Creating a personal, branded website is incredibly easy to do. You can produce your own site without having ever set your eyes on html code. Granted, if you have a coding and/or design background, those skills will certainly allow you to create a more dynamic site, but by no means are they a requirement. A basic landing page can be created for free with tools like about.me. Sites such as SquareSpace, Wix and WordPress allow you to utilize templates for greater ease.
So, we can establish it’s not hard to build your own website. But is it a requirement? How is it actually useful? I’m so glad you asked!
1. Share Your Skills
The most obvious reason to have a personal website is to show off work you have created. A personally branded site gives you a place to host design or writing samples. A resume simply states what you’ve done, an online portfolio shows it.
Even if you aren’t pursuing a technical, design, or writing opportunity, there may be ways to creatively use your personal website to show off your skills. For example, if there is a piece of software that you’ve mastered, consider creating a YouTube video that shows what you can do. A regularly updated blog can show that you think and care passionately about your chosen field.
2. Take Ownership of Your Brand
A personalized website allows you to get creative with how you market yourself. Don’t like the format that LinkedIn uses? With your own website, you can control the layout and formatting of everything. Let your personality shine through. From your website, link to your other social media profiles.
Potential employers are going to Google you. A personal website allows you to control what those employers see first. Rather than a recruiter stumbling across your Facebook profile, give them the opportunity to find your personal website that links to the social media accounts you want to highlight.
3. It’s a Living Document
Unlike a resume, which is static, an online portfolio is something you can continue to develop and refine. It allows you to upload a new project or blog post immediately. You can have an ever-growing and evolving body of work that can show a clear progression of skill. What better way to show your aptitude for something than to show how you’ve gotten stronger at it as time went on?
4. Most People Don’t Have One
Most job seekers and students don’t have a personal website. That means the simple act of putting one together already makes you stand out. Having your own site shows that you’ve taken the time to learn something new, not because you had to, but because you wanted to.
Check out Brand Yourself’s list of personal website examples to get a better sense of some of the many creative things you can do with your own site.