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The ‘Why’ and ‘What’ for the Professional’s Personal Website

By: James Cummings

Creative professionals such as artists or writers, digital professionals such as web designers or developers, and media professionals such as models or content producers are absolutely in need of a professional website to showcase their work and put their name out there. But this does not mean that other professionals cannot or do not benefit from having their own professional website.

A professional website or blog is an ideal way to establish yourself as an expert in your field, especially if you are looking to branch out of the traditional bubble your career puts you in. For instance, with the right opportunities, you could feature on podcasts, TV or radio interviews, or speak at public events. Even if you are not a creative or do not intend to venture into public speaking or anything like that, you may have a hobby or a side hustle and are active within the online community. In this case, a personal site could be what you need to develop your online influence.

Why you need a personal website

You get to brand yourself better

LinkedIn is an awesome platform for connecting professionally but it doesn't do enough for your personal/professional brand and personality. Everyone else's profile looks the same with the only difference being their names, profile pictures, work experience, and other such information. With a personal website, you have the opportunity to create a unique look that reflects your personality.

It serves as a portfolio

There is really no limit to what you can do with an online portfolio. Alongside your blog, podcast, or any other content you have on your website, creating a page to showcase the work you have done previously is an impressive way to set yourself apart from the crowd. It takes your regular resume forward and could be the final ingredient you need to get that awesome job.

As many as 40% of companies include social media as part of the screening process and it might not always be easy to find you especially if you share a name with many others. Including a link to your personal site in your resume is the perfect way to send recruiters in the right direction. This is why your domain name should be your own name. Don’t delay your search for domain names, because a domain that’s available now may not be in a few hours.

You have an outlet for your thoughts

Your personal website is your realm and you have the freedom to say whatever it is that you want to. It's like being in your own home except this time, it's online. You are free to be as authentic as you like without having your views or thoughts drown in the everyday conundrum of work. You can share your unique views with the rest of the world and connect with like-minded individuals within your niche when you maintain a blog.

What should be included in your personal website?

  • A summary

Your personal website should include a summary not longer than 2 to 3 paragraphs placed either on your homepage or your about page where visitors will easily see it. It should include the most important facts about you, such as the major companies you have worked for and the projects you have worked on.

  • Samples of your work

Putting samples of your work on your site is crucial in order to show visitors what you’re capable of.

  • An updated blog

The key word here is “updated”. You should blog at regular intervals about topics related to your area of expertise.

  • Testimonials

A good word about you from a former employer adds a level credibility to you. Businesses have testimonials on their sites for a reason. Take a cue from them.

  • Your pictures

Add nice-looking, professional photos of yourself for that final personal touch.