Have you ever met someone who has created a digital resume or a personal website? Have you considered creating one for yourself?
Personal websites are becoming increasingly common in some career paths. Though they aren’t for everyone, having one could help you to stand out and better highlight your work to potential employers. But should YOU build one?
One thing you should consider before diving into building a website is your industry. A digital portfolio is obviously going to look much better when you have visual creations than when you don’t. If you work in anything creative (this could include: graphic design, costume-making, photography, copywriting, play production, cake design, poetry, interior design, etc.) it’s probably a good idea to have a portfolio. If you have papers or research that have been published or even photos taken in a lab where you’ve worked, it could be a good idea to have a portfolio. However, if you work in an industry where there’s no tangible output (like HR, accounting, supply chain, civil engineering, etc.) having a digital portfolio probably won’t work.
However, as Stephanie, a Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc. points out, it’s not enough to halfway build a personal website. “If you are going to build it, make sure the content is relevant to the outcome you desire. Make sure it is up to date all the time, works as it should and doesn't result in a negative impression. But also keep in mind, building a website doesn't result in a job without you putting in the time. You will still need to network, make connections, apply to career sites and potentially information interview to get yourself the notice you need.”Ref Link 1
What should be included?
If you’ve decided to take the time to build a personal website, you’re also going to have to figure out what you should fill it with. Claire, a Hiring Expert at Textron Inc. believes that “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.” Ultimately, what matters is that “the website articulates your experience well.”Ref Link 2
Stephanie points out that it’s also okay to include a resume on your site; “There are a lot of things you can create as part of the creation of your personal website. A resume, a video resume, a carefully complete LinkedIn Profile, a honed elevator pitch, business cards, etc.” Although, if “all the website includes is a version of your resume and how to contact you, then it might not be a good ratio of effort to impact.”
What are the benefits of a personal website?
Traci, a Hiring Expert at Accenture says it best: “I do think there is an advantage to anything, anywhere you are able to market yourself and your brand in an easy to find and organized fashion. Traditional resumes aren’t going anywhere, so my suggestion is to keep that updated and at the ready, but my opinion is there isn’t any harm in accompanying that resume with a non-traditional resume as well. Think of it this way: if the recruiter or hiring manager wants to view your traditional resume only, they have it and can do so. If they would then like to follow a link to a non-traditional resume and it impresses them, helps them to remember you, or they actually prefer this medium, then you’re doing nothing but helping yourself out! A few reminders though – if you’re going to provide both, always make sure they are updated and match. With the non-traditional resume, make sure you don’t go too conceptual and actually make it harder for someone to learn about you! Non-traditional is good, but make sure it’s still easy to access and find your info!”Ref Link 3
When done correctly, creating a personal portfolio website can help you stand apart from other applicants and stand out in the mind of a recruiter. Yes, you should still have a traditional resume because not every job will want something entirely digital. However, when the two work in tandem, you’ll be better able to showcase your awesome talent!