You.com: Creating a Website to Market Yourself
Published: April 27, 2018 by Evelyn Hudson
You may already have a LinkedIn profile, a professional Twitter account or a detailed Indeed profile. But what about a website? Employers want to see samples of your work, descriptions of your job responsibilities and a showcase of your skills—preferably all in one place. What platform gives you all this and more? A personal website.
If you’re thinking: “I don’t know how to code!”—don’t worry. There are tons of great platforms out there that do not require any skill. If you do have some knowledge, you can also start from scratch or choose a platform with customization capabilities. Either way, creating your personal, professional website can be easy and even a little fun.
Choosing a platform. There are lots of options available to you. Some of these are available for free and some require a subscription fee. Most have a free option that comes with a lot of branding (AKA promotional text from the platform). Three platforms I have worked with in the past are detailed below.
- Google Sites—My personal favorite. Available completely for free with little branding. This is a very easy platform to use. Simply drag and drop the elements you want (photo, text, document, etc.). My personal website (evelynh.net) is on Google Sites. If you’re into coding, there isn’t a lot of opportunity for customization. One cool feature is you can place items from the Google Suite such as documents or forms directly into the webpage.
- Weebly—Available with a free option but has lots of branding. Weebly offers more design options than Google Sites so you can get a unique look for your site. However, the free option blocks many capabilities, which can be frustrating. I would say this is a middle-of-the-road choice for a person who wants more customization but not too many options that might be overwhelming.
- Wix—Even more design options than Weebly. You can easily drag and place objects to make designs on the page. If you want a very visual site, this is a good choice. The downside is that even the paid version has a lot of branding.
Organizing your website. As MLIS students, we know the importance of organization. Now is the time to put those INFO 202 skills to work! Choose descriptive headings and decide what sub-pages to include. For example, on my website I have a heading called “Work Experience” under which I list each of the companies I’ve worked for in the past. The sub-pages detail my responsibilities at those companies. You might decide to organize another way, such as by course, skill or even specific professional projects.
Selecting work samples. Employers like to see examples of your best work. Why not give them the opportunity to view your work before they meet you at the interview? Consider some of the projects you are also placing in your ePorfolio as well as nonproprietary professional examples from your job, if applicable. Make sure to write an explanation for any samples so potential employers understand what they are viewing and why it makes you a stand-out candidate.
Include the essentials. Don’t forget to make your resume and contact information front and center on your website. If you don’t want to share an email, most platforms offer a contact form that will redirect to your email address without revealing it to the message sender. You can also include links to your professional social media profiles so employers can connect with you there. If you’ve already completed your ePortfolio, be sure to add a link to that site, too!
Share your work. Once your website is ready to go live, share the link with others. Add it to your resume, social media profiles and professional websites like Handshake. You can also share it as a status update. Be proud of your work and make sure employers know it is there for them to see!
Do you plan to build a personal website in the near future? Tell us about it in the comments!
Interplay & Compatibility: Using Soft Skills to Ace Interviews, Get Hired, and Excel at Work
Public library leaders Heidi Murphy and Deb Sica share their interview, hiring, and career insights regarding the importance of soft skills to succeeding in the LIS world. Find out from insiders not only what strengths hiring managers are looking for when they’re interviewing you, but also why those strengths are so critically important to libraries and their missions.
Presenters: Heidi Murphy – Director of Library and Recreation Services, City of Pleasanton; Deb Sica – Deputy County Librarian, Alameda County Library
May 2, 2018
5:30 PM Pacific
New LIS Jobs in Handshake
Don’t forget to explore job openings outside of the public and/or academic libraries in Handshake. Consider searching on topics such as taxonomy, research, data management, digital asset management, and similar terms that may reflect your particular LIS skills or area of emphasis.