We are in the age of technology, which means that your tweets, statuses, and pictures are flying all over the internet and can be accessed by potential employers with a simple click of a mouse. With all the information that is out there about you, it is important to develop a professional website in order to represent your professional and scholarly accomplishments. Get ready to learn why it’s important, what to include, and where to start.
Why it’s important
Why exactly do you need your own website, you ask? Here’s why: although it is possible to present your professional or creative side on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, you can’t get the full effect of your accomplishments and abilities on sites that were made for socialization. “It’s a sign of professionalism,” says Larry Atkins, Journalism Professor at Temple and Arcadia University. “Potential employers and internship coordinators will look into your background, and having a professional website shows that you are serious about your career.”
What to include
When you’re creating your website, there are tons of things that you can add that will boost its appeal. Some important things to add are your published work, resume, past experiences and expertise. Add a short “About Me” section so employees get a memorable idea about who you are. Include a professional-looking headshot of yourself. “Don’t be shy about your accomplishments, especially as it relates to your field,” says Atkins.
It’s also useful to include your creative portfolio. Do you write poetry? Paint awesome works of art? Take breath-taking photographs? Include a tab on your website that shows off your creative abilities. Companies are looking for innovative and original employees, and your artwork may show that you are an out-of-the-box thinker.
Update and Start Linking
“Try to update your website and blog as frequently as possible in order to build an audience,” says Atkins. Employers don’t want to see outdated or irrelevant information. Consider keeping a weekly blog in order to keep things current. Also, start linking your page! Provide a link on your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages. This makes it easier for people to find it and might increase your chances of getting hired.
Where to Start
There are hundreds of platforms that you can use to create your own website. “WordPress is a very easy template to use to build your site,” mentions Atkins. You can also check out free and easy websites such as Tumblr and Weebly. Or, if you wanted to up the wow-factor, SquareSpace offers you your own domain name for $100 a year.
There you have it! Once you complete your site, edit, proofread, and fact-check to make sure all of your information is correct. Be sure to add your own creative flare to make it stand out. Congratulations, you are now on your way to getting hired!
You can contact Danielle Hagerty at email@example.com.