In the increasingly hostile job market that college graduates and working world veterans navigate alike it has become increasingly important to find any edge that you can gain when applying for a job. In a world where social networking has become an aspect of everyday life experts have begun to emphasize the importance of getting yourself out on the internet. In particular, experts are beginning to suggest that job applicants own and create their own personal websites. A Recent Forbes Article said that over 80% of employers Google their applicants looking for more information and websites that can provide farther insight into the person’s character or work experience than a resume can offer.
Personal websites can be a great resource for employers and can help applicants express the personality, thoughts, experiences, and information that they may or may not have been able to convey during their interview. Social networks such as LinkedIn have already been created in order for people to get their resume online but personal websites add a whole other dimension of customization and ability to differentiate yourself from others.
It is important that these websites include more than just a biography and a resume which is why they can often be more successful than just creating a LinkedIn account. These websites should absolutely include this information or even a link to a LinkedIn account but they can also include many other aspects. As we have been learning in class and through these blog posts, blogging can be an incredibly powerful tool and can allow someone to represent their opinion effectively as well as helping them demonstrate knowledge of certain issues. The inclusion of a professional blog on a website can add another dimension that employers often miss at interviews. It allows you to show employers your thoughts and knowledge of the industry and markets that you have worked in. These blogs should not be the only thing that you include on your website either.
Depending on the industry that you hope to enter, these websites can be the perfect medium through which to display examples of your work at pervious jobs or in school (PowerPoint’s, spreadsheets, ect.) and testimonials from previous employers as well as professors. Adding these two aspects help employers get tangible examples of the value that you can add to their company if you were hired. Unfortunately paper resumes and recommendation letters often fall short in this category barely scraping the surface of who you are and what you could provide an employer.
The recent surge in social networking has made it far easier to market yourself to employers and to not take advantage of these tools can only help you. A recent article in Forbes said that although 80% of companies go looking for information more often than not it is hard for them to find as only 7% of applicants have personal websites. Why not differentiate yourself and make yourself part of that 7%?