In this post we’ll explore how having a personal website makes you competitive in this job market and how to do it with a small budget or without any coding knowledge required.
My current employer told me that they were impressed by my personal website and that the creativity shown on my site was one of the reasons why they hired me. I’ve read a few articles about how having a personal website that show off your skills, personality, and creativity can give you a competitive advantage but I didn’t really believe it until I heard it for myself.
According to this recent business insider article, “employers are researching potential candidates online and want to look deeper than someone’s work experience “ says Nick Macario, the CEO of branded.me. Having a website in your name helps improve your presence on a Google search results page. Try going to godaddy.com and do a quick search for “yourname.com”. If the domain is available, I highly encourage you to buy it before someone else beats you to it. If it’s taken I recommend using a middle name or a professional suffix after your name such as yournamephotography.com or yournamemarketing.com.
Your website should then contain the following key components: a brief biography about who you are and a page dedicated to highlighting your skills, experiences, and accomplishments. In addition, it’s recommended to include a visual portfolio that includes either screenshots, uploads, or video of your work. The portfolio section of your site should be creative and encompass any personal elements that might help you stand out. A blogging section for your site is optional and I don’t recommend it unless you plan on committing to a consistent blogging schedule.
If you worried about budget or not having the time or technical skills to create your personal website, don’t worry!
Here are three ways to create a personal website at a low cost and without needing to have any coding experience.
1) Wordpress.com is a great content creation platform. When you sign up there are tons of great themes that are free and available for use immediately. If you don’t like any of the free themes, you can also purchase a professionally created one from sites like themeforest.net and easily upload the theme to your site. A theme can start at $30 and it’ll look like you spent hundreds on it.
Plus, telling your potential employers that you built your site on your own using wordpress and installing a theme is also uber impressive.
2) If you’re not a fan themes and want more creative control of your site, I recommend using either wix.com or squarespace.com. These are free website building services that allow you to use a drag and drop method to create your site. You can start with a blank template from scratch or you can use one of their template and manipulate assets as you you see fit. Unlike a wordpress theme, wix or squarespace themes are easier to edit if you don’t have the technical experience.
3) For the super extremely time sensitive students, I recommend using an automated website building platforms like about.me or branded.me. This kind of platform builds a static one page website using data from your LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter. You can begin with importing your data to pre fill your experieinces and skills, and then add the visual portfolio component at another time.
Haylee is an Alumna from the College of Arts, Media, and Design and a member of the Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority Inc, Northeastern Xi Chapter . She is currently a Marketing and Communications Manager at Ca Technologies, a social media personal branding coach, and a yogi residing in Medford, MA. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @hayleethikeo.
Look for Haylee’s posts every other Tuesday