Creating a Personal Website for Professional Purposes

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Maintaining a personal website for professional purposes is an effective way to promote or market your skills and experience. In this lesson, you'll learn more about a website's benefits and what to include on it.

Do You Need a Personal Website?

In today's job market, competition is fierce! Any little thing you can do to set yourself apart from other applicants adds up to big results. That's what got Luke started on the idea of building a website. For him, this isn't just any E-commerce site that sells items or a news site with current events of the day; it's a personal website to tout his education and experience for potential employers.

What is a personal website exactly? Well, think of it like a digital portfolio or electronic resume. On a personal website, you can list contact information, upload presentations or speeches you've made, display your educational background, and expound on your previous work history and experience.

A personal website can aid in job hunting.
personal, website, portfolio, resume

Benefits of a Personal Website

Building a personal website reaps big rewards for your professional career in a number of areas. First, it allows you to put all your accomplishments together in a way that shows people, rather than tells people, what you career is all about. Sure, a piece of paper like a resume highlights the major components of your career, but a personal website allows you to build a portfolio that incorporates sample photos, links, and videos of your work so employers can get a true taste of who you are.

Personal websites help set you apart from the crowd of applicants vying for a job. By building a personal website, you become more than just a name at the top of a resume stack on a hiring manager's desk. Whether you include that information in your communication while applying for a job or a hiring manager finds it on his or her own, consider it an added layer of self-promotion, or getting the word out about yourself.

Another benefit of crafting a personal website is the ability to establish or manage your personal branding (what you're known for). For example, if your degree is in communications, but you have more experience in marketing and want to pursue opportunities in that field, a personal website can help mold your brand around your marketing interests. Controlling your personal brand gives those during the hiring the opportunity to get to know you and your personality on a more personal level.

One other benefit of hosting a personal website is the networking opportunities it can provide. How? Many people who build their own website opt to include features like an ongoing blog. Or, they may share the website on social media sites. When people start searching the internet for topics you've written about on a blog, for example, you can find yourself connecting with some pretty cool people all across the world, both in and out of your field.

So, Luke is convinced. He wants to establish a personal website to set himself apart, show what he's all about, and build a bigger network. Now, let's take a look at some best practices Luke needs to consider to build his personal site.

Best Practices for a Personal Website

Luke's decided that a personal website sounds like a great addition to his job hunting, and he sets out to build the best site he can. Here are some things he decided to include:

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