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When conducting a job search, marketing is key, and having a job search marketing toolkit should be part of your job search plan. Let’s face it, most employers will do an extensive web search of each candidate prior to (or certainly during) any interview process. An important part of your job search marketing plan is to have a personal website for several reasons (covered below), not least of which is competing with others to attract potential employers. Simply said, you must have a website to stay competitive.
There are a number of benefits a personal website can bring to a job search candidate. Individuals can maximize their exposure to help stay competitive. Getting a domain name (also known as a website name) can take mere minutes, cost very little, and is the first step that (technically) must be undertaken before a website can begin to be set up.
How to Get Started:
What is a domain name? – A domain name is the address where anyone can find you online. It must be properly purchased and registered in the owner’s name. The domain will then be owned by that person, who can then do any number of bigger, more dynamic things with it. Or even nothing at all. There are no set “rules” for owning a domain name; no specific guidelines or timelines that must be adhered to. Some individuals simply establish a one or two-page website outlining their profile, experience, education, and skill.
Getting a domain name – When you set out to buy a domain name, it would be in your best interest to try and get a name that matches (as close as possible) to your name. So, if your name is Joe Candidate, “Joe-Candidate.com” would be a great start. Chances are, your first choice will not be available. Pick something as close as possible to your name (and avoid a name that would draw unwanted attention), superior-quality website services that cater to small business owners’ needs. A company like Register.com is a fine example of a company that can provide the essential tools that businesses need to establish, build, and maintain an online presence.
Setting up your site – If you are not technically inclined, you don’t really need to know much to get your site hosted and started. Using a service such as Squarespace.com will make the process much easier. You should probably post an appropriate professional photo on your site as well.
Benefits of a Personal Website:
Define and “Brand” yourself – A website can be a great way to demonstrate your knowledge and skills, especially if you are in the technology field. Your website should be a part of your overall job search package, help define your brand and serve as a written version of your “elevator speech“.
- Background Searches – What shows up when a Google search is done on your name? Hopefully good stuff, but if not, a personal website can certainly help to push the “not so good stuff” down the list. Much depends on how you leverage and market your site.
Your living resume – Your website should be your living resume, updated as and when necessary. Social media info and contact information are obviously very important. Create/use an email address (with an appropriate name) that is dedicated to your job search. Include your outside activities (sports, charity work, etc.) as well as achievements (Eagle Scout, National Honor Society, Dean’s List, etc).
If it sounds easy, it is. There is plenty of help available on the Internet, as well as friends and family. Create the ultimate branding site to help in your job search.