Career Development

Complete Guide to Creating a Professional Personal Website

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With a professional personal website, not only will you show up in online searches, but it also offers employers a comprehensive overview of your professional career. Many employers will review professional personal websites during the hiring process when considering qualified applicants. This guide shows you how to create a professional personal website that can help you get noticed by employers.

What is a professional personal website?

A professional personal website is an online portfolio that highlights your work experience, education, professional skills and career accomplishments. Customizable templates can also offer the ability to add extra features not typically available with a paper resume. An online professional presence is important in many fields because it allows your work to be available to employers and clients, showcasing your creative talents, skills and qualifications. 

What are the benefits of a professional personal website?

Here are some of the benefits of creating your own professional personal website:

Get noticed

Many employers are turning to the internet when looking for more information about their applicants. Imagine an employer searching your name and a professional portfolio shows up in the search engine results. A professional personal website makes it simple for employers to find you online.

Showcase creativity

There is only so much you can display and communicate with a paper resume. With a professional personal website, you can be as creative as you’d like, incorporating a variety of elements such as images, fonts, colors and more. This showcases your technical and design skills, which is especially helpful if the job you’re applying for is in the advertising, marketing or graphic design industry.

Include more features

A professional personal website allows you to add many more features that cannot be added to a paper resume. Features like this offer hiring managers a more in-depth look at your accomplishments and qualifications. 

Examples of additional features:

  • Links to samples of your online work
  • Testimonials and references from previous employers
  • Videos that showcase your work experience
  • Graphics designed to highlight your career accomplishments

What to include on a professional personal website

Here are some elements you can include on your professional personal website:

Career objective or summary statement

A career objective or a summary statement gives employers an overview of your career and professional goals. Typically, this element of a resume is two or three concise sentences that describe what you do and where you’d like to be in regard to your own career path.

Contact information

It’s essential to have your contact information clearly listed on your professional personal website. You want to make it easy for the employer to contact you if they’re interested in scheduling you for an interview.

Example of contact information:

  • Name
  • Professional title
  • Phone number
  • Email address

Work history and experience

Be sure to include details of your work history and experience. List them in reverse-chronological order, beginning with the most recent position you had or currently have. If you have had several different jobs, you could consider categorizing them or adding only those that are relevant to the field you are interested in. 

Example of work history details:

  • Job title
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Skills needed for the position

Work samples

Along with work history and experience, consider adding samples of previous or current work. One advantage of a professional personal website is the ability to add elements that are not traditionally found on a one-page resume. Stand out from other applicants by adding samples of your work to your online portfolio. 

Examples of work samples:

  • Magazine articles 
  • Art exhibits
  • Dance videos
  • Photograph portfolios
  • Musical recordings

Education and professional development

This section will highlight your specific professional and educational qualifications for the position you are seeking. Like the work experience, be sure to list them in reverse-chronological order beginning with the most recent degree earned. Along with the details of any college or university education, you will also want to include individual classes, professional learning, trade schools and all other educational institutions you attended.

Examples of education details:

  • Degrees or certificates earned
  • Specific course of study
  • Honors or awards received

How to make a professional personal website

You can follow these steps to build a professional personal website with easy-to-use website building tools:

1. First, choose a domain name

The domain name is the internet address of your website. For a professional personal website, the most likely choice is using your own name. If you find that your name is not available, consider adding other elements to find a suitable domain name, such as a middle initial or a professional title.

2. Second, choose a website hosting provider

A website hosting provider is a service that stores digital information and manages the space where your website is located. There are several options to choose from, all with varied pricing, features and benefits. Do some research to find out which hosting providers are best for you. Look at the specific features they offer, the availability of their customer service as well as any online reviews from current or past customers.

3. Third, add your professional information

Add your professional information. Consider adding a website page for each section on your resume. For example, create one page each for your career objective, contact information, work history, education and professional development. This can make it easier for hiring managers to view your information. 

4. Fourth, consider using a resume builder

A resume builder is an effective solution for creating a professional personal website. It is an online template that allows you to simply fill in the information, creating a smooth, seamless professional online resume. Having your current resume information ready beforehand will help this process go much more quickly. 

5. Finally, consider a content management system

A content management system is an online application used to manage, create, edit and publish web content. There are several applications that are very popular, and the one you choose depends on the types of features and benefits you want. They are similar to a resume builder, but typically offer more features, such as a multitude of templates, built-in publishing tools, social media integration and more.

Tips for creating a professional personal website

Here are some tips to help make your professional personal website more inviting and appealing to employers:

  • Link to samples of your work such as musical recordings, photography albums and artistic portfolios
  • Include other features and elements such as images, graphics and videos that support the information on your personal professional website
  • Add buttons or links to your professional social media profiles
  • Do not include information or links to your personal social media profiles if you want to keep your personal and professional life separate
  • Create a one-page, downloadable resume and store it as a PDF on the website so an employer has easy access to it
  • Once all content is uploaded, be sure to proofread it because an error-free website makes a positive first impression
  • Check out other examples of professional personal websites to find ideas that will make your online portfolio stand out to hiring managers and employers

These tips will help you create an online portfolio that stands out from other applicants, gives employers a more detailed view of your professional career and increases your chances of being called in for an interview.