According to the Pew Research Center, The COVID-19 pandemic increased unemployment from 6.2 million in February of 2020 to 20.5 million in May of 2020. With an extra 14 million people unemployed, winning a job has become harder than ever, and candidates must do even more to stand out from the crowd.
One of the best ways to position yourself as an outstanding candidate is by creating a personal website containing your work and an overview of your experiences. Here are some tips for creating an exceptional portfolio website that will win you a dream job.
The first question most people ask is if creating a website is worth the effort. After all, unless you’re a designer, It’s uncommon for applicants to have a personal website.
However, several hiring managers, such as Deniz Gültekin from Eventbrite, Kelli Dragovich of Hired, and Ed Fry of Inbound.org, all agree that they have hired people based on stellar personal portfolio websites.
A personal website not only makes it easy to showcase your past projects, but it also offers a unique opportunity to showcase projects you’ve completed individually. For example, Gültekin stated, “We hired an intern a few years ago who had linked to his blog post where he showed a project where he had redesigned the outdated concert ticket and walked through his thought process.”
A personal website also makes it easy to quickly send recruiters an overview of past projects and also shows you’ve gone one step further than most applicants.
Fortunately, even the best personal websites are easy to create. You can select a plan from a website builder such as WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace and then purchase the domain name and quality hosting from a provider like Host For Web. Once you have a template and basic design, consider adding the following elements to your website.
The About Me page should give a brief overview of your school, background, and aspirations. You can also include accolades and let people get to know you personally.
Culture is becoming an increasingly important conversation among hiring managers, so be sure to allow your true self shine through on your website. If you have an outgoing personality, feel free to allow that to shine through on your website.
Whether you’re applying for a job as an investment banker or a marketing director, showing your biggest wins with screenshots and explanations on a work sample page is much more effective than writing it out on a resume.
As you write your work sample, be sure to include hard numbers, and state how you contributed to the project. For example, say something like, “I headed a marketing project that resulted in X percent increase in traffic that ultimately translated into Y percent increase in revenue. I contributed to the project by A, B, and C.”
If you have any testimonials, be sure to add them to your website. Even if you’re applying to be a marketing intern, consider working for a company for free and asking for a testimonial in exchange.
Finally, be sure that your contact information is easy to find on your website. Your web hosting plan may also include a free email address, so be sure to take advantage of that. For example, if your domain name is www.johnwhitemarketing.com, you can create the email John@johnwhitemarketing.com.
In addition to your phone number and email address, be sure to include your current city of residence and mention if you are open to working remotely.
A very small percentage of job applicants build a personal website, and it only takes a few days to put together. Once you have it together, be sure to add it to your Linkedin profile and share it with friends and family.