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Are You Looking for a Job – Do you Need a Personal Website?
“According to Workfolio, a company that develops applications for professional visibility, 56 percent of all hiring managers are more impressed by a candidate’s personal website than any other personal branding tool—however, only 7 percent of job seekers actually have a personal website” writes Jacquelyn Smith, Forbes staff writer. Additionally, a personal website showcases your work, helps you to develop your personal brand, and allows you to control what people see when they search for you. If having a personal website now piques your interest, here is how to proceed.
What is the purpose of your personal website? Who are you targeting and what are you trying to achieve by creating a personal website? What jobs and industries are you interested in? What skills will you highlight? After you have identified the purpose of having a personal website, if the reason is compelling enough, there are specific pages that you should consider including on the website.
Benefits of a Personal Website
- Having a personal website is your public persona and another way to establish your online presence.
- It’s a way for you to publish content, establish authority and gain influence.
- It’s great for search engine optimization, so when prospective employers and recruiters search for you, your website will be at the top of the page, and having a great site will increase your chances of being selected for an interview.
- You get to include your website URL on your LinkedIn profile, your resume with the rest of your contact information, on your personal business card, in a cover letter, or in a job application.
Pages to Include on a Personal Website
About Me: This is a brief bio that hiring managers will find helpful so keep it professional. You can include a short video mentioning an interesting tidbit about yourself so people can get the essence of who you are. Using a smartphone, or even a desktop computer with a camera, creating a short video is now easier than ever (Read Using Video-Based Visual Resumes during Job Search to get useful tips on creating videos). Also, provide links to your social media profiles.
How to Write a Bio like a Pro
Using Video-Based Visual Resumes during Job Search
Contact Information: Make it easy for hiring managers to contact you. Have your name, email, and phone number in the footer on every page. If you are concerned about spam bots harvesting your contact details, use a contact form which is becoming more widespread.
Portfolio of Work: On this page you should provide samples of your work. You can be creative and professional at the same time. Create a SlideShare presentation; offer a PDF of case studies of projects that you have successfully completed using the Situation, Action and Results (SAR) format; or have a video presentation of you offering a solution to a difficult problem. You could also include short video tutorials to showcase your knowledge, skills and abilities. Be sure to highlight major accomplishments in your work samples.
Resume: Include your resume and make sure you emphasize the skills you are interested in using for your next employment opportunity.
Blog: Having a blog is an excellent way to develop authority and expert status. Blog about topics that will interest people in your industry. Interview industry experts to talk about trends shaping the industry, then add your unique voice. Tackle difficult issues that are plaguing the industry. Use your blog to demonstrate thought leadership and get your voice heard.
Testimonials: They provide social proof that you are good at what you do. Secure testimonials from former colleagues, managers and clients by simply asking them to write one for you. When requesting a testimonial from contacts, recommend they use the SAR format to ensure that they include vital information for social proof.
These days, creating a personal website is much easier than you think. There are many affordable themes (templates) that look professional and are easy to customize. Please read 35+ Free Responsive WordPress Magazine Themes, then select a theme that you like, and they are not just for magazine. In the next installments in the series on creating a personal website, you will get information on exactly what’s needed to create a site and how to optimize it so that you will rank high in the search engines. So if you are looking for a job, perhaps having a personal website will help you to shorten the job search period. And if you decide to create one, make sure that the information is always current.
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