Personally, I have a huge amount of trouble staying connected in this technology-driven world. I often find myself being pushed around by the tide of new information available everyday on the internet. Here’s what I really need: a hub to connect my social media pages, resume information, and previous work samples. But here’s the good news: even if you have no technical experience, plenty of platforms can provide that service for free. Setting up a personal website will help you define your professional self, direct employers and recruiters to information about your qualifications, and help you brand yourself online.
Here’s a quick guide to help you asses which platforms are best for your professional needs. Not all personal websites are created equal, and we’re here to help guide through the decision process. Keep in mind that you will most likely need more than just a personal website. It’s a good idea create some social media as well. Additionally, most of these platforms can complement each other nicely. You may need to use more than one of these programs for your job search.
Need Addressed: Put your visual portfolio online.
Pros: If you career revolves around visual craetivity, Behance is a great option for clean portfolios. Not only can you easily and clearly post your previous work, their job board is a vibrant host to creative jobs and freelance opportunities. Recruiters can list their job opportunities and browse your portfolio in the same ecosystem.
Cons: Behance is very selective. In order to have an account, you need to be invited from a current member. Networking through other social mediums (LinkedIn, Tumblr) — or the old-fashioned but dependable “real world” — is necessary to score an invitation to the community.
WordPress + Free Theme
Need: Build a complex personal website (e.g. a blog, portfolio, biography, and a page listing your consulting rates – all in one place)
Pros: WordPress is incredibly versatile for different professions. They offers different page designs, some that are targeted toward certain careers (ex. the Buttercream theme would be excellent for a baker), and others that are plain and adaptable for different professional fields (ex. the Responsive theme). Simple and straightforward for employers, this site is great for consulting job seekers.
Cons: Of all the items on the list, WordPress is the most stuffed with features – and for beginner users, those features can feel a lot like bloat. If you need to keep it simple, WordPress is more overwhelming than slimmer platforms like Tumblr or Clippings (coming later in this list).
Need: Personal Branding Hub
Pros: About.me enables you to build visually striking profiles that connect your portfolio and social media presence in one place. Recruiters can spot-check the blurb on your profile to get the elevator pitch on your career, and easily access more information about your skills and work experience through connected links. Built-in apps will pull key information from other professional sites, like LinkedIn credentials and Smarterer scores. (We know, we know, ulterior motives – we’d make the same recommendation if the integration didn’t exist, though.)
Cons: A recruiter will only see the short description you’ve written about yourself – it’s up to you to compel them to dig into your arsenal of external links. If you can’t write a compelling ‘hook,’ you may squander your chance to put your portfolio and LinkedIn profile in front of your visitors.
Need: Writing Samples Portfolio
Pros: If you need to showcase your writing, clippings.me is designed for you. Literally. Since they offer the ability to categorize your articles, recruiters can easily find the articles that pertain job you’re applying to. It allows your web writing samples to live in the environment they were published, with comments and social interactions intact.
Cons: Recruiters can easily see your work, but not your resume. You’ll have send it them some other way. The framework for Clippings is simple, but adding too many articles can be overwhelming for the viewer. Consider adding just your best pieces to your homepage.
So now you’re on your way to being technologically-savvier, more professional, and well-known. You’ve been branded: there’s new job opportunities on your horizon, your social media pages are connected and easier to navigate, and you’ve made yourself and your resume more accessible. Where do you go from here? Up, my friend. Up.