Your CV is a work of art, your covering letter is so hot that the postman has to wear fireproof gloves and your interview technique is more highly polished than a Ferrari. You’re all set to wow recruiters, but somewhere at the back of your mind lurks the notion that there’s something more you could do to give yourself the extra little boost that could make all the difference.
What is that something? Could it be, perhaps, that a personal, career-oriented website is the final piece in your otherwise flawless self-marketing plan?
If so, step this way. We’ve got some helpful advice for you.
A One-Stop Shop For ‘Yours Truly PLC’
The idea of using the internet to promote yourself is hardly a new one, yet relatively few of us have our own personal website. And that raises the question: why?
Some people, it would seem, are content to have a presence on social media and LinkedIn, while others feel that creating and maintaining a website would make too many demands on their time. On the surface, these seem like good arguments but let’s dig a little deeper.
Having a presence on social media is a good idea, provided that you – and, perhaps, more importantly, anyone who is able to post publicly on your page – remembers to stay on the right side of the line that separates fun from nonsense. Moreover, the likes of Facebook is limited in terms of the way that you can organise your page to present information. However, Twitter can reveal a lot about a person and can be great for linking to blogs you may have written or promoting the company you work for.
LinkedIn is, of course, a great tool for professional networking and self-promotion. However, its layout does not afford the sort of freedom, depth or options for personalisation that a website can readily provide.
A good way to think of a personal website is as a blank canvas which grants you the space and, just as importantly, the freedom to highlight your qualities and achievements in a manner that will appeal to recruiters. It also demonstrates that you take your career seriously, something that recruiters will take note of.
And that leads us to the other main reason people cite for not having a personal website: time.
There’s no getting away from the fact that setting up a website takes time. Furthermore, it may also take skills that you don’t (yet) possess. Both of these issues can easily be dealt with.
If You Build It, They Will Come
If you’re short on time and/or a little lacking in web-building expertise then you can pay an expert to design and build a website for you, or you can purchase and adapt an off-the-shelf website from the likes of GoDaddy or 1&1. Neither option comes free, but it needn’t break the bank and besides, you’re investing in a good product: yourself.
If you’re commissioning a bespoke website then you’ll need to be very clear about how you want your website to look. The web designer/builder will help you with this.
If you’re using an off-the-shelf product, we’d suggest that you take plenty of time to look through all the various designs before settling on a particular style.
No matter which option you choose, the objective is to create a site that’s easy on the eye and easy to use. Designing the look and style of a website can be a challenging process, so we’d suggest you bear this tip in mind: elegance never goes out of fashion. We’d also highly recommend that you avoid clutter at all costs – it can send out the wrong message about you.
It’s All In The Name
The same goes for your domain name. First impressions always matter, so your website should have a serious, professional-sounding domain name that uniquely identifies it as belonging to you. Incorporating your name into the domain name is a good idea, but remember that, unlike you, your name isn’t unique. This means that you’ll probably have to incorporate other words or characters into your domain name. Choose them wisely.
Of course, an empty website is of no use to anyone. So in our next blog we’ll look at what you should include in your website.
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