Let’s face it, the résumé is an essential self-marketing tool, despite how many students love to hate it.
Florida Tech’s Career Management Services has gone as far as to write that, “everyone needs to have a résumé today when applying for jobs.”
A résumé is the traditional self-marketing tool that people use to demonstrate skills and experience to potential employers, but why not be nontraditional?
“Have you ever considered creating a personal website for the simple purpose of landing a job?” asked Cassie Morien, previously a social media manager for Boca Raton Magazine.
In a session titled, “Selling Yourself: Dazzle Your Digital Résumé,” Morien shared tips on how to create a site to, what she explained could, “highlight accomplishments, showcase clips, host a resume and help you land your next dream job.”
Morien, who is now a social media strategist and a staff writer at Indie Shuffle, smiled slyly as she explained the value of creating a personal website to serve as a self-marketing tool: “Potential employers are going to search your name, so give them something great to find.”
The site link, which can be shared with potential employers or included on a traditional résumé, makes the applicant searchable.
Morien recommended using Wix or WordPress as web hosts to create what is essentially a digital portfolio.
“The domain name should be www.yourname.com,” Morien explained. The $10/month associated with buying a new domain name is a cost that Morien described as being well worth a few less coffee purchases a month.
According to Morien, a professional headshot is an important element of the site. The visual allows you to become “more than text and code” to an employer, Morien explained.
“Easily embed videos and include demo reels, audio clips, [and other media] onto the site to showcase all of your work,” Morien recommended.
“But remember, this is not your website or diary. This is a portfolio that you can refer employers to and it should not be something that you are updating everyday,” Morien noted.
Social media links can and should be included if appropriate. “You can also include testimonials,” Morien explained.
As for résumés, a personal website is the place to host a résumé.
However, Morien explained that the digital résumé should be different from a traditional résumé. “The résumé on your website should look more like LinkedIn. It can link out. It should be responsive,” Morien advised.
Morien offered additional digital résumé tips: 1) For digital résumé submissions, make sure the resume is saved as a PDF. 2) A résumé should not exceed one page. 3) The applicant’s name needs to be in the biggest font possible on the résumé.
To explain the font advice, Morien proposed the following scenario: “Imagine if you were an employer and you had a lot of résumés spread out on the table in front of you. Which résumé would you pick up?”
Morien also emphasized the importance of making contact information readily available on the site. “If you really want the employer to reach you, make it easy for them,” Morien commented.
For anyone worried about putting a personal phone number on the website, Google Voice is service that provides call forwarding.
If you are looking to tell a more complete story of who you are and what you can do to potential employers, Morien’s advice is a place to start.
As Morien phrased it: “You know how to blog, send savvy tweets, and Facebook like a pro. But do you have one link to send a potential employer?”