How to Use Free Personal Websites to Showcase Your Personal Brand

A personal Web page has been a go-to for those in creative jobs for years. Your graphic designer friends likely have one, but have you ever thought of one for yourself? Creating a professional page to showcase your skills can be a surefire way to stand out in a stiff job market, and some experts are recommending that every candidate should have one, regardless of their profession.

According to professional visibility company Workfolio, 56 percent of hiring managers are more impressed by a candidate’s personal website than any other personal branding tool. The problem? Only 7 percent of job seekers actually have a personal website.

Websites allow you to present your skills in a manner that can be more effective than just words on your resume. A picture is worth a thousand words, and even scientific and analytical professionals can benefit. Why? Websites showcase your personality so the reader gets a true sense of what makes you unique.

Using graphs and charts to complement a story about how you cut costs by 110 percent can be very impactful. Case studies can tell an impressive tale. Images of innovations coupled with powerful descriptive words are memorable. Even small details such as the font you choose can underscore your personal brand.

There are tons of free portfolio sites. Pressfolio is one great option for writers and others who want to present actual press clips to future employers. Crevado is just one of many good choices for artists, photographers and designers. Coroflot is great for all types of professionals and has lots of social media features. Do an online search and see what other professionals in your field are using. You’ll likely have plenty of options at no cost.

Once you decide what site to use to host your page, you can get started. Most sites are very intuitive; you’ll just need to decide what content to include. Choose a sampling of what you feel best represents you as a professional. Visuals are always a plus, so include a nice professional head shot of you on the contact page.

Things not to include: confidential information about you or current/past employers, personal information beyond basic contact information, and in general, info about religious and political orientation (unless, of course, that is directly related to the types of jobs you are seeking). You also should avoid specifically stating that you are seeking a job, so as not to sabotage your current position.

After you develop your site, have a few people offer edits and critiques so you can make any final revisions. Finally, promote your website proudly. Include a hyperlink in your cover letter and resume. Add it to your summary on LinkedIn. If you have personal business cards, list it under your name. It’s now a part of your personal brand. Use it to shine.

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