The job market is an extremely tough environment to be in right now, with evermore desperate job seekers always looking for a way to outshine their competitors. To gain the upper-hand, you need to get inventive when it comes to spicing up your CV/résumé and setting yourself apart from the crowd. An easy and yet unusual way to do this? Get yourself a personal website, and put it on your CV/résumé.
A recent survey noted by Forbes found that a staggering 56% of hiring manages were more impressed by a personal website than by other forms of personal branding, yet only 7% of job seekers actually own a personal website. While that number in itself should be enough to convince you to get a website right away, here are just some of the reasons why having a personal website could aid you in your job search.
1. It Proves your Web-savvy Skills
While almost all twenty-somethings nowadays understand how to manipulate the web and social media, it can be hard to present examples to justify placing those skills on your CV/résumé. For example, you may have amazing Twitter networking skills, but you might not want to use your personal Twitter account (filled with insights like ‘I’m hungover’ or ‘I just ate a burger’) as an example for your prospective employer. having a personal website that you maintain to a professional standard will you just the example work you need to display your web skills, and prove that you are in tune with today’s technology-centred market.
To the average 50+ corporate manager, the web can still seem like a novelty and they may not fully understand how it all works. To these kinds of managers, any experience with handling websites will make you seem like a web wizard—gaining you instant kudos and attention.
2. You can use it as a Secondary CV/Résumé
A one-page CV/résumé and cover letter can only say so much about you, and inevitably there will be experiences and skills that don’t make the cut onto A4. By providing a link to your personal website, you open up a portal to a vivid and dynamic portrait of you, which can list all of the relevant experiences and skills that you could not cram into your cover letter. A personal website is simply a more powerful and enterprising way to bringing your résumé to life: it shows that you are enterprising and think outside of the box, which hopefully will win over any potential employers.
3. You can Highlight your Personality
While interviews usually serve to highlight your ambition and personality to a potential employer, many candidates never actually make it that far in the job application process. Therefore, you need to come up with some other way of injecting personality into your application to ensure you nab yourself that interview slot (and then hopefully land the job). Websites can give a real insight into who you are, and highly the passions, opinions and interests that make you a 3D character and well-rounded individual. If a potential employers connects with you on a personal level, they are more likely to have a favourable impression of you and therefore hire you for the job.
4. It will improve your Google Search
A recent survey found that 91% percent of employers use social media networks to prescreen applicants, meaning that it is impossible nowadays to keep your personal and professional life separate. A well-optimised website is firstly more likely to rank higher than a Twitter or Facebook page for your name, thereby ensuring the first impression an employer gets of you is a professional one. Secondly, by setting your personal accounts to private, you can maintain secondary professional social network pages related to your website—again, ensuring the first hits for your name on Google are positive.
5. It’s Fun!
Separate from work-related reasons, maintaining your own website can actually be really fun and is a great way to sharpen your web skills while taking up a new hobby. Even if you have no idea how to make your own website, a quick Google search and a decent website builder or CMS should set you on your way.
Even on a personal website that simply aims to show off your CV/résumé and samples of your work, you can also maintain a side-blog were you can muse about topics that interest you and share your opinions with the world. Blogging is no longer the preserve of artsy types and teenage girls: professional bloggers can actually make money as they write, plump up their CV with their blog, and have a blast along the way. What more could you ask for?