It’s important to have a professional website, especially for networking and job searching. Forbes points out that most people searching for a product visit websites prior to making a decision, and this also goes for hiring managers searching for potential candidates. A recent survey found that 70% of hiring managers search the Internet for information on the applicant as part of the candidate vetting process. Thus, having a professional website is crucial to creating a strong digital presence.
Fortunately, there are several ways you can build your professional brand on your website. LHH recommends building your professional brand through a “personal narrative” which tells your story and the personal experiences you’ve enjoyed – things that do not show up on your résumé. You’ll also need to include information on projects you’ve spearheaded or past accomplishments so recruiters have reasons to invite you to an interview.
Want more ideas on how to prep your professional website to accomplish this? Read on for five more essential tips.
Put an Intro Video Clip
A great way to immediately engage your visitors and give them a good impression is to put a short introductory video clip of yourself on the homepage. You could talk about things like why you love your profession, what inspires you, or meaningful anecdotes to pull in viewers.
You’ll also want your video clip to be polished and look like it was professionally done. Fortunately, the following programs are free to use, and even have customizable video templates to choose from:
Find the Right SEO Plugins
When someone does a search for your name, will your website come up in the top rankings?
This is where Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, becomes important. SEO includes inputting titles, meta descriptions and key phrases for each page on your website. Our previous piece entitled on ‘SEO Plugins for Elementor’ suggests using plugins like Yoast SEO, All-in-one SEO, or The SEO Framework so you can easily improve your website’s ranking by simply adding the words yourself. These plugins even give recommendations with “natural writing” to optimize your content.
Improve the User Experience
Studies have shown that 88% of people are less likely to revisit a website after a bad experience. Having a website that loads quickly and doesn’t hang during the loading process is big part of providing a ‘good’ user experience. An article on improving user experience on Insights for Professionals suggests using online programs like Google’s PageSpeed Insights to analyze your website’s performance. The tool can evaluate your site on both desktops and mobile devices to help fix any issues that cause loading delays. The best part is, it’s free to use!
Use Professional Quality Photos
According to the book “Brain Rules” by John Medina, if people see a relevant picture, they retain 65% of the information. Visuals are an effective way for people to remember, thus it’s critical to use high-quality professional-looking photos on your website. If you’ve never taken such photos, don’t worry! There are programs that can help you edit your existing photos to make them look more professional.
You can try using:
- Adobe Photoshop
- Corel PaintShop Pro
- Affinity Photo
- inPixio Photo Studio 12
Showcase Your Brand
Your website is an opportunity to show viewers things about you that speak of your personality and social ethics. Be sure to include photos that showcase your professional accomplishments and examples of how you handle working with other team members. You can include descriptions of the experiences you’ve had and the problems you and your team overcame.
Preparing a website for a job can be challenging with so many tasks to keep in mind. While it can be stressful, just take it one step at a time. Try these five steps out, and see how your professional website improves your chances of getting your dream job