Personal websites are becoming common place for many job seekers in the tech world, especially among graphic designers, front-end developers and software engineers. Here’s a quick guide to getting yours up and running.
Before you get started, you need to understand…
It takes some time to create your personal website. You may feel like the work and time required isn’t worth it… But it’s totally worth it. These days, if you’re looking for a career in tech, your website could be what sets you apart from everyone else.
Building a website can become one of the most helpful hobbies and side projects of your entire career.
We’ve established that it’s a time commitment, so where do you start? You should begin with something that gets your creative juices going and doesn’t require too much effort.
We suggest creating an About.me page. The simple layout and format of the About.me platform will give you some ideas for how your personal webpage should look, while at the same time creating a temporary landing page that you can direct potential employers to.
Claim Your Domain
This is probably the most important part. Even if you’re thinking, “I’d like to build a personal website, but now just isn’t the best time,” it's still a good idea to go ahead and purchase your domain name.
Your domain name should not be creative. It needs to be easy to remember and quickly visible when your name is searched online.
BenTheSoftwareEngineer314.com, while clever, is not the best idea, especially when it comes to searching your name online.
Hiring managers will Google the name you share on your resume, so you'll want your domain name to match your actual name to the best of your ability. That way, when they search, "Ben Riley" your website will appear on the first page of results and will be easy to find. Chances are, your unique and interesting domain name won't even show up on a page of search results.
For that reason, insert the name you use to introduce yourself to prospecting employers into your domain name. If you use your full name in professional settings, make sure it's in your domain as Johnathon and not John, and vice versa.
If your name is Jon Smith, go for JonSmith.com
But, for those of you with common names (Jon Smith being one) whose domain names have already been taken, try including your middle initial: JonWSmith.com
If the middle initial isn’t helping, try your full middle name: JonWalterSmith.com
Or, if you’re not comfortable with sharing your middle name, then you can tastefully add your profession or an interesting identifier: EngineerJonSmith.com
That’s a good start for now. We’ll be back later with advice on tools and content.