Five reasons why PR/Comms people should have a personal website
Having a personal website is an innovative way for a PR/comms job seeker to put themselves ahead of the game. Here are some of the reasons why you might want to take this step…
Job seekers should always be looking for ways to put distance between themselves and their competition in the job market, particularly when the market is as tight as today’s. One easy way to achieve this is to create your own personal website – an online portfolio which showcases your skills, experiences and creativity.
I recently started a discussion on LinkedIn about the value to job seekers of having a personal website. There were a range of opinions contributed, but the majority supported the idea for people working in the creative arena. And Smashing Magazine contends that it is essential for people working in the creative industry to have a good personal website.
And while I consider PR/comms people to be creatives, what would a personal website really offer someone in this industry when compared to a graphic designer or web developer? Let’s look at some of the benefits:
1. Show your innovation and creativity immediately
Personal websites are still a fairly new idea, particularly for people in PR and comms. Having your own online portfolio already marks you out as enterprising and creative and that you are pushing the boundaries in the development of your skills-set and career.
2. Make things clear and easy for employers
A personal website allows you to demonstrate your skills and experience in one place, so a prospective employer can gain a comprehensive overview of you as a professional in a way that is quick and easy for them. It is also a great way to show your experience writing media releases or publications, rather than simply list them as part of your experience.
3. Present the best you
You can easily highlight your best work and achievements rather than rely on a recruiter to read through the descriptive text you have on your experience and achievements. Choose the best examples from your portfolio so that a prospective employer can see for themselves the quality of your work and the variety of your experience.
4. Utilise form and function to your advantage
Websites are a much better way of illustrating your depth and breadth of skills. You can organise your personal website to ensure that you project the professional persona you want people to see. You can use pages, categories, social media interfaces, videos, blogs and other tools as a way of best presenting your professional background and talents. A website, with its flexible structure, is a more effective tool than a two or three page Word document. And it beats hoping that the person reading through you CV is paying attention to lists of experience from each of your past positions – or that they read to the end of your CV for things like ‘additional skills’.
5. Give yourself freedom to break the mould
Personal websites are still new concepts, which means that you can be creative in the way that you present yourself. Resumes are written in line with standard expectations of what they should look like and what they contain. But there is no such thing as a standard personal website, so you have more freedom to make it look and behave in a way that best suits you.
Using a personal website is just another approach to getting yourself noticed in the hurly-burly world of the PR/comms jobs market. They should not be developed at the expense of keeping your Word CV fresh and relevant. And there is no doubt that some of the points discussed above could be applied to ensuring that your paper resume is as creative, innovative and representative of the best professional you as it can be.
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