Searching for a job in today’s competitive job market is different than it ever has been. Your resume and whatever application process you go through is just the tip of the iceberg. If you are going to be successful in finding the right job or career, you need something that makes you stand out from your peers.
Your social media matters: things like your LinkedIn profile and even what you reveal about yourself through your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. However, there is another way to make yourself stand out and make your job search easier at the same time. That is your website.
Having your own website with your own domain name, not a free one you created using Blogger or another platform, lets an employer know you are serious. Just having a website is not enough though. What it contains will affect what it can and will do for your job search. So how do you leverage your website to make your job search easier?
Create Great Content
The first thing you need to make your website successful is some great content. This does not just mean slapping up a bio and an about page and calling it good. You might as well just post your resume or CV on the web.
Your website should be a way for employers to get to know you and who you are as a person. Blog about things you do, share photos and hobbies, trips and vacations, and photos that relate to your everyday life.
Employers want to see that you are a real person and that you have a work-life balance that is healthy and honest. Your content needs to reflect this for your site to set you apart.
If you struggle to write good content about yourself or to blog, hire someone to help you create the best content you can. If you are aiming for high paying jobs, this will pay off for you in the long run.
Don’t Forget Design
There are some ugly websites out there, and yours should not be one of them. Most web builders and blogging platforms like WordPress offer free themes that will easily allow you to make a great looking site, especially since you are not setting up an eCommerce store or selling something other than yourself.
However, this does not mean that you should not pay attention to design details like high resolution images, the psychology of color, and fonts, logos, and other graphics. These can be a mood killer for the person looking to hire you.
For instance, reds, oranges, and yellows are colors usually used for caution or stop signs. Using these colors on your personal job search site can put potential employers in a cautious mode, making them less likely to hire you.
Overused fonts, poor design features, and even your grammatical style can tell an employer a lot about your attention to detail. If you won’t invest in yourself and your website, how likely are you to be invested in their business?
Remember, this website is to show off you, but not just you. The site should emphasize the benefits you bring to an employer, and display why they should pick you over another candidate. It is better to not have a website than to have one that is a poor representation of yourself.
Pay Attention to SEO
Search Engine Optimization, or the ranking of your website, is not just for businesses. If an employer uses a search engine to look for your name, you want to be on the first page with not only your LinkedIn and social media profiles, but your website as well. How do you do that?
Very carefully. Your name and what you do need to not only be the center of your content and the name of your site, but it also needs to be in your meta descriptions and keywords throughout the pages and posts on your site. If you don’t know how to optimize these things, learning may take more time than it is worth. You may want to hire an agency that specializes in SEO to help you with your site at least at the beginning.
If you have a common name or share one with a celebrity, you may have trouble ranking well in Google and other search engines. What is important is that you put some effort into ranking for who you are and what you do so that if a potential employer, even one you are not aware of, searches for you, they will find you and see your efforts and accomplishments.
Your website shows that you are willing to invest in yourself and your job search. By putting it on display for employers to see, you show them what you will offer their company as well. Emphasize who you are, why you do what you do, and the benefits you bring to any task you undertake. Your job search will be easier, and you will get results beyond what you have imagined.
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