Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Why Job Seekers Need a Personal Website

If you're trying to land a new job this year and you want to take your personal brand to the next level and go beyond your resume or LinkedIn profile, a personal website could be your secret weapon. Since few people actually have one, a personal website can be the differentiating factor for the hiring manager when deciding on the company's next new hire.
Your resume is a key marketing tool when conducting a job search. However, it does have limitations. Your resume cannot tell the entire story about you or the depth of your professionalism and experience. It has limited reach since it is only seen by those you give it to. In contrast, a website is available to anyone looking for someone like you. It is more robust than your resume since you can organize lots of your information on several pages. In addition, it's easy to update your professional content to remain current, which becomes instantly available to anyone.

Why have a Personal Website
  1. It will get you noticed - In a Domain.Me survey of 600 professionals who have their own websites, 84% of respondents reported receiving tangible career benefits from their personal website. In addition, 70% reported believing that recruiters, employers reviewed their online presence prior to an interview. This demonstrates that employers and hiring managers are increasingly using the internet to find, and more importantly, vet, prospective candidates.
  2. It is more than a resume - A website is interactive, evolving and dynamic. You can post testimonials, work samples and add more depth to your professional history than a resume. And your website’s design and tone of voice help to convey your personal brand, and show how you will be a fit in the hiring organization.
  3. You will stand out - According to a study by Workfolio, a professional visibility company, 56 percent of hiring managers are more impressed by a personal website than any other branding tool you could use. Yet, only 7 percent of job seekers have websites. Set yourself apart from the pack by promoting yourself with your website.
  4. Having an online presence is the wave of the future - By having your own website, you demonstrate that you understand and participate in the growing social media trends. Additionally, you'll learn a few new skills along the way.

How to get Started
  1. Look for a service provider - There are cost-effective website service organizations that offer tools for creating and hosting your website. Examples are Godaddy, Google, WordPress, Wix and others. Many of these services have drop-and-drag interfaces and word processor like content editors. With a little patience and practice, you will be able to create your new site.
  2. Start planning your website - Search online for personal websites of other professionals in your field or industry. See what they are posting. Ask people in your professional network for their input.
  3. Get assistance - If you are new to website design, take advantage of learning resources. The service providers typically offer webinars and have a strong knowledge base. Look for free and economical classes at local libraries and adult education programs. You can also seek the advice and assistance from a web designer. 
Your professional website will give you creative freedom to express your personality and demonstrate your expertise in ways that are not possible through your resume. It gives hiring manages and recruiters more information to help decide if they want to bring you in for an interview. Having an informative, well designed website also sends a message that you are professionally progressive and take your career seriously.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about creating your own personal website.