YОUR PERSONAL WЕBЅITЕ
There’s one thing we can agree on and that’s the fact that if you’re here and reading this, you want to do better and you definitely want to be more for yourself. Your aim is definitely to break through and land a job that will cater for all you needs properly by paying you well; yet, it would be something that you absolutely enjoy doing. However, it can be tough. Doesn’t it feel sometimes like there are hundreds of people going after the same jobs?
According to interviewsuccessformula.com statistics, only twenty percent of job applicants ever get an interview.
Looking at the job numbers lately, the reason it feels like that is because there are hundreds of people going after the same job. It has never been as competitive as it is at the moment.
Some might say that this is merely a game of numbers and you basically have to give yourself the most amounts of chances to be successful.
So what does that mean for you? What does the statement imply? It simply means that you have to do something that your competitors aren’t doing to give you an edge over them.
Gone are those days when all you needed to do was whip up a cover letter and resume/CV, send them off and watch the interview offers come in. We live in a world where nearly everyone has bachelor degrees. Online job boards don’t make it easier either, as they make for hundreds of applications for every single position. The modern job seeker has to do SO MUCH more in order to get noticed.
How is it possible for a hiring manager to find the diamonds in the rough when every single application they look at (i.e every cover letter, CV and LinkedIn page) look EXACTLY the same?
You need to devise a mean to make it impossible for the hiring manager to ignore you application. He/she must see reasons to bring you in for an interview.
There is one simple solution to this job-getting conundrum that we all face; you need to add just one thing to what you are already doing; you need to add that one single thing that will get you more job interviews than you have ever had before.
You need to have a personal website. (Like YourName.com)
Designing a website for yourself and your career pursuit (as it pertains to you) will fetch you more job interviews and get you more job offers from those interviews.
It is a phenomenally powerful tool. It will propel your career prospects more than virtually any other aspect of your job interview portfolio.
Our generation should be more grateful than ever to the advancement of the internet, the wild process is now easier than it has ever been.
If you’re wondering how having your own website could help you get a job, you’re not alone. After hundreds of hours of research, it came to my notice that only the savviest job seekers have been using this idea to their advantage.
Having your own website affords you the opportunity to do so much more for your personal brand than any other tool at your disposal.
About Personal branding:
Personal branding is a little vague when compared with corporate branding because it relies more on intangible concepts rather than physical products, but that doesn’t make personal branding any less important, it is so important—the emphasis more pronounced in this day and age. When you take out time to build your personal brand, you’re going to be taking your passions (what drives you), your key personal attributes and your strengths and you’ll be rolling that all into a brief, clear, laser-focused and targeted message; a message that defines not only who you are, but how you’re different from everyone else.
Personal branding is with no doubt a way of ensuring that you clearly communicate to your target audience exactly who you are, what you stand for, what makes you unique, and what value you can offer.
Simply put, personal branding takes the form of how you present yourself to those around you and refines it; allowing you to strengthen and market those amazing, desirable and unique qualities that make you exactly who you are at the most basic level.
So how does personal branding relate to your career?
As I have previously mentioned earlier, the job market in our day is pretty tough. You needn’t be told of the incredibly talented and qualified people applying to the same jobs you are applying for. It has been established that you have to stand out and for the right reasons at that.
When your personal brand is carefully and solidly built, can generate a strong connection with the hiring manager and that not only helps get you into the interview, but it also helps make the decision to hire you an easy one.
The aim is definitely to build a brand that is true to you while at the same time attractive to both your current and prospective employers.
Everyone has a CV or resume and cover letter, and for the most part, they are all very similar.
How can you stand out among a stack of virtually identical sheets of paper?
The top job seekers have all come to the realisation that the hub for their personal brand in the modern job market is their personal website.
Take a look at this quote from top Recruitment Firm CEO Ken Sundheim:
“More and more often, job seekers who simply rely on a resume and/or cover letter (even a LinkedIn profile isn’t as helpful as it once was) are frequently outflanked by those who carry a robust online presence.” - Ken Sundheim
You can’t expect that you would stand out in the modern job seeking landscape if you only have these three elements in your job application portfolio.
And here's something else to consider:
Workfolio also states that “56% of all hiring managers are more impressed by a candidate’s personal website than any other personal branding tool.”
Above 50% of these hiring managers choose personal websites as number one (in terms of what impresses them the most).
According to Charles Pooley, the CEO of Workfolio:
“The employment market is an incredibly scary place to be right now as a job seeker - but a personal website offers several important things to improve your odds.” - Charles Pooley, CEO of Workfolio
As a job seeker you want every advantage you can possibly get.
Many years back in time, the process of building a website was both daunting and intimidating. It took hundreds of hours, thousands of dollars or pounds and years of computer experience. But now, things have changed and that just isn’t the case anymore.
Today, there are wonderful online tools (they give you professional "templates" that you can literally just plug your info into). It is now so easy to make a website quickly and without any stress. The fact is that in our age, you don't need to be an IT whiz to be able to set up your own website.
So what benefits will having your own website specifically bring you, and more importantly, how will it get you more interviews?
How Having A Personal Website Gets You More Job Interviews
Impress Hiring Managers
I had the opportunity to have great conversations with different recruiters and account managers about personal websites, and this was something they all agreed on. Psychologically, hiring managers are more impressed on sighting applicants that have personal websites because it shows a greater commitment to your career.
You’re not just sending off a bunch of cover letters and resumes, you’re also taking the time to devote yourself to your job search by going the extra mile.
You’re serious, you’re committed, and hard working.
These are all great qualities for a potential hire to have.
Just think put yourself in the shoes of a recruiting manager looking at 30 different profiles that all look and read exactly the same.
But then, she/he stumbles upon one that contains a link to a personal website; a site which contains x, y and z in a much more visually immersive format that highlights your personality.
Who do you think such a hiring manager would call up first for the interview? However, despite how important it is for a job seeker to have a personal website, many still don’t.
Having a personal website will ensure that you stand out among these individuals and also demonstrate that you have additional skills including being a content creator and an entrepreneur.
This directly indicates an increase in the number of interviews you would have to attend, because when the recruiting manager is going through the applications, you instantly stand out as a more interesting applicant than the ones who just submit their cover letter and resume.
Own the Google Search & Increase Your Visibility
Each of the hiring managers I talked to said one of the first things they do when they are interested in an applicant. Before anything else, they Google the person to see what shows up.
There are a lot of possibilities right here, but more often, what shows up when they Google the person's name is a messy listing of the applicant’s various social media accounts that show up. (That is, if the applicant is a social media person.)
More often than not, nothing happens. The hiring manager can’t find you anywhere by using the most famous search engine in the world, which in a lot of cases can be worse.
Having your own personal website allows you to own the space that exists when your name is searched. It gives you an online presence. It increases your visibility. It makes you easy to find.
A little thing as such has a strong and a direct effect on the first impression you give the hiring manager. And a better first impression means implies that you’re more likely to receive an interview.
Not only that, by having a web presence that is "discoverable" by search, you will get approached with opportunities that you didn't even apply for.
Create a Hub For Your Online Brand That You Control
Having your own personal website is not just about the game of having you found. It also affords you the opportunity to create a “hub” for your personal brand online; One that you control.
Instead of having a mess of various social media accounts that you ultimately have no control over (don’t forget Facebook and Twitter, own your profile and all your information and can change anything at any time), you own your own website and therefore, you can do whatever you want with it.
The way it looks; the information you share is directly linked to relevant social accounts. Everything is certainly under your control and you can tell whatever story you want.
By telling a great story in a professional manner as well, you’re basically making it impossible for the hiring manager to not bring you in for an interview.
How much of the “real you” do you think one could possibly come across by reading your cover letter and your CV or resume?
I’m not talking about your skills and qualifications. I mean YOU. I mean who you are as a being.
By having your own personal website, you have the opportunity to show off much more of your personality. You get to say to the whole world, "This is who I am. This is what I'm all about. This is what I'm into."
And hiring managers absolutely love that. They get to know a little bit about you before you even set a foot into the interview room.
It's like a face-to-face job interview before you even have a job interview.
So by now, you're probably beginning to see how having your own website can make such a huge difference for you.
But that’s not where it ends.
There are so many more reasons why having a personal website is going to help you get the job of your dreams. Let's take a look at some more powerful benefits you get from having your own personal website.
Other Benefits Your Personal Website Will Bring You
Extend Your Interviews
Have you ever walked out of an interview thinking that you must have forgone something on the table? Have you left feeling like you didn’t get to really show who you are?
Well, having a personal website makes sure you leave no stone unturned, because even when the interview is over, it keeps referring the hiring manager back to you and all what you have to offer. Add a link to your personal website in your follow up emails and letters and you get to stay in the hiring manager's mind.
Build Your Network
Not only does having a website allow you to connect with like-minded individuals in your industry (ones that you wouldn’t normally have access to), but it can also lead to job opportunities not otherwise available (both in your industry and even in a completely different line of work).
Websites are discussion points. When meeting someone, leaving them with your website instead of just your name, can encourage them to come back which can lead to a whole slew of opportunities in the nearest future and even beyond near.
As mentioned before, if your site can be found on Google then you have opened yourself up to be successfully found.
Blog to Win (Stay Sharp, Demonstrate Your Expertise & Engage)
Adding a blog to your website can be a SERIOUS game changer.
With a blog, you can keep a Hiring Manager engaged longer with interesting stories and other thoughtful content when they are reading your CV or resume, and cover letter.
Not only that, if you are going to blog consistently about the industry in which you work, it will help to keep abreast of everything that is happening.
Nothing will force you to stay on top of your industry’s current events and trends like having a blog.
And this might be the most obvious benefit. Having a blog on your website allows you to show your expertise and be committed in acquiring that expertise (skill and knowledge).
It’s like answering half the interview questions before you even enter the interview.
Because with your blog, you can clearly show that you are an expert in your field; one that really knows hers/his stuff.
But having a blog isn't mandatory, it's just really powerful. It's something you can add to your site down the line. It is something that could benefit you in extraordinary ways.
Reduce Nerves and Make the Interview Easier
Creating a website has a way of building confidence. This is mainly because you accumulate skills and knowledge while building the website. However, it can also help in the interview room, because it allows you to share so much without having to say anything.
Not only that, it gives you a talking point. Guess what the first thing the Hiring Manager is going to comment on or ask you about at the start of your interview?
It’s a great ice breaker.
You essentially "pre-season" the interview (by having a website).
Who is the hiring manager going to warm up to? The person whose resume and cover letter he's read or the person whose website she/he's spent time going through; getting to know all of the interesting details about them?
Keep Yourself Busy While You Wait
Having a website allows you to keep your mind busy in between interviews since you have your mind focused on promoting your personal brand. Also, it reduces the amount of stress you feel during this anxious time. Not only that, why not participate in any activity that will increase your chances of getting a job while you wait for the next opportunity.
Make Some Money on the Side
There are so many people out there that successfully monetize their website. There is certainly nothing wrong with doing that. Having your own web presence unlocks opportunities for advertising, marketing and selling. It also provides a chance to as well develop business relationships.
How Do I "Use" My Personal Website In My Job Search?
“Now that we have seen how by having your own personal branding website can be absolutely pivotal when it comes to the amount of interviews you get and your overall success rate with those interviews; this is the question that I’m faced with.”
Now the question is "How exactly do I add my website to my interview portfolio?"
It's actually very easy. There are three main parts of your "job search portfolio" that perfectly allow for an inclusion of a link to your website, and those are: your cover letter, your CV or resume, and your thank-you note (you send after the interview).
How to Add Your Personal Website to Your Cover Letter
Your cover letter is the foremost opportunity you have to introduce yourself to a company, it may be obvious that you would want to put your best foot forward and make the best impression possible. That in itself is no bad idea.
Traditional cover letter that is one sheet of paper that summarizes your skills, abilities, and desire to work for the company is the standard which everyone uses. But your cover letter does all of those things, but then also encourages the reader to click a link that takes them to an impressive website that demonstrates the passion, commitment and uniqueness of the applicant in a visually appealing and content-rich format.
In a cover letter, one simple sentence such as:
"If you have a free moment, I'd love you to learn more about me by checking out my website JohnSimpson.com. It will give you a great idea of the work I have accomplished, the experiences I've had and most importantly, the type of person you'll be getting if you decide to hire me for this position."
How To Add Your Personal Website To Your CV or Resume
Putting up a link in your resume is even easier than adding a link to your cover letter. This is majorly because the resume's content and format requires a little more subtlety, especially since you have already been very upfront about your website in your cover letter.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you don't want to include it though, because it is never certain that the person who reads your cover letter will be the same person (or people) to go through your resume.
This is just a matter of being strategic about where to include the links in order to make sure they are seen, but they don't take away from what is most important in the resume: your experience and also, your qualifications.
The first place you want to place a link is with the rest of your contact information, generally located in the header and/or footer of the resume.
Generally speaking, your link should come just below your email address (and it helps if your email address and website address match if possible).
The next place you want to put a link is in your Special Skills/Abilities/Accomplishments section.
Why do you need to put it up right there?
This is because you need to think and visualize your website as a skill that you are showing off or as an accomplishment that you have achieved. This is how it should look:
Skills, Abilities & Accomplishments
Creator/Owner/Operator - www.JohnSimpson.com - Personal Website
It doesn't need to be any further complicated that.
How to Add Your Personal Website to Your Thank You Note
This is one of the more effective places you can put your link, because as I mentioned earlier, it essentially allows you to "extend the interview".
In other words, it acts as a small source of reminder to the hiring manager that if there are any remaining curiosities or unanswered questions left over after the interview, they would get all their answers by simply clicking the link. They will satisfy every iota of curiosity from what they see on your website.
So where does this link go? It is very similar to the cover letter.
After you have thanked the interviewer for their time and briefly summarised your qualifications (and a subtle reminder of the value you will be adding to the organization), you can close with something like this:
"If you would like to learn a little more about me, my experience or accomplishments, I would love for you to take a quick look at my personal website JohnSimpson.com."
Similarly, if you blog regularly on your site, you can use the opportunity to refer him to your blog posts. This will increase his knowledge of your expertise and knowledge of important topics or your opinions on various issues.
As a side note, make use of your discretion with your website exposure throughout the process. There’s a need for you to gauge whether or not you are verging on overkill. If you feel like your website has been covered, simply put the link underneath your name when you sign off on the letter.
In general that’s it. The three key places where you can put your website link that will allow you to differentiate yourself from your competitors and also open up the hiring manager's eyes to what you are able to bring to the table as a potential hire.