This is a guest post by Campus Ambassador Kelly Hayes from Ohio University.
I’ve had my personal website since I interned abroad, and I can truly say it was one of the best decisions I made. Today it’s not just about having clean social media pages and a great resume, it’s about having the whole package: clean social media, top-notch resume, a perfect portfolio and a quality personal website. I’m sure you’re wondering why you would need a personal website, but if you want to show employers you are the whole package, you’ll want to have a personal website up to date and ready to go. And while not all of us are coding masters, here are seven simple ways to spruce up your personal website:
- Typos are bad. Always, always use spell-check. I find spelling and grammar errors on personal websites all the time. Don’t be that person! You shouldn’t have typos in your resume or cover letter, and the same goes for a personal website.
- Check to see if your links are working. Setting up hyperlinks to your social media profiles, other work and blog posts is something you should do on your personal website. However, check to make sure they are still working. If the link is broken, how do you think that will look to an employer?
- Keep it Simple. This should be your new mantra when it comes to your personal website. Nowadays, simple is better for websites because it usually looks better on a mobile phone. When looking at themes on either WordPress or Weebly (popular blog platforms you’ll want to check out), look at the themes that are simple and clean. You’ll also want to see how the theme looks on a mobile phone.
- Create a theme. If you already have a certain color scheme or images on your social media pages, expand it to your personal website. This helps showcase your personal brand, as well as create consistency. That way, when people look at your personal website, they’ll know it’s yours because everything matches. Use specific color schemes, images, etc. to create your theme.
- Organize your website. I usually say that the best way to organize your personal website is to think about if you were the person visiting your website for the first time. If you find that your website is disorganized, then think about how you can fix it. I always say for a personal website, make the home page your “about me” section, and keep it light and short. Then have a page for your resume, portfolio and blog. If you aren’t a writer, I still suggest a blog because it’s a great way to showcase your skills.
- Connect your social media pages. If you’re going to create a personal brand and have everything match, you’ll want to showcase that on your personal website. If you’re using WordPress, it’s easy to input a Twitter, Facebook or Instagram feed right onto the side bar. Most popular feeds are usually Twitter and Instagram. While your personal website should always show your professional side, it also helps to show employers you are not a robot.
- Make it ‘You’. In order to stand out from the crowd of websites on Google, you need to make your personal website different from everyone else’s. While it’s always a good idea to pull inspiration from friends’ websites and popular blogs, you need to make sure that your personal website is a reflection of you. Think about three to five things that describe you, and implement those things into your personal website.
There’s no guidebook to a perfect personal website, because everyone’s should be different. We’ve all had different experiences, internships, etc. and we need to showcase that to employers. In the end, keep in mind seven things: no typos, check your links, keep it simple, create a theme, organization is key, connect your social media and think about what makes you different. By doing this, you’ll have a rocking personal website in no time!