Can your personal website help you land your next job?
Can creating a personal website help you land your next job? I believe it can!
Experts say that current economic conditions and technological evolution of the Internet, have made the traditional job hunt approach – Submittal of resume and cover letter to corporations and job websites and waiting/hoping to hear back – a thing of the past.
According to his book: Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success, Dan Schawbel explains that it is all about building your own brand; a new approach that keeps in mind the reality of fewer jobs available, and hence the fiercer competition emerging.
As I started thinking of the design and content for my professional website, I realized that creating a profile is more than just sharing information about work, school and other areas of experience. If executed successfully, a person’s professional website can serve as an important advertising tool to showcase one’s skills and experiences. Here are some examples of how this can be accomplished and areas the website can help promote:
1. Organizational skills – If content is presented in an organized and efficient manner.
2. Communication skills – If content is clear, easy to follow and straight to the point (minimal redundancies)
3. Creative skills – If design/layout is elegant, uncluttered and delivers the message with a personal touch using images and photography
4. Marketing skills – If design and content both work together to answer the most important questions (asked by the target audience) about the professional and showcase his/her skills and capabilities.
In your resume, you can claim to be all of the above (organized, creative, etc.), but a website can actually show that you really are all of those things . However, it is crucial that the website does in fact do a good job showcasing your strengths, otherwise, you shouldn’t advertise it at all or hold off until it is completely ready. All employers know that creating a good website requires time and effort. A good website is not only about graphics, and fancy plug-ins. It is about high quality content which must be presented using a layout that makes sense and supportive images.
Here is a screenshot of a really good example of a professional website (Julie Kramer) – The website does a good job in summarizing Julie’s experiences at a glance. I find it clever that she has a tab for testimonials, references and work samples. I also love how you may click on her photo to read her resume, and on the social network icons below the photo to follow her activities on the Internet.
And here is a screenshot of what I found to be a poor example of a professional website (Lin Zuo) – Although Lin seems to be an active professional in her field, the website however, is unorganized and the landing page lumps all posts in a lengthy, uncategorized manner. The site can be better designed by taking advantage of creating pages and sub pages to organize her work.
I hope you find value in looking at these examples, and in learning about the importance of having a well-designed professional website these days in landing your next big opportunity!