Online presence is crucial for job seekers, since recruiters routinely research and even source candidates through web searches. Social media platforms like LinkedIn are part of the equation. But do you need a personal website as well?
A slew of articles in recent years in publications like Business Insider, Money Magazine and Forbes have answered a resounding “yes.” But of course no one answer is right for every individual. So let’s think it through.
How far can you go with LinkedIn?
Many of the benefits of a website can be obtained with a great LinkedIn profile. Have you done everything you can to optimize this career marketing tool, both for the human eye and for search rankings? Don’t overlook optional sections like Projects or Awards, and the option to add media (photos, videos, documents or presentations) to make your profile engaging and search-ready.
And of course LinkedIn provides a blogging platform, Pulse. If you’re a good writer with something to say, blogging can demonstrate your professional expertise and communication skills. On Pulse you’ll have a built-in user base and traffic source for your posts, plus solid credibility with search engines – all of which would take time and effort to build if your blog is on a personal website.
A personal website, on the other hand, offers major advantages.
- More space to showcase images and other content (projects, testimonials, etc.) in whatever format you like
- No distractions in terms of ads, other people’s profiles, and so on
- More control over how you appear in Google search results
- Branding yourself as an up-to-date, tech-friendly professional
- A contact form that makes it easy to reach you
- Ownership; freedom from rules like LinkedIn’s user agreement
In balancing the pros and cons for your individual situation, consider your occupation and industry. How important is it for you to appear tech-friendly, media-savvy and skillful in marketing and/or selling something – like yourself, for example?
A personal website is more crucial for some than others, but most job seekers can benefit from having one. Done well, it’s a useful marketing tool that makes you stand out from the competition – an investment in getting a job and developing your career.