It’s all about the branding...how many times have we heard that mantra? How many times have we used it ourselves? Lots, and there's a good reason: you need to stand out. In life, sure, but especially when you're looking for a job. When you apply for a job, you know you're great (confirmed by your fifth grade soccer trophy, among other things), but how do you prove that when there are 10, 20 other applicants with similar resumes? Building a personal website!
It seems overwhelming, but a little bit of time up front can yield great results for your job hunt. Read on to find out why.
1. It impresses hiring managers.
Having a supplemental website that outlines your professional goals and achievements shows that you’re committed to your job search, and are trying to find ways to stand out in the crowd.
2. Like your career, a website can evolve.
A resume is what it is: a frozen snapshot of you at a particular point in your career. Once you send it out the door via email or on paper, there’s no taking it back, no making changes in the short term. Having a personal website (which you’d link in the cover letter or the resume itself), gives you the opportunity to update information that hiring managers can see in real time. Think of it as a kind of living resume to supplement the traditional one that goes out.
3. It’s easy.
Even if you’re not comfortable with doing web design yourself, these days everyone has a brother, cousin, or roommate’s buddy who does freelance web design. And if you don’t go that route, there are plenty of free and inexpensive tools online that can help you get started with a basic website. Sites like Strikingly or GoDaddy can help you get your brand online quickly and easily.
4. It’s a way to collect your branding in one place.
Chances are, hiring managers are going to Google you. Normally what would come up is a smattering of social media accounts (and hopefully not that blog you started back before people knew they needed to moderate their online presence). Having your own branded site can collect all of those things in one place, creating a hub that’s all about you. (Of course, make sure that only the social media that shows you in your best professional light are included.)
5. It can raise your profile.
Your website won’t just be accessible to hiring managers—you might be surprised at the opportunities that could come from potential employers searching online. A website can also enhance your social media presence, and start building the kind of network that could introduce new opportunities as well.
If you find that you’re struggling to get interviews or stand out from the pack as you apply for jobs, it’s time to shake things up a bit and add something new. Building a website shows a commitment to your professional brand, and could be just the extra edge you need to get in the door for an interview.
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