There are a lot of reasons why people find themselves looking for new employment.
Their former boss, poor working conditions, maybe they even got drunk at the company Christmas party and assaulted a cab driver on video.
But as long as you don’t turn into Donald Trump when you drink, searching for a new employer can be extremely rewarding; if done correctly.
As a new job seeker, you’re most likely spending most of your time scouring for employment opportunities. But did you know those job postings you’re applying to online get on average 118 applicants? Probably not.
According to Workfolio, a company that develops applications for professional visibility, 56% of all hiring managers are more impressed by a candidate’s personal website than any other personal branding tool—however, only 7% of job seekers actually have a personal website.
Workfolio’s founder and chief executive Charles Pooley says:
“The employment market is an incredibly scary place to be right now as a job seeker—but a personal website offers several important things to improve your odds. One, it gives hiring managers a glimpse into your personality”, he says. “A website gives you creative freedom to express your personality in ways that are not be possible through your resume. 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.”
Having a well-designed website sends the message that you’re to be taken seriously, and employers notice.
Lastly, it offers visibility, Pooley says.
“Showing up is half the battle. We know that an ever-increasing number of employers are researching job applicants online, and owning your own website with your name in the domain gives you a great shot at showing up when someone searches for you.”
Ok, so you know having a personal website will make you stand out.
But sometimes, writing a resume is hard enough. A website can seem like a daunting (or expensive) task, especially if you don’t know how to code it yourself.
The good news is there’s an increasing number of agencies and freelancers out there who can make you an informative and professional personal website.
So how do you know who to choose with so many options?
The first step is to take a look at their work, do they even make personal websites?
Be sure to ask them plenty of questions and make sure they include SEO (Search Engine Optimization) that way when a recruiter searches your name, your personal website will be at the top of the list.
Once you’ve developed an impressive, information-packed personal website, you’ll want to promote and utilize it in your job search.
“Your personal website should be the centerpiece of your online presence,” Pooley says. Be sure to put a link to your website in your e-mail signature, on your resume and cover letter, and on social networking profiles such as LinkedIn. If you have created personal business cards, include your web address with your other contact information there as well. “If you contribute to publications or industry message boards, share a link there, too,” Pooley adds.
The bottom line is, it’s a great idea to create a personal website now so you’ll be ahead of the competition while everyone else is trying to catch up.