Did you know there’s one thing you could do right now that would give you a leg up over 93% of the professionals you’re competing with for jobs, promotions, and opportunities?
That little thing you’re wondering about is a personal website.
Forbes reported, “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.”
And I don’t believe, personal websites are just for job seekers. A personal website gives you a platform, makes a space to display your career achievements, and is a hub for your personal brand.
I’ve personally advocated everyone should have a personal website, and that’s why we are running a webinar this week on the topic. But I thought, what do other career experts think about personal websites?
So I emailed them to find out. I talked to New York Times Best Sellers, executives of job boards, and writers for A list career blogs.
This is what they said.
8 Career Experts Reveal 8 Reasons Why Every Careerist Should Own a Personal Website
1. To Compete in a Global Talent Pool
If you want to compete in the global talent pool, then you have to have your own website. People are already searching for you, or people like you, and every time your website doesn’t come up you lose an opportunity.
Having your own website is the cost of remaining relevant and gaining visibility in today’s job market.
- Dan Schawbel, New York Times best-selling author of Promote Yourself
2. To Build a Home for Your Career Development
While many professionals have a social networking presence these days, a great accompaniment to Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn is a personal website. Personal websites allow you to create and share content on your own terms, instead of through the rules or regulations of an already established platform.
For instance, if you were a freelancer, your personal website could be a great place to display your work, your accomplishments, and what you’re looking for in your next gig. You could also provide general advice through blogging, which shows your expertise and knowledge for the industry.
Although you may engage with numerous applications and platforms, your personal website can be the home to all your content on the Web. If you were to meet a prospective employer at a networking event, providing your personal website not only gives them insight into who you are, but it can also provide them with additional information should they want to explore further.
- Lynn Dixon, co-founder and COO of Hourly.com
3. To Stand Out From the Crowd…Which is Already Full of Bright Talent
For job and internship seekers today, it’s essential to stand out from the crowd to gain the attention of recruiters and hiring managers, and a personal website can be the key. Even if you’re not embarking on a job or internship search, everyone’s career can be made stronger through online personal branding.
In short, this means creating an online hub depicting who you are as a professional. While some people choose to bring their personal brand to life via social media, a personal website is an essential foundation for success. Consider your website an online portfolio — it’s your place to showcase your resume, previous work, blog, or even create an aesthetically pleasing space for photos, articles, media, and work that represents you.
Personal websites are a great benefit for your career because they provide an easy way for people to get to know you better. This may be a hiring manager, recruiter, or someone who wants to do business with you.
Your personal website is also a place for you to drive engagement and interest in your thought leadership. By blogging on your personal website, you’ll be able to showcase your knowledge and insight with a wide audience.
- Nathan Parcells, co-founder and CMO of InternMatch
4. To Get Passive Job Offers and Opportunities
Having your own website is one of the best ways to passively job- or client-search, because it helps people find you. When you’re working on other projects or at the gym or even sleeping, your website will work for you, convincing visitors that you’re the right person for the opportunity.
Why? Because a well-done website seals the deal. A hiring manager or potential client might have heard you were the best person for the job, but then they go to your website, see that you know what you’re talking about, they like your personality, and maybe you’ve even built an impressive community around your work — and boom, the job or project is one step closer to being yours.
Alexis Grant, careers blogger and digital strategist, AlexisGrant.com
5. To Stay Ahead of the Curve
Having your own website helps YOU help control what people will find when they search for you. Employers will Google your name before they hire — or interview — you. When you have your own website, you have an opportunity to influence what they find and to demonstrate a portfolio of information about you and to provide more in-depth information than your resume offers.
As online information becomes more and more important (and expected), personal websites/social resumes will become expected instead of “nice to have.” Sharing content via a website and social media streams helps job seekers demonstrate what they know. This “social proof” helps convince employers that they are capable of the work they are applying to do.
Additionally, as the economy shifts and employers hire more temporary and contract workers instead of filling traditional, full-time jobs, job seekers will need to learn how to market themselves online as if they own a business. A website represents a candidate’s “home base” or landing place they can fill with information to help market themselves and their skills.
The bottom line: it’s a great idea to create an online presence now that you own and maintain yourself so you’ll be ahead of the curve when everyone else is rushing to catch up with this trend.
Miriam Salpeter, social media strategist for job seekers and entrepreneurs, owner of Keppie Careers.
6. To Build a Platform as a Thought Leader
The sole purpose (or is it soul purpose?) for launching danpontefract.com was to think out loud, to express my thoughts on the evolution of organizations, and to connect with others. It has helped me launch a book (Flat Army: Creating a Connected and Engaged Organization) whilst providing a vehicle to demonstrate my previous experiences and successes. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without it from a career development perspective.
- Dan Pontefract, Author of Flat Army: Creating a Connected and Engaged Organization. Head of Learning & Collaboration at TELUS
7. To Make an Exceptional First Impression
In today’s business world, a personal website is the new business card. Beyond an online showcase of one’s portfolio and career highlights, both the style and content of the website should also give a sense of one’s personality, unique capabilities, as well as what they’re looking for and hope to accomplish in future positions.
As the owner of ModernDayNomads.com, I provide meaningful job opportunities and advice for professionals that love to travel or seek “locationless living” lifestyles. Many times this means they may work long-distances from their employers. So it’s even more important for the employer to have a sense of their potential employee’s professional backgrounds and personalities even before they are interviewed.
One page I recommend everyone make is a “Why You Should Hire Me” page. It specifically states what you are capable of accomplishing on-the-job, as well as the specific reasons you enjoyed the work and what you were hoping to get out of it as well.
- Tiffany Owens, Owner of ModernDayNomads.com
8. To Create a Dynamic Portfolio of Your Career’s Achievements
I find there are four benefits to creating a personal website for your career.
First, you’ll get to showcase your capabilities without the space restrictions of a one or two page resume.
Second, because a website is dynamic and interactive – with room for photos, videos and PDF downloads – you can make your story come alive in a way that’s impossible on paper.
Third, you’ll have greater control over what people find online when they do a Google search on you.
And fourth, it’s a great way to prove you’re comfortable with technology, an especially important consideration for anyone over 5o.
Take the First Step
We recently hosted a webinar on the topic of personal websites. Feel free to watch it below.
We’ll be showing you…
- Why a personal website is crucial to your career development.
- Why your employer benefits from you having a personal website.
- The easy way to make a beautiful personal website without any design or web experience.
- How to get promotions, grow your network, and become a thought leader using your personal website as a foundation.