Creating a personal website is not just another way to have a collective representation of your work online or show employers that you are pragmatic, it's also another way to improve your search results, for when employers look-you-up online. The phrase "create a personal website" doesn't sound doable to most people. The reality, however, is that you don't have to be an IT whizz to create an online portfolio. Here are five basic actions that you can take today to secure your online 'persona'.
1. Obtain A Domain Name:
Your domain name is the address people will insert after 'www' to find your site online. Buying and becoming the owner of a private domain makes your website stand-out and is definitely more memorable for the recruiter or employer researching you. However, if your budget won't allow for this, there are host sites that will allow you to 'piggyback' off their server. Wix.com, for example, offers both options. You can buy a domain name, and register it in your name for a period of a year, or use the format of www.wix-yourwebsitename.com to save money. Prices range and should be researched beforehand to cater to specific budget restraints. You can purchase this from a web host such as GoDaddy.com or Blue Host.
Hint: Theoretically, you aren't buying the domain name, but merely renting it. Always update your credit card details, or remember to make your payments on time, as someone else can claim you website if it isn't renewed or paid on time.
2. Find Personal Web Page Platforms:
These platforms come in different forms. They are content management systems (CMS). Some allow you to both host and create your website within its parameters, like for example WordPress. Others have a more user-friendly approach, and changes can be made from the predefined templates and tools, such as on Wix or Squarespace. Refer to the general prices on each site, then look over packages and find the best match for you!
3. Pick your Look & Theme:
If you don't have a design background or a good eye for these things, the best option would be to find a template. If not, the best thing would be to select 3-5 preselected colours & fonts to use across your website. Thereafter, similarities in how you edit your pictures (filters), and the overall look of the elements on your pages should have a similar style and look.
4. Create Your Website:
There are sites which provide templates (Wix & Squarespace), and systems that allow you to create your website with the same ease and efficiency as using something as user-friendly as PowerPoint. Other websites could, however, require anything from a basic to expert level of knowledge in HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) to create the advert banners, titles, sentences, lists and so forth (WordPress). Therefore, find something that will match both your budget and skill-set.
Hint: You can buy already coded website designs on websites like the Creative Market, which could allow an inexperienced user to use Wordpress with the aid of these templates. This would be the most expensive option listed.
5. Upload, Update & Create Your Content:
Your brand-new personal website is ready to go. Now it's time to create and add your content. Write up an online CV & cover letter in the form of a home page, about section or anything else you come up with. Fill your website with aspects that showcase your skills-sets. Upload presentations, graphic designs and written content that you have worked on previously, or completed in your line of work. University projects and your thesis are another aspects you can add to your website. You can create sections where you would update content weekly, and show users what you are passionate about, or track your improvement in a specific field. A good example of this would be a blog, with weekly or monthly written pieces being shared on to your audience.
We hope to see more of your personas online!