Site for Sore Eyes
A personal website can enhance your chances of landing a job
As you rummage through your job-search toolkit, no doubt you’ll come across your resume, your cover letter, a list of potential interview questions, maybe a list of target companies, etc. What not all job seekers necessarily find however, is a website. Yet, in this – the 21st Century, a personal website may not be a bad idea.
In fact, many hiring managers admitted that they had hired someone because of their personal websites.
Some may think that because they’re not designers and know nothing about coding or programming, a personal website for them is out of the question. That, and the fact that they believe developing a website would be far too expensive for them to pay someone else to do.
And, they would be mostly wrong.
First, there any number of online services that are relatively low cost (scratch the “too expensive” excuse) and surprisingly easy to use. We’re not going to get into recommending any one over another, but an hour or two of online searching coupled with conversations with trusted contracts can produce a workable list of possibilities.
Second, because many of the sites are either template-based, or have templates that are easily available, you don’t need to be a designer. For the most part, you can simply remove the template copy and replace it with your own. Done.
As for aesthetics, if you’re not sure what will work, look around. Check out the templates that are available to you and search for others where you can stimulate some inspiration. The biggest caveat about design is that a personal website doesn’t need great design, but lousy design can be a detriment.
So, what is important to hiring managers when reviewing a personal website? Yes, aesthetics are important, but the most important part is your introduction. It only needs to be 2-5 sentences, but it should create a picture of who you are and what value you bring to the table. Get past that and you’ve probably made the first cut.
One huge advantage to a personal website is that it gives you the opportunity to tell a cohesive story about yourself – your whole self – without overburdening the reviewer. You can have a separate page for past projects and/or accomplishments. You can have a separate page that examines your personal side – showing hobbies and other interests. Or whatever else can increase your chance to shine.
Without an inordinate amount of time or money, you can create a personal website that just may be the tipping point in your job search.