For most students, the idea of creating a resume website never comes to mind. Resumes are prioritized, as well are cover letters, and at the very least, a personal brand statement. But how do you keep track of all the awesome things you’ve done or created, and where are you supposed to put them to show potential employers? Forget the Word document you’ve been slaving over — it’s time to optimize your brand with a personal website. Showcase past projects, current projects, where you’ve traveled, what you’ve learned, who you are, what you do, etc. so the next time you apply for a job, you can tell them to go take a look at the website you’ve created. It’s more likely to blow their socks off than a premade template that every other college student is doing.
It Shows You’re Serious About Networking and Finding a Job
Having a personal website shows that you are willing to put in the extra effort to promote yourself and your skills. Being able to publish your own work, tweet, or make a post about it on LinkedIn, and then having professionals in your field view it is one of the best and most efficient ways to get your name and your brand out there. Plus, if you know a little bit about SEO, you’ll even be able to get your website ranking for certain keywords that are relevant to your field.
You May Be Able to Find a Job Easier
Since 80% of employers will Google your name, having your own website that looks great goes a long way to showing employers that you care about the work you do. With the right website, a potential employer can learn about you, see examples of your work, and really get a sense for who you are. If your resume and other social profiles all align, it will make getting a new job easier, even if you are getting a job right out of college.
You Showcase Your Creative Work in One Place
Whether you’re pursuing writing, photography, graphic design, or any other number of creative professions, a personal website gives you a single place to showcase your work to potential employers and clients. Plus, if you are selling goods, your website gives your customers a way to access and buy your products. More than anything, though, your website is a great way to share your published work with the world. It’s a fantastic way for employers to get a better understanding of your personality, your skill level, your specialities, and more.
You Can Control Your Online Presence Better
When you create your own website using your name, Google will likely rank that website as the #1 result for your name. Because of this, you’ll be able to control your brand online, as most users will only click on the first couple results, and maybe browse the first page of results. Studies show that the first result in Google gets a 32.5% of the click-throughs. This needs to be your own website if it’s your name people are searching for. The second result only gets 17.6%, and the third only gets 11.4% of the clicks. The second and third results should be your best-looking social media profiles, like LinkedIn or Twitter.
You Can Update It As You Refine Your Skills and Experience
Your website is living proof of your progression in your skills and your experience in professional fields. You can update it every time you get a job, every time you work on something new, and anything else relevant to your resume that you can add. It’s a long-term resume that can also be really fun to look back on when you’re established in your career.
So, How Do You Start?
Set Up a Website
If you’re already feeling overwhelmed at the thought of adding another task to your plate, don’t worry too much — it’s easy to start building your personal website. There are a good handful of web hosting servers that offer free website builds, like Wix, WordPress, and SquareSpace.
It’s optional, but you can buy a domain name, where your name is your URL, for the extra sense of professionalism. If you choose to buy the domain name, you’ll want it to be your full name. If you can’t get your first and last names, try variations with your middle name or middle initial.
Start With the Basics
A resume website is similar to a written resume, expect you’re able to add more to it, really elaborating on your accomplishments. You should have all of these basic pages:
- About me
- Home page
- Contact information
With a website, you are not limited to a single page like you are with a written resume. Furthermore, you can even add pictures and customize your website to who you are. Add a page about your hobbies, future goals, things you’re working on, and even add a blog section if you wish. Basically, your website is going to be your portfolio that allows you to show off your work in a more appealing and easy to consume manner. Your website is going to be the place where you can really build upon your brand. It’s a great way to tell people what you believe, who you are, and how you want to change the world. Getting started really is easy, and once you start looking at design themes, it’ll be pretty hard to stop.
Maximize the Impact of Your Website
Okay, so you’ve created your website and added the finishing touches and it’s ready to be seen by potential employers, by family members, by the world. Connect it to all of your social profiles, ones that you are proud of, likely more professional ones, that you want tied to your professional self. Link it to Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and any other social platform you are using. Make sure you have updated your profiles on the platforms you link it in. Purge any controversial or risky content on these platforms to make yourself appear like a standup student who can present themselves accordingly.