Valuable experience, an admirable GPA and shining letters of recommendation just aren’t outstanding these days. A personal website for career pursuits though can make you stand out among the rest. More than 56 percent of employers consider a personal website to be an impressive feat, but only 7 percent of job seekers actually have a personal website, explains Forbes. Simple or extravagant, personal websites showcase your Web knowledge, unique skills and familiarity with technology. Especially for a career in public relations, a website can give you that extra edge.
Step one: Gather content. Remember your website is for business purposes and career objectives. Professionalism a top priority. Look at it as a virtual version of your resume with digital capacities for more creative details and visual elements. Smashing Magazine recommends the following personal branding essentials for your website:
- Logo: Not only are you promoting yourself, but you’re developing a personal brand. Create a logo that showcases your personality as well as your professional capabilities.
- Tagline: A tagline is like a catch phrase. Imagine what you would want on your business card.
- About Me: Your summary should be a short paragraph that’s clear, concise and to the point. Describe who you are, your background and experience, career objectives and top qualifications.
- Resume: Hiring managers will appreciate a resume that’s prominently displayed or easily accessible to download.
- Contact Information & Call to Action: Contact information, from your email address and mobile phone number to LinkedIn and Twitter profiles, should be easy to find. Ask employers and companies to contact you — a call to action will come across as confident and eager.
Building Your Site
Unless you are a web designer or software engineer, use a web application to build your website and ensure that it looks professional. Evaluate your needs and research popular options, such as WordPress, Workfolio and About.me. According to Internetserviceproviders.com, WordPress was named the 2011 Open Source Web App of the Year, which makes this platform a solid, reliable choice for beginners who want to develop their own personal brand online. The functionality of WordPress is easy for the average user to create a professional, yet unique website.
Spreading the Word
Once your website is created, promote it by blogging and posting it on prominent Internet spaces. Inc. suggests securing social media pages and a domain name with your name. Therefore, hiring managers and networkers can associate your real name with your professional brand. Once you’ve set up your social media accounts, link them to your website. Promote your business site through all of the different social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and even YouTube. Even starting a blog will help improve your credibility and authenticity. Providing relevant content within the PR industry will increase your ranks in the search engine results and attract industry experts. Be sure to update your blog on a regular basis, and always provide valuable, original and high-quality content.
Britney Anderson is a sales manager who loves closing deals. She also enjoys sharing her strategies and getting feedback on what works and what doesn’t so feel free to leave comments and links to your personal websites.