I had been thinking of writing this article for a long time but wasn’t sure if this is something that you may want to do. But then I decided that unless I let you know something like this exists how on earth would you be able to appreciate or discard it. So here it goes…
What does it mean to have our own website
The question that comes to your mind is that a website typically means like a Flipkart or Amazon or Facebook or Google etc and consequently, how can someone has his or her own personal website. Well, the answer to your question is YES. You too can have your own personal website by the name of www.saurabhchopra.com or www.shuchigoel.com or www.camanishsinghal.com etc. And the beauty of having your own personal website is you would have all the flexibility, creativity and content to write on your website and showcase to the world your skills, your work, your interests and your education. And all this need not be typed on a black and white paper but can be done in great style.
Though this concept is fairly new in India, it has gathered good pace in the west and a large no. of HR managers are on a look-out for personalized websites of the prospective candidates. In fact, as per a survey 56% of the hiring managers in USA are more impressed by a candidate’s personal website than any other personal branding tool but unfortunately only 7% of the candidates have their websites up and running.
How does it help when you have your own website
A website is a good medium to showcase your skills and talents more artistically rather than just use the stereotype LinkedIn profile that doesn’t allow you much to create or design something new. Everything from your pictures, your hobbies, your work and your accomplishments can be dumped on to the website and designed beautifully. Here are some of the reasons:
1. You control your CV and personal branding
Having a personal website is the easiest way to control your personal branding. You have the flexibility to showcase your pics, your work and your education much better visually.
2. First impression should be awesome
As the saying goes – “First impression is the last impression”. Having your website surely allows you to create that first good impression about yourself in the mind of the HR manager. People are more visual and the more you show about yourself rather than talk, the better it is for you.
For example – if you worked for a charitable institution as part of some project then in a normal CV you would write – ‘part of a charitable institution…’. Whereas in your website you can put in the work done and pictures of your achievements to let the HR manager know how actually you worked. Similarly, if you run a blog you can actually get the HR landed on your blog and let him/her know why your blog is a hit and how is it so engaging.
3. A good way to have an online presence
Now-a-days HR people are quite vigilant in selecting a candidate’s profile and the first thing they do is Google the candidates name and find out more about him/her. Having your website would help the HR find more about you and that too in a more stylized manner. Additionally it would also help you let them know much more in advance.
How Do You Make a Personal Website?
There are various platforms that allow you to create your own, personally branded website very quickly. Some of such platforms are as follows:
Some of these websites are very simple to use and allow you to have a great basic landing page. You can pull in information from your social profiles and be ready very quickly.
In all likelihood your URL name shall be website name + your name (for example, www.about.me/nimishgoel). However, some of the websites do allow you to point the domain to your own name.
What should you have in your website
Just as it is important to prepare your CV correctly, it is equally important to have your online CV/ website absolutely perfect. Here are some do’s and don’t’s:
1. No typos please
The last thing on your website should be spelling mistakes or typo errors. These things are very carefully observed by HR and leave a very bad impression. Just double check each and every spelling before you launch your website.
2. A professional headline
Have a headline that completely describes you as a person and your educational qualifications/ skills. This should be your mission statement clearly describing what’s in the website.
For example if you are a tax consultant and looking for work you can for example mention your headline as – “Tax Experts at work” or “Tax Made Easy by Us”.
3. A professional Picture
Try using a professional pic rather than a selfie or a casual one. The last thing you want to show to the HR or your client’s is non-seriousness about your work or your career.
4. Complete education/professional background
Capture details your complete educational and professional background including schools and colleges attended and organization’s worked with along with relevant work experience.
5. Links to your social media
Very clearly put your social media icons including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc. Let the person visiting your website know everything about you and that too from you and not from someone else. That increases your credibility status.
6. Samples of your work
This is more relevant for people who are in advertising or creative industry and may not be completely applicable to other professionals like chartered accountants and lawyers. However, if you have prepared some documents that have been shared on public forums, feel free to share it on your website.
If you run a blog, mention it. If you have participated in charity/social causes, mention it. If you have worked
Don’t feel shy to mention your accolades, be it in school/college or awarded by your professional employer. All good remarks by your bosses, colleagues or clients should form part of your website. These things add a lot of value and help you get an edge over other candidates.
8. Contact Information
This is obvious but sometimes you may simply forget about it. Make sure you have all the contact details well captured in your website.
Personal websites can not only be developed for showcasing your candidature for a job but also serve as a good medium to showcase your work and get more clients and jobs. Designers and people from creative background have predominantly used this concept, but I feel professionals like us can also use this medium quite effectively.
I hope this article helps you establish and provide a unique and a creative branding personality to your CV.
I wish you the very best and all green lights in your life….
Authored by Nimish Goel (www.nimishgoel.com), a qualified chartered accountant who’s passion is to coach young chartered accountants and aspiring students achieve the best in their life. Nimish used to work with EY and PwC in India and has also worked with KPMG in Europe. He now runs his own consulting company and runs a blog www.nimishgoel.com. He can be reached for any queries and issues on his blog.