Why you should have a personal website?
It’s a fact. If you don’t manage your online image, it will manage you. Remember those embarrassing pics you posted on Facebook last New Year’s? Your parents saw them the next day. That awkward tweet? Bet you wish you could take that one back. But for many people, this issue gets real when they decide to look for a job. That’s when they realize they have to control what potential employers see about them online. And there’s no better way to do it than with a personal website
Let’s say you have an incredible LinkedIn profile. Do you really need a personal website? “Yes,” says William Uranga, director of Technical and Corporate Recruiting for GoDaddy. He explains:
Yes, you can attach documents, photos, videos and slides to your LinkedIn, but you’re limited in how many files you can upload. And you can’t include customer testimonials — a must for independent contractors looking to get hired. “Consider LinkedIn more of a business card that points to your website,” says William, “especially if you currently work for yourself.”
Benefits of a personal website
He’s not alone. According to Forbes, more than half of all hiring managers are more interested in personal websites than any other branding tool. A custom website gives you free reign over what’s on it, so of course a headhunter would expect it to provide the best view of your personality, skills and experience. It’s actually kind of amazing that less than 10 percent of all job applicants have them.
Having your own personal website:
- Gives you complete freedom to show who you are, in everything from colors to layout to the type of imagery you choose.
- Shows you’re serious about your career and willing to put in time and effort to move up.
- Serves as a living archive of your job history, education, accomplishments and hobbies.
- Can feature customer testimonials, as well as numerous pictures, project documents and videos.
Running a business while also looking for a job? Having a separate website for your job search just makes sense. That way, clients won’t be confused by seeing a resume and recruiting managers are never presented with a shopping cart.
Personal website tips and tricks
A few tips to make a personal website that gets results:
- Include a brief intro, bio, job history, description of recent projects, testimonials from clients and a list of publications, awards or patents. Check out this great article from Business Insider for ideas.
- Keep the tone neutral – do include your professional opinions but not your views on divisive topics like politics or religion.
- It’s easy to get lost in the details, but try not to. Once you have your site put together, step back and look at it objectively. Ask others for their opinions.
- Be sure your contact details — email address, cell number, social handles — are on every page of your website.
Once your website is live, show it off! Add your web address to your business card, resumé, email signature and LinkedIn profile. Keep your site up to date, even after you’ve landed the new job. You never know when a hiring manager might be looking for someone like you to fill an even better position.