When it comes to finding a job or internship, it can be difficult to set yourself apart from the sea of resumes and cover letters, while still remaining professional. Having a personal website - which often features your bio, contact information and portfolio - is a great strategy to showcase your work and to help you stand out from other candidates. Still not convinced? Here are five reasons why you should create a personal website for your dream career!
1. It Makes it Easier to Contact You
Having a personal website allows you to highlight what channels you prefer to be contacted through, whether it’s via phone, e-mail, LinkedIn or Twitter. Furthermore, including keywords such as your university, city and industry name on your website, will increase your chances of appearing higher in search rankings.
2. It Gives You More Control over Your Online Presence
Your personal website is one piece of online real estate that is totally under your control, which is critical since about half of employers Google or otherwise research job candidates online before deciding whom to interview. Your resume forces you to condense your entire work experience into just a few bullet points, but you have more freedom on a personal website to emphasize the information you want potential employers to see.
3. It Lets 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. In addition, you can also sell your work via your website and even let visitors download directly from the site, if you’re selling digital goods. Branding yourself online is vital in this age and creating a personal website can be the first step towards personal branding.
4. It Gives You the Opportunity to Build Your Web Design Skills
In today’s world of rapidly advancing technology, some surprising fields - such as writing, design, customer service and marketing - often require technical online skills such as basic HTML and CSS. Creating your personal website is a great way to start developing these skills and highlight your work in action to potential employers. If you’ve never built a website before, using one of the platforms below can help you get a website up and running with minimal previous experience.
If you’re looking for a cheap way to build your first website, both Wix and Weebly are free to start, but offer premium plans that range from about $4 to about $25 a month. Squarespace offers responsive templates and more customization options, starting at $8 a month. WordPress offers a basic plan for free, but it’s $99 a year to upgrade to the premium plan, which offers far more opportunities for customization for those with slightly more advanced HTML skills.