Your Personal Brand’s Biggest Weapon
In today’s job search, candidates are looking to “culture fit” as one of the biggest deciding factors when choosing their dream internship or job. Similarly, employers view culture alignment with candidates as increasingly important, wanting to scratch beyond the surface to understand who they’ll really be bringing onto their team. This is why personal branding is vital for job seekers – let employers know who you really are.
One of the most effective ways to establish and build your personal brand online is by making a personal website. Effective personal websites showcase a job seeker’s experiences, skills, and talents in a unique and engaging way that makes their candidacy come to life. It’s more than a resume-it’s an interactive, evolving, dynamic representation of who you are.
“A website gives you creative freedom to express your personality in ways that are not be possible through your resume,’ says Charles Pooley, CEO of Workfolio, a personal branding company. ‘Everything from the bio paragraph you write to the design options you choose for your website says something about you, and gives recruiters more chances to decide if they want to bring you in for an interview.”[i]
A little lost on how to get your personal site up and running and what type of content to highlight? Fret not, Vocate has the 411 to help you get started!
Step 1: Buy a domain name at a domain registry I Ideally, the domain should be some version of “yourname” at a .com or a .me extension. The most popular domain registry is GoDaddy. Pro Top: Check Google for GoDaddy coupon codes, you can usually snag a domain name for as low as $5/year.
Step 2: Sign up for a website platform | You no longer need to be a coding superstar to design a website (yay technology). There are plenty of website platforms that offer you a variety of templates and themes to choose from based on your needs. With a few clicks and drag ‘n drops, you can have a basic website setup in no time! The most popular website platforms areWix, Weebly, and Squarespace. All have various price points and their own advantages and disadvantages, so make sure you pick the platform that makes the most sense for you.
Step 3: Create content and populate your website | Here comes the hard part! Remember, your personal website is not your resume digitized, so avoid rehashing your CV and let your personality shine through. At the very minimum, your personal site should include:
- A high-definition headshot/professional picture of yourself
- Your contact information
- A powerful and concise 2-3 paragraph mission or summary statement (who you are, what you value, and why you do the things you do)
- Links to your social media accounts (avoid linking accounts with mostly personal content)
- Select experiences and/or skillsets you would like to highlight
Once you’ve got the basics down, you can start to upload project work that help illustrate the skillsets you’ve listed or even post testimonials from current or past supervisors that speak to you in a glowing manner. For some inspiration to get the creative juices flowing, check out a sample of some stellar personal websites compiled by our friends over at The Muse. Remember, this is a real opportunity to differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack, so get creative and think outside the box. The possibilities are endless!