Meet the New Resume: Your Personal Brand Website
The economy is on the rise and if you’ve been thinking about finding a new job, now is the time to dive into the market.
This year, the US unemployment rate hit an 8-year low of 4.7%, fewer people are out of work, and recruiters and employers alike are finding it increasingly difficult to fill open positions. But the shortage of good talent to hire does not necessarily translate to a shortage of applicants for a given vacancy.
Ultimately, what landing a job comes down to is the proverbial “standing out from the crowd,” which we’ve all heard time and time again, and with the rapid shifts in our ever increasing social and tech-centric universe, this concept is also taking new form within the hiring context.
With the abundance and overconsumption of social media, personal and professional platforms and the like, the question job candidates find themselves asking is: what is the single-best way of promoting and presenting myself in today’s digitized world?
The answer? Branding yourself with a logo and personal resume website. A logo and personal brand defines your identity, and a personal website serves as the ultimate blank canvas in terms of how you choose to tell your story.
A personal resume website allows for full creativity and the ability to stand apart from the stack of Times New Roman, black and white CVs that get lost in an inbox full of applications. You have an unrestricted opportunity to add color, graphics, animations, and engage with interactive storytelling that paints a picture of who you are and your contributions to society, both personally and professionally. As someone who has hired many people, let me tell you that it’s way more appealing to a hiring manager than another cookie-cutter LinkedIn template.
Perhaps you’ve heard of this concept before, and thought, “are the bells and whistles really necessary? Do I really need to continually update my LinkedIn?” After all, with everything else on your job-hunting checklist — updating your paper resume, writing thoughtful cover letters, seeking out opportunities — creating a space on the web of your very own may not be high on your list of priorities.
But think about it. In reality, having a stellar web presence may be the single-most important piece of your job-seeking strategy. A personal website allows you to show, rather than tell, your skills. A paper resume is a great place to start, but websites offer a much richer and more engaging experience, full of links, photos, and a portfolio of sample work.
When was the last time you updated your resume? Whenever it was, you probably engaged in the same ritual of just a quick update to your employment, maybe add a little spacing or formatting tweaks, and then call it a day. That may have worked a few years ago, but with the evolution and integration of technology, the professional world demands that we communicate information in more interesting ways than before. Infographics, data visualizations, animations – a visual approach to data is not the future, it’s the present. And it’s only going to evolve significantly from here.
We all know we’re in the age of “content is king” with respect to the media we consume. To that end, a personal website also offers tons of ways you can integrate content-rich material to showcase your skills and personality. Obviously contact info, a headshot, list of employers/education and a biography are important, but there are other creative ways to show off and validate your brand. Many companies these days do video interviews as part of their hiring process, so why not upload your own video that tells potential employers (and everyone else) who you are and what you do? You can also start a personal or professional blog to give potential employers a sense of your perspective, persona and writing skills. All of these things collectively make you a superior candidate over the next hopeful applicant.
It’s important to note that you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to get a worthwhile investment with a personal brand website. You can typically register “yourname.com” and get a basic hosting package for $90/year. There are tons of free templates out there from WordPress and other resources, but depending on the volume of content and how thoughtful of a brand strategy you want, it may be worth it to spend a few hundred bucks to get a stunning website. Let a pro handle it so you can get back to the job search. Spysie’s packages are affordable, and give you a custom logo, matching website theme and an interactive portfolio where you can show off your past work. Here’s an example of one of our personal brand resume websites we built for Chelsea Roby, a sports marketing professional.
Keeping your LinkedIn profile up to date is definitely a plus, but remember that you’re still just inputting answers to predefined questions that millions of others are submitting – and all in the same, boring template. It’s time to start thinking outside the box to maximize your ability to succeed during your job search. Don’t be afraid to show a little creativity when you apply for new positions and you’ll be sure to have a leg up on your competition.
If you are interested in learning more about our personal website packages or pricing, click here to send us a note. For further reading, check out our post on how to design and develop a competitive website.