You have a lot to offer. You know it, those you’ve worked with in the past know it. How do you show it off to those you’re hoping to work with in the future?
It starts with a little creativity. So often, we reserve creative projects, like personal websites, for those involved in more creative industries – designers, artists and so on. However, these reservations should stay in the past.
There’s no reason you – regardless of your industry or desired profession – cannot create a personal website to innovatively highlight your skills. The same goes for small brands and independently owned companies looking to advertise their skills to potential partners. Personal websites don’t have to be complicated to make an impact. In fact, many recruiters are more impressed by a personal website than any other form of personal branding.
How do you get started? What do you need to know to make your website a success? Follow the six steps below and jump in today.
In This Post:
Create an Infographic Résumé
Gone are the days of black serif fonts and bullet points. Why not highlight your experience and skills in a more visually appealing way that sets you apart from the competition? Tools exist to make this easier than ever.
Infographic résumés bring work histories to life by using charts and graphs in various color schemes to show – rather than tell – potential employers what you bring to the table. By using a website like re.vu, you can import information from LinkedIn or an existing résumé into an infographic résumé website in seconds.
Show Your Skills
Who wants to read another list of skills that have no ranking and no real application? Why not use illustrations to show exactly what you’re good at, and just how good you are at it?
To get started, look at the skills you have on your current résumé or even your LinkedIn profile. Narrow it down to five to 10. Then, think of a way to show it off. Whether you use a graph, images that coincide with the skills or something completely out of the ordinary, like in the example below, you can easily add a little visual appeal to your personal website while impressing potential employers with what you have to offer.
Appeal to Your Industry
What matters inside of one industry might be completely irrelevant in another. As someone on a job search, you need to know your desired industry inside and out. Your website should reflect this.
What matters for the position and area of focus that you are interested in? What skills and experience are unique to that industry? Know these before you move in the direction of a personal website. Think about what you’ve done inside of these areas, then highlight them on your personal website, just like a business would to its potential partners. Take the business model of National Fulfillment Services – as seen below – and bring it back to your own personal website. Demonstrate your versatility and knowledge of the industry by breaking up your work by sectors or industries served, like below.
Similarly, you can appeal to the industry by showing off some of the companies you’ve worked with. If you’ve worked with a handful of recognizable companies in the industry, put together a collage of logos belonging to the firms to show your experience. If you’re a writer, you can include the logos of publications you contribute to. Or, like designer Anthony Wiktor, you can create a grid of logos with pop-ups or linking pages to describe the work you did in more detail.
Create a Portfolio
At one time, portfolios – especially online portfolios – were reserved for designers and writers. These professionals had a need to show off the work they had completed, and galleries became part of the standard.
If you don’t fall into one of these categories, it doesn’t mean that a gallery wouldn’t be a good fit for your personal website. It just takes a little creativity.
Think back on your professional career. What are your greatest achievements? What projects have you seen through to completion? In what areas have you seen success? Your answers belong in your personal gallery. Simply create a page for each project and a main page that brings them all to life. Include descriptions of the projects along with images where possible. This allows potential employers to browse your skills in a portfolio format before you even sit down for an interview.
Tell Your Story
We live in a culture that connects through stories. Consider your conversations with friends and new acquaintances. Where do they end up? Usually with stories. Stories allow us to get to know one another beyond the surface level. They allow us to understand what makes us unique and to connect through common threads. Your résumé should be no different.
By telling your story – revolving around you as a professional and what sets you apart from the competition – you’re allowing potential employers to connect, to understand you and to learn a little more about your personality – long before an interview takes place.
Bo Kristensen – an artist – uses a timeline to explain how he came to be who he is. By reflecting on specific milestones, he’s able to explain why he does what he does and where his passion lies without an in-person conversation. How could you incorporate storytelling into your personal website?
Pick a Theme, Ignore Tradition
Employers and hiring managers have been staring at the same résumé formats for years. At some point, they all start to blur together. This is the last thing you want to happen to you.
Instead, think about the standard, then forget about it. Take your skills and think about how you’d like to be visually represented. Pull the highlights of your career and put them into a format that better matches your personality.
If you’re unsure of where to start, pick a theme – like the record theme illustrated below. From there, input your skills, work experience and professional highlights. Your theme will help show who you are as a person while your skills highlight who you are as a professional.
Your personal website doesn’t have to be boring if you’re not a professional designer or artist. Instead, it can bring you to life in the eyes of potential employers; it all starts with a little creativity. Think about how you could incorporate one or more of the six options above and get started today.