Welcome to the 21st century! A digital era where more importance than ever is placed on your online profile. This is your guide to building a website so that when potential employers are looking through candidates, your web presence can pull you ahead to the front of the pack. Seriously, a good website will help you get much better jobs whether you’re looking to be a web designer/developer or looking to be hired as a consultant, the omnipresence and reach of the social web cannot be ignored. When considering how to build a website and which platform to use, these are some of the most important factors to consider:
Optimize your site to display your talent at the top of the Google Results
As it stands right now, Google is going to be the first line of attack for an investigative problem like background checks. If you want your profile to help your career out the most, here’s the best ways to make sure your site is optimized in every way:
- Have a portfolio of some sort: Use your website to display your talent. While it may not seem apparent immediately, all industries have some sort of talent to display. Whether it’s metrics from your past job or blog posts showing significant research and an in-depth perspective on relevant issues, anyone form an artist to a politician can use their own personal website to showcase content that will help get them hired.
- Use SEO to get your portfolio discovered: Say you are a political scientist specializing in elections and quantitative campaigning. While you may dream to be Nate Silver, chances are you are not. But, if you can get your personal portfolio to show up as the second result on Google behind Nate Silver, then you are much more likely to get a job. The general rule of thumb is that you should always within 2 results of the Wikipedia page for the subject if you are serious about SEO-ing your resume site.
- Your site should be your central hub: You can be that recruiters and employers will do a deeper dive and try to find all your social media accounts. My general rule of thumb is that if you don’t comfortable putting a link to it on your resume or website, you should get rid of it. Now, you can also make it easier for the recruiters by linking your site to your social media accounts and vice versa (Sometimes it will even help with SEO).
- The easier to read, the better: Everyone looking at your site is going to try to get information about you from it. If it’s hard to pick out the important pieces of information, then your site is useless. Just like a resume, format your website to optimize understanding.
Now, given that we want to optimize your resume site for these specific criteria, here are the two best sites and ways to host your resume
WordPress is a complicated, but full featured beast. You install it on your own host and then set it up with your content and themes. For more information, check out this video
- Hosted on your own site
- You own all your content
- Easy for content management
- Great SEO plugins
- It’s a beast of it’s own - not an easy program even for experienced programmers
- Set up is a pain
- Some of the quality themes can cost a lot
2. Tumlbr + custom domain
Tumblr was originally intended as a social blogging platform but give the ability to use custom domains, Tumblr has started to gain popularity as a free website hosting platform.
- Free websites and free themes
- Plenty of users you can follow (and interact with)
- Easy to use and powerful
- Not very good for SEO (actually pretty bad for SEO)
- Good themes all require lots of money
Quinn Winters works for a InstaEDU, a company that provides online English tutoring as well as other academic tutors to high school and college students.