In today’s world of competitive applications it can be easy to get lost in the piles of resumes and cover letters. That is why having a personal website - which often includes a short bio, overview of experience, contact information, and a portfolio - is an essential for today's students.
And furthermore, because only 15% of millenials have a personal website, having one will be a surefire way to stand out. Here are 5 reasons why you should create a personal website:
1. It’s a great way to showcase your accomplishments and creative works
If you are interested in graphic design, photography, art, or even writing, having a portfolio to showcase your work is essential. A personal website is a perfect place to publish your portfolio because it not only gives you more options for how you display your work, but it also makes it easier to access and share versus having a physical portfolio. And a personal website doesn’t have to be just for creatives; you can also showcase your accomplishments and any recognition you have received including mentions of you in the press, awards, certificates, skills, and notable experiences. Think of your personal website as place to showcase everything that makes you amazing.
2. You can start to develop your personal brand
Since the initial development of the concept by author Tom Peters in Brand You 50, personal branding has become popular as a way of taking control of your career. For example, in an article by the Harvard Business Review, it was found that when your true talents are understood, it’s more likely that you’ll be doing relevant and interesting assignments at work. A personal brand shows you understand who you are, what you can contribute, and what makes you stand out as a candidate. Creating a personal website is the perfect place to start developing your personal brand, since it acts as a reflection of you and what makes you different.
3. It makes it easier to get in contact with you
Your personal website allows you to display the best ways to contact you, whether that is by phone, email, LinkedIn, Facebook, or some other means. In addition, if you include other information such as your high school, university, city, major or industry, it makes it easier to find you via organic searches on search engines.
4. You get the opportunity to develop your web design skills
Half of the work of creating your personal website is building the website itself. And in today’s world of technology, many jobs often require some basic knowledge of HTML and CSS. Learning how to build your website is an opportunity to develop these skills and showcase to employers and admissions committees that you have those skills. You don’t necessarily have to code a website from scratch though, since with websites such as Wix, Squarespace, and Wordpress you can make a website more easily with minimal experience while still gaining some web design skills.
5. You increase your opportunities
Once you put yourself out on the Internet, you may find yourself receiving more opportunities from people who stumble across your site, including jobs, internships, gigs, etc. Having a website can put you in front of new people, expand your network, and open new doors that wouldn’t have come along without one. This is because a personal website says a lot more about you and your skill than any resume would.
These are just a few reasons why you should have a personal website. It can be a daunting task at first, but knowing that it is a live document (you can edit it at any time) should ease your worries if it isn’t perfect at first. And it doesn’t need to include everything that makes you amazing; you can decide what to display. Even if the only thing on your website if an "About Me" page, you are already ahead of the pack.