In January, I wrote an article about why it’s crucial to have a professional online presence and how to do it, where I mentioned the importance of having a personal website. A personal website is probably one of the biggest aspects of your online presence. Sure other areas such as social networks and blogs are important, but your website is like a home base – a hub that everything branches off from.Let’s now explore some reasons how just such a website will benefit you tremendously.
Your Website Is Like a Living Resume, But More DynamicComparing your website to your resume, is almost insulting to your website. Although you can create an awesome resume, a website is so much more than that. First, it can be whatever you want it to be. Where a resume is typically supposed to be in a certain format, except for creative types, a website can be in any format, have any theme, and contain any content.
You can use it to display your hobbies and interests; your professional success and goals; a portfolio of your photography, projects or other work; and many other interesting things such as The Impossible List, a complete life bio, or simply share your outlook on life.
Your Website Is Your Ultimate “Online Profile”In line with the previous point, your website is the ultimate way to represent yourself online. Sure there are your social networks, or even your blog, but your own website, especially a self-hosted site, is far more effective in communicating to potential employers, customers, and business partners about who you are.
However, self-hosted websites certainly aren’t the only way to go. Previously we mentioned some online tools that you can use to easily create a website without the need for tinkering with WordPress. Websites like About.me allow you to design your own landing page with ease. Other websites like Weebly allow you to create a whole website. In addition, you could still purchase a domain name so you can have a nice clean URL like example.com instead of example.weebly.com or about.me/example.
Again, I encourage you to look into using WordPress – it’s not difficult (which I used to think so), but if you are set on other options, here’s a list of websites that you might want to consider:
Your Website Helps You Become More DiscoverableMore and more people are using the Internet to find people, and more about them than what they may have already known. The number of people who have personal websites in lieu of other social profiles is quite low. What’s my point? My point is that if someone searches your name in Google, you have a much higher chance of being discovered. Plus, it also decreases the chances that someone else with your same name could misrepresent you in some way and potentially hurt your integrity.
In the image above, you can see that my website is number two in the search results – in between a Twitter account and a website of two different people, my online namesakes. In fact, all three of us are on Twitter and do some sort of writing or blogging. So there’s a possibility that someone could mix us up. This is why it’s important to ensure you “claim your name” online and represent yourself professionally.
Your Website Improves Your Credibility and Helps You Stand Out
To expand on what I was saying in the previous section, a website also makes you more credible and allows you to stand out amongst the crowd and competition. Have you ever asked your friends, classmates, or colleagues about how many of them have their own personal website? It’s likely that your having a website will make you a rarity among them. This is likely to change in the coming years, but for now, you should take advantage of the fact that not everyone represents themselves online as well as they could.
Now, does this mean that by having a website you’re guaranteed to beat out those who don’t? Of course not, it also depends on your skill set, experiences, education and so on. But it will certainly give you an edge by showing your dedication and career focus, which is my next point.
Your Website Shows Your Dedication and Career Focus
As you sculpt your career, you add experience after experience under your belt. A website is the perfect place to share those experiences through both text and pictures. You can use this as a tool to show people in the same line of work what you do. It’s one thing to have it on a resume, or even talk about it in person, but for them to read about it and see photos or videos of your accomplishments, that’s where you can really benefit from the power of a resume. It enables people whom you may have never even met to connect with you in a way that they’ve never been able to before.
ConclusionWe have not only disproved the myths of not having a website, but also provided you five solid reasons for having one. You can see now how not having a website can really set you back professionally. In the midst of all the competitiveness these days, no matter which career path you choose, it’s crucial that you set yourself apart from the rest. Now, a website certainly isn’t the only thing you need — you need good references, some solid experience, potentially an education, and proficient skills in your area of expertise. But how do you communicate that? Through a website of course!
Now that you have the motivation and reason to start working on making your own website, all you need to do is to make a get rolling. When you’re finished, feel free to share your website development journey with us. We also welcome any of your thoughts on how to create a personal website effectively.
Have you created one prior to this series of articles? If so, what moved you to do so? If you’re still on the fence or have any questions concerning a website, I’m more than happy to help — shoot us your comments below!
Image Credits: red businessman character in a magnifying glass; Determined businessman aiming at target with bow and arrow via Shutterstock