level. By this, we mean a personal website, of course!
Is It Really Necessary?
You may be asking yourself, “Do I really need my own website?” The answer is, it depends on you. The truth is that a personal website will be more helpful in some industries and less helpful in others. Claire, a hiring expert from Textron, sums it up nicely, saying, “A resume website or online portfolio can certainly be impressive to a recruiter, especially if you are in a computer science, advertising, or marketing field. If the website articulates your experience well, there is definitely an advantage to having one. Some things to include may be various projects, work experience, or relevant coursework that you have taken. You may also want to include a summary statement about yourself, explaining what jobs and industries you might be interested in working in and long-term goals.”1
How to Build It
You certainly don’t need to be a coder or a web designer in order to create your own website. There are so many options that are available to people of all skill levels (We recommend using either Wix.com, which is free, or Squarespace.com, which costs $8/month). These platforms offer a variety of different templates, so even the least creative or web-savvy user can build a beautiful website that will impress potential employers. And if you do have more talent in coding or design, you can create a custom website that is 100% unique to you! Whether you use pre-made templates or build something from scratch, your website will give you a platform to promote yourself to potential employers and show off the true you!
What to Include
Now that you’ve built a website, it’s time to fill it with content! This is the most important part. Even the most aesthetically pleasing website won’t impress if it doesn’t include pertinent information. First, you must decide what the purpose of your website is. The most common use for a personal website is as an online portfolio, so if you are a graphic designer, a writer, a filmmaker, or a photographer, you should consider creating one. If you don’t work in a field that has an easily demonstrable product, that doesn’t mean you can’t (or shouldn’t) create a website.
Consider creating a resume website that showcases your work experiences and supplement it with content that helps show employers why they should hire you. The content can be anything from a blog to podcasts to a vlog. Do whatever you feel suits you best! Whatever you choose, the topic should be completely related to the field you are in or hope to be in. This will show people that you are serious about your career, and it is more than just a job for you; it is a passion.
Putting in some effort on your website and creating high-quality content will help you to stand out from the hiring manager’s stack of applicants. Building your online presence will help you catch attention and land your dream job!