Key Elements to Consider When Creating a Personal Website
When searching for a job in the current market, the importance of standing out cannot be overstated. For many positions, you’ll likely be up against over a hundred other applicants who are just as qualified or more qualified than you.
That’s not an encouraging thought if you’re spending many hours a day filling out applications; but it’s a fact you’ll find hard to ignore when you don’t hear back from potential employers. By maintaining a personal website, you’re giving those potential employers another way to discover you.
Last month, HackCollege’s Robbie Williford championed the personal website, detailing how it will help give you a unique presence online — outside of social media. I’ll delve deeper into that subject and detail the elements of a personal website that need to be highlighted when creating a personal website.
Most blogging and content management software will come with an About page, so take advantage of it. There’s no need to write an autobiography, but you’ll want to give the most important details about yourself in the first paragraph and expand on that information in at least two more. Think of yourself as the subject of a news article and answer the following questions about yourself and your career or field of interest:
- Who are you?
- What do you do/study?
- When did/will you graduate?
- Where are you located?
- Why do you enjoy what you do?
You shouldn’t be afraid to show a little personality when describing yourself, but the page should be professional and to-the-point.
If you’re looking for a job, there’s absolutely no reason not to have your resume on a dedicated page of your site. You want that information there so prospective employers or clients don’t have to go searching.
It’s a good idea to link to your resume from your About page, even if it’s listed as part of your site’s navigation. And make sure there’s a downloadable version available as well.
There’s no excuse for not having a working contact form on a separate page of your site. If someone reads your About page or resume and finds their interest piqued, they’ll be searching for a quick way to contact you.
You should also include alternative forms of contact on this page, such as your email address and Linkedin profile.
An Active Blog
While you don’t need to take a personal blog to any extreme, writing a weekly blog post in which you discuss new developments in your field is a great way to show your interest.
When shared, these posts can attract the right kind of attention. Asking friends on Linkedin to share your posts is a great way to get your name out and get connected with similar professionals outside of your current network.
Image: Juan Pablo Olmo