I recently met with one of my mentees from FindSpark’s mentorship program, and we discussed the value of having a website. She was a bit skeptical of the need for one, and that was expected because social media is a great place to build your personal brand. So why does anyone need a website?
I’ve been in the job hunt twice in my life, and there’s one thing employers almost always mention during the first phone interview: my website. Not my résumé or cover letter, but my website and how they were impressed. Not only does this validate the fact that employers really do search for your name online before an interview, it also validates the importance of having a website while you’re in the job hunt.
So, without further ado, here’s why you need a website right now:
It’s Your First Impression
It’s no secret. Employers do their research on you before interviews, and it starts with a simple Google search for your name. Heck, I even researched two of my FindSpark mentees before I met them. When employers are researching your name, what do you want them to see? Your website is your chance to make a good first impression on employers before you even talk to them or meet them. That’s an opportunity you may not have with just a social media presence alone, especially if your social media accounts are private or outdated.
With a regularly updated website, you get to dive deep into your professional life and your personal life. What motivates you as a person? Why are you interested in your chosen field? What are your passions? How have you overcome challenges in your life? These are all questions that can be answered on your website that may not be clear on your social media profiles. This would sway a employer’s perception of you at a first glance.
You Have To Tell Your Own Story
A website gives you complete control of your brand, your content, and how you appear to your audience. With a website, you’re not confined to 140 characters or the terms of service of many social media platforms. You can literally post whatever you want and customize your website to your liking. There are no limitations (just don’t do anything illegal). Wouldn’t you like to have that freedom and control over your image? As a jobseeker, it’s essential that you have as much control as possible over the job hunting process. That’s how you build confidence throughout the process. You don’t want to let employers put pieces together to figure out who you are because the image they create may not be completely accurate, which could jeopardize your chances of getting the job. Don’t let them figure you out on their own. Control your story.
Because It’s 2017
Remember that press conference when someone asked the Prime Minister of Canada why he cares so much about having a gender-balanced cabinet? He said, verbatim, “Because it’s 2015.” The same applies to websites (but in 2016). You need a website not only because it’s 2017, but because it’s an expectation that many employers have for millennials in this digital age. Most jobs nowadays require web skills, from managing social media accounts, to designing websites, to developing websites, and much more. Your website shows employers that you know how to navigate the web and build and maintain a presence online. Furthermore, if you’re in a creative field where you’re expected to have a portfolio, having a website is a no-brainer.
Want to learn more about launching your own website? Read “A Step-by-Step Guide to Starting and Launching Your Personal Website.”
Having a personal website is by no means a requirement. There are a lot of lucky souls who have found jobs without one. However, you can increase your chances of moving further through the interview process with a personal website handy. When you own a website, you’re essentially a digital real estate owner, and nothing beats having your own corner of the web.
Are you running into any difficulty starting your website? Share your story in the comments section below or tweet me on Twitter (@Donte_LL).
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