You’ve decided it would be a good idea to have your own website. You’ve bought a domain name and settled on the general look and style of your site. Now all you have to do is populate it. We’d suggest that you include the following:
In many ways, the most important page on your website is the home page or, if you prefer, the landing page. As it’s the first page that visitors will see, it’s important to ensure that it sets the right tone.
Rather than subject visitors to an information overload, it makes sense to limit the page to a brief introduction. It should say who you are and what you do – a short description will be enough. You may wish to include a photograph, but make sure that it’s one that you’d be happy for professional recruiters and potential employers to see; a head and shoulders shot should suffice.
Remember that your website will be publicly accessible, so be careful about just how much personal information you give out. We’d suggest that you refrain from giving out your full address, date of birth and home telephone number anywhere on the site.
This is where you tell your story. Recruiters aren’t looking for your life history, though, so focus on your academic and career history and achievements. Be proud of what you’ve accomplished, but don’t come across as showing off. Don’t be hesitant about letting your personality come through; just make sure that you keep your zanier side in check!
As with all sections of your website, keep it factual – you should be able to substantiate every claim you make. Include some information about hobbies and personal interests, as this can help to give recruiters an insight into your personality.
As your website is designed to be a one-stop information portal, it makes a lot of sense to have a page that gives details of your work history. The information given on this page should, of course, be consistent with the information stated on the CV that you send to prospective employers and agencies.
You can adopt a slightly less formal style in your online CV and perhaps be a little bit more creative (but always factual!) with its contents. Remember to be careful about what information you give out. We would suggest that you do not include your address or other contact details on this page.
Depending on your academic achievements, you may wish to include them on this page or dedicate a separate page to them.
Devoting a specific page to your skills will make it easier for recruiters and prospective employers to access information that will most certainly be of interest to them.
When listing your skills – indeed, when designing the site as a whole – think about it from the point of view of the people who will be looking at the website. Presenting information in a way that’s attractive and easily digestible will be appreciated – and noted – by the people who you’re looking to impress.
If you have a long list of achievements, or one or two particularly impressive ones, then you should list and detail these on their own page. In this context, achievements might include details of published articles or documents, professional awards or other forms of recognition (such as media coverage) for something you’ve been solely or partly responsible for.
This section is best suited to the likes of writers, photographers and videographers and should contain samples of your professional work, such as photographs and research articles. Always ensure that you have the legal right to display work that you’ve undertaken for others and do not hold the intellectual rights to. If in doubt, ask permission from the rights holder before publishing.
References and Testimonials
Robert Burns once wrote: “O would some power the gift to give us to see ourselves as others see us.” In the context of self-promotion, it helps greatly if the views we express about ourselves are backed up by the testimony of others. Accordingly, adding some well-chosen testimonials – from suitably qualified persons – to your website can add weight to the evidence you’ve presented about your skills and qualities.
There are two ways to approach the layout of this page. If you’re comfortable with disclosing your e-mail address and/or mobile number then this is the page where you should give them.
Alternatively, you may wish to set the page up as a contact form, whereby anyone wishing to contact you completes a simple form stating their name, e-mail address and message.
Check, Check and Check Again
Recruiters and potential employers will not be impressed if there are mistakes in your website, so make sure that there aren’t any before you publish it.
Take plenty of time to proofread your website and make sure that any typographical, spelling and grammatical errors are eliminated before publishing. If English isn’t your strong point, get a professional proofreader to check through it for you. It shouldn’t cost too much and it’s money well spent.
And that’s it. You’re all set to go live.
You can, of course, add more pages – such as a blog page – to your website if you wish. Just remember that any opinions you give are being shared with the world at large, so always think carefully about what you’re putting onto your site. It’s your name on the door, after all…
As well as creating your own website, why not download the Zoek app to let your new job find you? The app for faster, smarter recruitment can be downloaded on iOS or Android.
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