Many job seekers think uploading your resume to any old job board and hitting that convenient little APPLY NOW button is all you need to do to get hired. Job boards make the application process seem super easy. But like anything that’s free and easy, it comes with some significant drawbacks. Like, 100+ people applying for that same position. If you are like me, after a few months of firing off applications this way, I found myself wondering if I should create a resume website for my personal brand to set myself apart from the rest of the crowd.
An article from Business Insider says that 70% of employers are looking to personal websites to gather relevant information about candidates before they send an interview request.
Yes, you need a personal website for your job search.
Let’s face it, for every 50 applications you submit, you will get between 3-5 interview opportunities. If you are lucky… According to ETEKI, the standard submit-to-interview ratio* is 3:1 and is even higher depending on the industry.
*Ratio of candidates who submitted for the job posting that then went on to interview
You can’t afford to blend in when applying online.
You need to set yourself apart from the rest of the applicants. Plain and simple. The best way to do this is to create a personal website to bring your resume and working experience to life in a clear and creative way.
Put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes. Whose resume will stand out more, the person who submits the 100th bullet point list resume, or the person who sends you his/her personalized website with visual examples of past work experience, hobbies, writing examples, and in-depth bio with a picture?
Having the freedom to express your personality in a creative and engaging way will push you higher up the stack of resumes. That is just not possible through a static resume.
Not sure where to begin? This Business Insider article lists exactly what you should include in your resume website.
Ok, I want to build my online resume, but that takes time and coding skills, right?
If you are like me and don’t have a bunch of free time, building a website from scratch is not the route you should take when you are on the job hunt. Thankfully there are free resources available to you for building the perfect resume website.
There are so many website editors to choose from when selecting the best fit for your personal website. Everything from WordPress to Squarespace, there is something for everyone.
How to choose the best website builder for creating your online resume
A good rule of thumb when planning which website builder to choose is to think in terms of what will provide the best user experience for the recruiters visiting your site. This should be a website builder that is easy to use both on the front end and the back end.
Matt Rosenberg, PR and Communications Manager at Wix, provides some great keys to take into account.
“When choosing where to host and create your resume or portfolio one important thing to consider is flexibility,” he said. “What you want to share and promote will likely change, you will have new work and projects to add and your own tastes may evolve. With a limited platform, you could find yourself stuck with something that’s outdated or not reflective of your current style and experience. Wix offers an unmatched set of promotional products and design capabilities, allowing you to create with the confidence that your online brand will grow with you.”
Wix is the website builder I have used for my resume site. The key features that convinced me to sign up with Wix was the fact that I could build a fully functional website for free and that there was no coding involved. It’s literally like Photoshop, but easier. They use what’s called a WYSIWYG (“wi-zee-wig”) editor or “What You See Is What You Get”. This is a huge time saver when you need to prioritize your time spent networking and calling recruiters.
Here are 4 reasons you need a resume website
1. Easily send your custom URL to recruiters
If you haven’t taken my job searching course, “Foundations to a Successful Job Search,” I teach my students that researching valuable connections via LinkedIn is the best way to get your resume (or in this case, your resume website) into the hands of recruiters.
When you are reaching out to a connection you want to make the best possible first impression.
Sending a personal message that includes a link to your website allows your connection to pass along a much more engaging and interactive version of your resume to the person responsible for hiring out that position. An added bonus of going this route is the employee referral aspect.
According to an article from TalentLyft, “current employees have a hands-on experience with [the] company culture, mission and vision which means they can easily recommend candidates who make the best cultural fit for [the] company.”
This means that if a recruiter or hiring manager receives your resume from an active employee, they subconsciously feel a sense of trust toward you as a worthwhile candidate, whether or not you know the employee personally.
For an in depth look on how personalized websites impact your job search check out this article from the Muse. It explains real world examples of how recruiters respond to resume websites and what they find to be the most valuable information when scanning your website.
Here’s an example message you can send to a connection:
Hi <employee name>,
I saw <company name> is looking for a UX Developer with experience coding in C++ and Python. If you wouldn’t mind passing along my contact info and resume to the hiring manager for this position, I would really appreciate it!
<email> <phone#> <resume website url>
2. Present visual examples of your skills and past accomplishments
Create a list of skills that you know would be a great fit for the job you are looking for. Just like your resume, keep this short and sweet.
Unlike a resume PDF, building your own website allows you the flexibility to add images, info graphics, videos, gifs, and even memes! A visual representation will leave a lasting impression on your visitors.
As with anything that is online, remember the importance of keywords. The better the keywords, the better the SEO.
3. Prove that you are a perfect fit with the company culture through photos and videos
Show your personality by creating a bio page. This will oftentimes be your home page, so you can capture their attention from the first click. Be sure to include a professional picture of yourself and a brief write up of who you are, where you aspire to be in your career, and why you are a perfect candidate.
Keep it short and to the point. Have some fun and show your creativity.
I am a confident leader with experience building and maintaining valuable relationships. At my last company, I took lead in forging a partnership with new manufacturing and distribution channels. This relationship grew our small operation into a nationwide conglomerate in the coffee table industry.<Bio Page Example>
In the work experience section of your resume site, be sure to include photos and/or videos related to your past jobs. That could be a picture of you standing in front of the building, your cubicle, at a work outing, or you presenting to a client. This shows recruiters that you are a pleasure to work with and enjoy the work that you do.
4. Include downloads of your resume in different file types
If a recruiter likes what she he or she sees, chances are they need to send off a PDF to their superior or the department supervisor who is needing the position filled.
In your job search, it’s always best to be over prepared. Having a resources page with everything a recruiter might need will speed up their workflow.
Speaking of resources, if you haven’t yet taken my job searching course, “Foundations to A Successful Job Search“, hit the button below to learn more about how it can help you advance your career and significantly speed up your job search. This course is a step by step framework for approaching the job search process from a new approach not taught anywhere else. And no, it’s not your typical resume tips and tricks :)~ kind of course. This job searching course actually works!
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