How to start your own website for your job search

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Melissa Crossman
Melissa Crossman lives in Indianapolis with her two dogs. She enjoys cooking and volunteering in her community.
Melissa Crossman
Melissa Crossman
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Although the economy is purportedly getting better, many people are still feeling the recession hangover. Whether you’re unemployed or just underemployed and looking for something better, it’s important to do everything you can to give yourself a leg up in your job search. One technique is to build a website about yourself in a professional sense, using it to complement your paper résumé.

Benefits of a Professional Website

Potential employers often follow up on interesting candidates by searching for information about them online, which is why it’s so important to be careful with your social media accounts. Control what the public sees, or at least direct them to useful information by creating a professional website that goes over your qualifications much more comprehensively than your résumé can. Your website can also get your name out to employers and headhunters who you didn’t even apply with.

Types of Professionals Who Benefit Most from an Online Résumé and Portfolio

Although posting your standard one-page text résumé on a website can help get your name out, it doesn’t really do much to add to what potential employers already know about you. You want to add more content, usually projects you have completed that potential employers can browse to see concrete examples of your work. Therefore, online resumes are better tailored toward professionals whose work is project-based with a portfolio of past work. These types of professionals include:

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  • Artists
  • Musicians
  • How to Create Your Website

    If you think you can benefit from a professional website, it’s time to get started. Don’t let another month slip by without taking this step to improve your chances of landing the perfect job. Consider three major steps in creating your website:

    • Design: Use a clean, simple design that won’t distract potential employers from the content. Obviously, if you’re an artist or designer, it needs to look snappy. Otherwise, a clean design with simple lines and colors is fine. Choose a template or create it yourself in a program like Dreamweaver.
    • Content: Your résumé itself should only be part of your website. You should create pages for different aspects of your background, with an education page, work experience page, and perhaps even a community involvement page. You should also have a portfolio, either on its own page or embedded within the work experience page. Include photos wherever you can to bring the site to life, but make sure they’re professional and reflect your image well.
    • Hosting: You’ll need to make your site live so you can direct potential employers to it. Because your portfolio website probably won’t generate a ton of traffic, one option is to use a cloud hosting service. That way you can get the bandwidth you need when you need it rather than having to pay a fixed monthly hosting fee even when you’re barely using your site.

    Having your own website won’t guarantee you a position by any means, but it may make the difference in a competitive job market. Include your website on your résumé, and just as you would update your résumé, keep the website updated as well. Hopefully you won’t need to keep it up long because you’ll land a great job!