First Impressions Are Not Made In-Person
First impressions make lasting impressions, but a modern-day misnomer is that they are made in person.
Today, they are made online.
Many employers are turning to the internet and social networking sites for help in vetting candidates. Some studies have shown that as many as 80% of recruiters and hiring managers also use social media to look for candidates for their job openings.
If you are going to be Googled, why not give them something to Google?
Having a personal website is a powerful way to outshine your competition and highlight your expertise. While certain industries may lend themselves to having a website more than others, anyone can have a site, and this online presence can boost your career.
FIVE REASONS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER A PERSONAL WEBSITE
You Intentionally Build Your Personal Brand
Promoting your website on social media can help you build your personal brand as well as help you establish a strong professional online presence. You may not think you have a personal brand, but you do. A personal brand is just an upmarket way of thinking about your reputation. A brand is nothing more than being intentional about the message you transmit and how you market yourselves to others. A website facilitates your personal branding and allows you to dictate your identity on your terms instead of what your job and environment dictates for you.
A Website Makes You “Human”
A resume is a sterile one or two-page document which is straightforward and often void of personality. The irony is that while recruiters want a simplified and succinct resume, they still want to know more about you – which is why you are Googled. A personal site can highlight what makes you a unique candidate, authentic, and genuine. Never underestimate the power of being perceived as likeable and relatable. You can be a competent and professional person in the business world, but people still want to like you. Don’t be afraid to display some personality, warmth, and a bit of (appropriate) humor.
A Website is an Instant Portfolio
A personal website showcases your talents. If writing is a component of the positions you are pursuing, what better way to show off your work? Make the most of your craft by highlighting your strengths and demonstrating why someone should hire you. By featuring videos, samples, articles you’ve written, etc., your personal page will be a digital portfolio and footprint of your online work and identity. While your website and brand will continually evolve and increase, so will your website traffic. Over time, your reach will give you an enormous advantage over those who do not have a website. Every element of your website speaks to who you are both as an individual and a professional.
A Website Increases Your Visibility and Displays Your Creativity
As more recruiters are now searching online for candidates, having a website will increase your chances of being found. When you have a personal website, that piece of digital space can turn up in a recruiter’s search results. Creativity is a highly sought-after talent in today’s market. Your personal website will tell a far greater story than your resume. When you add your bio, your original articles, unique designs, and the personalized content and layout, your creativity will shine.
A Website Establishes You as A Thought Leader
A website gives you the creative freedom to express your intelligence and critical thought in ways that are not always possible through your resume and interview. Building a reputation as a thought leader starts with getting your voice out into the world and your website or blog enables this. Being a thought leader doesn’t mean spitting out things that have been said many times before. Being a thought leader means you are willing to voice an opinion or an unpopular position. If you take a proactive approach to socially sharing your website, you can further improve your visibility which will also help to solidify yourself as a recognizable thought leader within your industry.
If you are thinking this is an expensive undertaking, it doesn’t have to be. There are many free sites to choose from and with today’s technology, anyone can build a beautiful site on their own. However, like anything online, if a website is unprofessional or contains content an employer will not appreciate, it can be more harmful than helpful. Make sure your personal website accentuates the positive, and eliminates the negative. Highlight your talents, skills, value, notable work and experience. I wouldn’t be surprised if you find recruiters or hiring managers mentioning it in interviews.