Do I need a personal website?
It seems that a CV is no longer enough – recent research has found out that the best way to get noticed is by having your own personal website detailing your professional skills, experiences and where appropriate, work portfolio.
Contrary to what you may think, the recruitment process has not changed much at all in the last 30 years, but how candidates and employers get together certainly has. Today in many larger corporations - and recruitment agencies/consultancies – automation is the name of the game. This has resulted in impersonal online application forms, online CV sifting, online assessments and online interviews with limited opportunity for human interaction until the very last moment.
So how do you convey your personality, drive and character during this process to ensure you get to the face to face interview stage? An old campaigner like me would say that the initial CV sifting should bring up a long list of candidates to contact/call to discuss the role prior to inviting some in for interview. However with employers under time and money pressures - and automation - this is no longer possible.
The answer? According to the research it is a personal website (cynics would say that the employer still has to find your website and take time to look at it, as a ‘machine’ will not be able to, but we will ignore that for the moment).
The survey asked 300 HR professionals about recruitment and how, in todays’ candidate driven, proactive world, do you get noticed by an employer. Around 30% stated that a personal website did it for them.
They felt that it might help them to assess personal qualities that are not showing through on a CV and add a ‘human touch’ to the process. Can a CV do this without being too gimmicky? Probably not and 70% felt that a website would give more insight into a candidate than a traditional CV and would also demonstrate the candidates’ creativity, ambition, innovation, marketing nous and visual thinking.
Your own website will certainly give you the freedom to express your individuality and show the world stuff you couldn’t possible put on a CV. We see quite a few from the Architect and Design candidates we deal with and it definitely highlights their project portfolio, knowledge and skills, which can help when you come to assess them for a role. Many also highlight it on their LinkedIn profiles helping their website gain visibility.
However, you need to make sure that your site is well designed – but not overly professionally designed as it is after all an extension of you – and free from mistakes, bad grammar and anything that is outdated, or even confidential. As with all things online you should also avoid the controversial, don’t give too much personal information away and view it subjectively – is it relevant to my job application? More work needs to be done on keeping a website fresh compared to a few tweaks on your CV once a year…so make sure it is up to date when you are actively seeking new employment.