Online Job Search

An Introduction to Personal Websites for Job Hunters

A resume alone is not enough for today’s cyber-focused job hunt.

Think of it this way: You’ve been hot on the trail of your target for a while now. You’ve done the research, followed the tracks and it’s finally time to strike. You take a deep breath and prepare to take your shot. As you reach for your bow, you realize something is missing; there are no arrows to shoot, no string to pull taught and no sights to aim your shot.

After all of that work, your target is gone in a flash; the hunt has ended.

Plan ahead for your own job hunt by investing a little time in a tool that’s becoming more important by the day – your own personal website! Adding this powerful online tool to your application arsenal could mean the difference between bagging an interview, and going home empty-handed:

WWWhy?

According to a recent study, only four percent of people say they currently have a personal website. Yet, 84 percent of those people who do have personal websites reported receiving benefits, such as increased job opportunities, from the site. Clearly, a well thought-out web presence can help you in a variety of ways, but fear and unfamiliarity with website creation seems to be holding job seekers back from starting their own.

Employers are reviewing more than your resume when you apply; be in control of what they’re seeing! Having a main landing page for your personal brand, which includes your application materials, professional story and other relevant pieces, provides a lasting, dependable source for employers to seek out information and reach out to you for more.

More than a Resume

A personal website should enhance and expand on the information available in your resume, not simply rehash the main points. While it’s important to include this information, either by providing a downloadable version of your resume document or by listing the details (education, skills, etc.), a website can include so much more than a traditional resume ever could.

Your website is a great place to include a professional photo of yourself. The extra space also allows you to expand more on your personal and professional journey than even a cover letter typically does. A separate section presenting an online portfolio or selected samples of work can be extremely useful if this is applicable to your field. Additionally, a well-maintained blog might be another way for you to share your thoughts and experiences, as well as writing skills, with potential employers.

In short, the internet allows employers to learn more about you with more than just text, so start sharing your photos, videos and other job-relevant content in a safe place that you can call your own!

Where to Start

As personal websites become more common, the tools being used to create these sites are also becoming more user-friendly. With free options like WordPress, Wix and Weebly, you don’t need a technical degree in order to make a professional looking page anymore. However, if you’re concerned with having enough time to devote to page creation or are looking for a more unique option, consider reaching out to peers in your network that might have web creation skills. Creating your site can give them experience, as well as exposure, all the while boosting your online presence and credibility to employers.

Please note: Safety is always important to remember when publishing any personal information to the web, so be sure to pick your content carefully. It’s best to leave off sensitive details, such as your mailing address or potentially controversial personal views, to avoid online fraud and unwanted contact.

Additionally, just as you would with your resume, review your website thoroughly before publishing. Regular updates will keep your audience engaged, and ensure that your website and traditional application materials will match.

Hunters know that it’s not just about the tool, but how you use it. Adding a personal website to your gear is as integral to the job hunt today as resumes were just a few decades ago. When the time comes to strike, will you be prepared?

Have any tips for building a personal website? Let’s talk about them below!

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