Why You Should Have a Personal Website

Looking for a job in 2016 can be complicated. You need a resume, but you should showcase your skills online, as well. In addition to a LinkedIn profile, a personal website is a great way to showcase your skills and achievements to potential employers and help you stand out from the competition. Here are some of the best reasons to have a personal website.

A personal website helps you easily display your professional achievements with more space than on a resume. It’s basically an easily accessible online portfolio. You can link to design, writing, or other projects you’ve done so employers and interviews can see your work firsthand. You can also describe your soft skills, like good communication or teamwork, in greater detail. Unlike a resume, you can take as much space as you want to demonstrate your talents and strengths.

You also get a chance to showcase your personality on a personal website. Resumes are typically pretty bland—black fonts on one white piece of paper—and LinkedIn’s uniform layout doesn’t allow for much personalization. A personal website lets you show employers your own style. If you know coding or web design, it’s a chance to showcase those skills. If not, there are plenty of easy platforms to host your site with minimal design effort.

They also increase your online visibility. Since hiring managers and employers are likely to do an online search for your name, a personal website with your name (especially if it’s in the URL) popping up will impress employers and allow you to tell your story with your site. 

At the end of the day, a personal website will help you stand out from the crowd. They’re a simple and effective way to communicate who you are as a person and a professional, but very few people actually have them. You’ll look like you are really taking your career, and your next career move, very seriously.

Tips for Building a Network

Tips for Building a Network

When most people hear the word “networking,” images of boring mixers with name tags and off-brand sodas usually come to mind. Professional networks can be helpful and building them can be fun, if you do it right. Read on for some tips for how to build a better, more successful network.

Join Organizations

Many professions have local, national and international organizations that allow people in similar fields to meet and network. There are organizations for doctors, entrepreneurs, journalists, teachers, designers, engineers, professors, lawyers and just about any profession you can think of. There are also organizations for women, young professionals, African Americans and most demographics. The organizations you join don’t have to be strictly professional, either. Alumni groups, volunteer organizations and recreational activities are all great ways to meet people with similar interests. You never know who can help you in your job search!

Attend Events

Yes, building a network still involved networking events. The big thing to remember is that they don’t have to be boring. Events put on by professional organizations bring together like-minded people with similar careers, so you won’t be at a loss for a conversation topic. Alumni events are a great way to meet people who went to your high school or college and reminisce about great times. Recreational activities should be fun for you, regardless of whether they land you a job! In order to build a network, you have to get out there and actually meet and connect with other people.

Follow Up

Meeting people means nothing if you say goodbye at the end of a luncheon and never speak to them again. Make sure to carry business or calling cards with you and collect new acquaintances’ cards, as well. After a day or two, send your new contacts an email to let them know how great it was to meet them, and make a plan to catch up in the future.

What to Bring to an Interview

You’ve sent out your resume far and wide, and now you’re starting to hear back from potential employers about your applications. When you get interviews set up, you’ll start preparing your best answers to all the standard interview questions. There are certain things

Resume/Portfolio

Even if you already submitted your resume as part of the application process, you should always bring extra copies to an interview. Print at least five of them on resume paper and keep them in a nice, solid colored folder. If you have a portfolio of design work, writing samples or any other projects, bring that along. Even if you’re unemployed, it’s a good idea to bring business cards with your contact information, as well.

Questions

You should also come prepared with a list of questions for your interviewers, not just answers. Ask them specific questions about the company, position, team and culture. You’ll probably come up with questions as you go, but you should think of a few ahead of time just in case. Asking thoughtful questions will show employers that you are serious about the position, and can give you a chance to further explain why you’re a good fit for the role.

Company Information

Of course, you should have the company address, phone number and the name of the person you’re meeting with on hand (preferably written down) so you know exactly where to go and what to say. You should also do some research on the company before the interview. Bring along some notes to review while you’re waiting.

Emergency Supplies

Carry a notebook and pen with you in case you need to take notes in your interview. Many resume folders have space for your resume, a legal notepad and a pen. You should carry along some breath mints (not gum!) to freshen up just before your interview.