Personal Websites: New Way to Get Ahead

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%?

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10 thoughts on “Personal Websites: New Way to Get Ahead

  1. Great post and I definitely think that Personal Websites will be much prevalent in the near future. This professional world is now more cutthroat than ever because more people are competing for the same jobs. Resumes are only supposed to be one page long and it is hard to fit everything on there. Resumes are also only perused, which means it is easily forgettable. I would definitely create my own website to allow the employer to know me better and it would be a great medium to display achievements and projects. This new platform will however be a double-edge sword. For example, I wouldn’t know how much information an employer would want. Would they want to see trips of me backpacking or on the beach? Would the employer think I was sucking up to them too much if all of my websites pertains to things related to the company? It is really hard to see what company’s want in an employee. I remember in a yahoo article that many business thought a guy who sent a cover letter blatantly stating that he was mediocre, didn’t have any leadership, and had no experience was amazingly fresh and transparent unlike the people who have joined multiple business clubs and also genuinely want the job. I think that Personal Websites are a good idea, but I don’t know if company’s may perceive it another way.

  2. Great post I liked your poll! I think that personal websites would be a great way for employers to get to know a candidate. I prefer it over social networking sites. Personal websites would be a good way for you to brand yourself and show your interests. It’d allow you to control how you are judged by employers who feel the need to go beyond the classic background check and delve into a candidate’s personal life (which I have a serious problem with but that’s besides the point). However, I also see how this could be sort of “fake” because people would probably put stuff on their that they aren’t genuinely interested in but make them seem more intelligent. Therefore employers should be cautious and not put too much stock into them.

  3. I found this blog interesting in that I never even considered a personal website to be necessary to find a job. Having said this, what you researched and said makes total sense. It is clearly a great avenue for employers to explore potential employees in a totally different way. It is also helpful for applicants, as it may provide an opportunity previously inaccessible. However, in the poll, i voted for the latter option. While I do see these websites as positive, I don’t think it will be revolutionizing. I think a personal, face to face interview can never be replaced. It is possible that a resume may be replaced by something like a personal website, but for me, interviews are imperative. Having a conversation with someone cannot be replaced by technology. Maybe I’m a little old fashioned, but I don’t see the interview process changing any time soon. It is certainly interesting however, to see how the employee process may see some changes in the future, if it hasn’t already. Overall, great topic and description of what is going on with these personal websites.

  4. This website gave me an entirely new view on marketing yourself for a job. A personal website would be the perfect way to showcase writing skills, presentation skills and past accolades. On top of that, if an employer were to Google your name and discover you have your own website, they would automatically have a higher opinion of you and believe you are current and up to date with the technology of the world. I agree that a conversation with someone may be the best way to interview and decide on a candidate for a job, as a face to face interaction cannot be replaced, but the personal website may lead to an opportunity for that interview. In today’s world, it is all about getting your foot in the door, and a personal website is a way to do just that.

  5. This is a really interesting blog post, and I haven’t heard of many people making their own personal websites. I think this can be really helpful for some people, but I think it depends what kind of jobs you are applying for. I think have a personal website full of technology information and designing an interesting webpage is good for applying to a job at Google or some other computer/tech company. But for some jobs, I don’t think this would really be needed because I think part of it is a way for a potential employee to highlight his/her computer-savy abilities, but these skills are not needed for all jobs. I also think along with personal websites, Professor Kane brought up a good point that you should also think about making professional social networking sites, such as a professional Facebook or Twitter, so companies can look at what you are doing, what you are interested in, what sort of information you tweet, and this can help them get a sense of your interests and hobbies as well. Overall, very interesting blog. You maybe could have added another picture or something, but I liked the poll at the end. Nice job!

  6. This is a great blog post discussing a possible method to get ones personal resume out to employers efficiently. However, I’m not sure if a personal website is going too far. With websites being created like this, an employer can potentially know their applicant before they even walk through the door. Information about previous jobs, where you live, and your hobbies/interests could be readily available to anyone on the internet. What ever happened to internet privacy? I for one find this idea unnecessary as LinkedIn is a professional website perfectly capable of sharing information and resumes of those attempting to network. If an employer wants to learn more, they have typically in the past checked the employee’s Facebook and Twitter feed. This was definitely an interesting post and I enjoyed the addition of a survey, but personal websites definitely seem a bit much for the majority of professions.

  7. Great post. I thought it was well written and easy to read. As a senior who just went through the job search process I can definitely testify to the frustration of employers only seeing a service level view of who you are. There is only so much you can express in a cover letter and interview. I felt like I was just another name in the mix and didn’t really know how to make myself stand out. Personal websites seem like a really great way to achieve this differentiation. I think it is so important to be aware that employers are searching your name and the the internet isn’t a free-for-all for all your “college” pictures. When I was applying for jobs i changed my Facebook name so that I wasn’t as easy to find. Social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, and personal webpages can be used to effectively market yourself but can also hurt you. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Very interesting concept! I would have never thought of using a personal website as a tool to use during the job search. If this personal website is done correctly, I think it will be a great way to show employers what you are truly about. Although LinkedIn and other resources are great ways to show employers your resume and things about you, this can give them a whole new way to look at you as a prospective employee. I don’t think this will necessarily be an immediate trend amongst the job search, but I think in the short future this will become a common-used practice.

  9. Very interesting blog post. I have never thought about using a personal website to get a job. I knew that companies searched social media in order to find out information on what kind of person you are. But using your points in the essay I can see how important a person website can be. It will allow you to put all your information in one spot that your potential employers can see. It would be a very useful tool and give you a better chance of getting the job. I can see in the future personal websites being used more and more by applicants.

  10. I agree with many of your classmates, social networking via personal websites really are the way of the future. When I was in mi021 Professor Kane mentioned posting the blogs we write for class to our own personal blog, so that way when employers ask for personal work, we can provide them with our forward-thinking blog posts. Also, at this point since personal websites aren’t as prevalent as they could be, they are are a great way to express your personality and interests, rather than having an employer go snooping around your Facebook page.

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