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5 Do’s and Don’ts for Your Personal Website When You’re Job Hunting

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Personal websites aren’t just for freelancers or artists; they’re an essential part of the hiring process in all industries. However, you can’t just create a website and expect the offers to roll in. These do’s, and don’ts will teach you how to create a website that impresses employers.

1. Do: Include a Short Pitch

An elevator pitch is a 40-second introduction that explains who you are and what you do. You’ll follow up by stating your ask or what you want the person listening to the pitch to do. This pitch is one of the best ways to acquire new customers or get the attention of future employers. 

Place two to three short paragraphs on your Home page and About page that includes your name, title, the major companies you’ve worked for, your projects, and what you’re proud of. When writing your pitch, ask yourself what you want potential employers to learn about you.

Don’t: Talk in Length About Your Life

Hiring managers aren’t interested in your life story; they want to know what you can do for them and whether you’ll fit in with their company culture. Avoid being overly wordy or confusing. 60% of employers take 11 seconds to read a resume, and they’ll skim through your website, as well.

2. Do: Include a Blog and Testimonials

Blogs are essential for marketing, even if you’re not selling your writing skills. A regularly updated blog sets you up as a topic expert, thought leader, and an educator. It also helps you connect with like-minded people all over the web, and networking is vital for future employment.

If you’re not a photographer, websites like Freepik give you access to millions of creative resources for free you can use in your blogs. If you’re worried about your writing ability and you don’t want to hire a ghostwriter, practice your skills in your free time or take a course.

Don’t: Forget to Update Regularly

An abandoned blog won’t reflect favorably on your punctuality, so stick to a blog update schedule that fits your needs. As long as you keep at it, you’ll come off as trustworthy. Also, update the clients providing testimonials regularly, just in case prospects want to speak to them.

3. Do: Include Examples of Your Work

Whether you’re a creative professional or a project manager, you need to prove that your services will benefit other employers. A portfolio is the best way to showcase some of your work, but the way you structure your portfolio will depend on the type of industry you’re in.

For example, artists can simply upload an image of their work because it speaks for itself. A project manager would need to write short descriptions about the events they helped with or the projects they coordinated. This is your time to show off, so don’t be afraid to brag a bit.

Don’t: Clog Up Your Portfolio

The best portfolios are targeted, relevant, and short. Employers aren’t going to look into every single project you’ve ever done, and they’ll feel overwhelmed if they try. Try to limit the work on your portfolio to 10-15. You can also have multiple portfolios if you market to several niches.

4. Do: Include Your Social Media Links

Your personal website isn’t the only URL that can help you get a job. Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook can feature content that benefits a potential client’s background check. And you might as well give them these links anyway because they’ll look you up regardless.

While most social media websites help with marketing, try to focus on well-known or industry-focused links that line up with your brand. For example, a software engineer should link to their GitHub page, while a branding marketer must link to their Instagram filled with pictures.

Don’t: Feature Irrelevant Links

Your social media links should be relevant to your job search. While it’s appropriate for a writer to showcase their Medium page, it’s not smart for a virtual assistant to do the same. Avoid posting links to personal social media profiles or anything that could affect your suitability.

5. Do: Include Personal Branding

Everyone has a personal brand, even if they haven’t taken advantage of it yet. Employers typically have unconscious biases about their candidates. They’re more likely to hire someone they like (or similar to them). If they can’t get a read on your personality, they may pass you up.

But a personal brand also shares a marketing purpose. If you have a professional-looking logo, color scheme, and typography throughout your site, employers are more likely to take you seriously. Plus, visuals are easier for everyone to read, which makes you more memorable.

Don’t: Use Unedited Stock Images

There’s nothing wrong with using stock images in your branding, but you should always edit them first. Stock images, whether paid or free, will show up on multiple blogs. Without that personal touch, you risk blending into the background or muting your brand’s personality.

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