Personal Sites; Not Just For Creatives Anymore

What happens if you were to stroll over to Google and type in your name? If you’re like most people, a results page concluding there are over 150,000 matches would pop up and you’d scroll through a page or two trying to see if any of them link to your social-media profiles—past or present. Doesn’t really help or hurt right?

Maybe not… But also maybe.

It seems more and more that employers are scouring the web for juicy information on prospective employees, even before interviewing. I myself am guilty of this, so you can bet others are too. Unsurprisingly, all it takes is a name and a few clicks to find those crazy spring break photos of you from back in college. The fact is that all have something out there we wouldn’t necessarily want a potential employer to see first and make a judgment about you about before even landing a job interview. You always want to put your best face forward, especially in this economy, so why not try to give your online reputation a kick in the pants?

Who are you?

I’m talking of course about the personal website, housing some information about yourself (that you want the world to see); or perhaps a personal blog with a few pictures showing what an upstanding and cool popular person you are all the time, and maybe an online version of your CV or resume with some contact information. We all have Facebook or Twitter, so why not try to class it up a little and stand out?

The way the online world has worked up until the past few years made it seem like the only people who really needed websites were either A) bloggers, or B) creative professionals such as artists, designers. & musicians, or C) sci-fi obsessed weirdos living in their parents’ basement.

We all have Facebook, Twitter, or other social media, so why not try to class it up a little and stand out?

It makes sense when you think about it; both of the former groups listed require their work to reach as large an audience as possible while being as accessible as possible to all. The way a person determines whether they’d like to hire you for a creative gig is to look at your past work’s style and ideas and decide whether your personal ideals flow with their business’ mojo. Why can’t it be the same for more professions?

The truth is that lately it is the same… and has for some time.

Whether you’re an aeronautical engineer or run a restaurant, your life is interesting and different from nearly 90% of other people you will meet. The same goes for job recruiters and hiring managers looking for the right candidate for a position, especially on professional-oriented websites link LinkedIn. When people get to know you, whether through a website visit or in person, they begin to either like you — or resent — you immediately (or the even more dangerous middle ground: complete and utter indifference.)

A well thought out and simple website giving an overview of who you are and what you enjoy, as well as links to your various social profiles, and — bonus points: a blog — can help you score major points with people looking to get comfortable with who you are and make a decision on whether you could contribute something valuable to their team. This is all in addition to that certain “wow” factor that most are not even aware of when seeking jobs, that can make the difference between getting hired or not. Not to mention the potential of employers finding you before you ever think of finding them.

Don’t you want to make the right first impression and not let another “Joe Schmoe” steal your spotlight on Google? The point is, make an impact—write about your hobbies while demonstrating your skills. Make it interesting!

Most of all, make a great impression on the world. There are a lot of weirdos out there, and you don’t want to be confused for one of them.

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