Job hunting is not typically on the top of your to-do list until you have to. From reading through job descriptions and researching salary expectations to revising your resume and speaking with recruiters, the process can be convoluted at times. We've all been there. Either looking for our first job out of school or shifting careers, there's a new mindset of selling yourself that needs to be front and center. This is where personal branding kicks in. Employers more than ever are now Googling you (yes you!) to see what comes up on the first page of search results. Is it that photo from that party that you vaguely remember with you kicking back shots or is it the headlining speaking engagement that you were just featured in. Big difference. But only you have can bring a shift in perception in how you are perceived online.
Are you looking for a new role or want to enhance her personal brand's presence online? We recommend converting your plain Word resume to your own website. This will enhance your brand's perception by putting your best foot forward with your experiences, education, and testimonials from those that you've worked with. Not sure where to begin? Check out our latest case studies in transforming your one-page resume to a show-stopping website.
Here's the before picture - the all-too commonly known one-page, Word document resume. The standard format includes contact information, intro/summary, work experience, education, skills and certifications. Recommendations are nice-to-have add-ons although not always required. Employers like to have resumes in a single page format, although some of us (myself included) have resisted the urge in typing away to a second page. If you're applying to a corporate setting, they prefer standard fonts and layouts as well. So if you're looking to stray away from Times New Roman, size 12pt, black, this traditional format may not be your best bet. There are exceptions to this role, especially depending on the role and industry that you're looking to enter. For startup roles, customized a resume is acceptable and encouraged. If you're entering the creative space, a one-pager may not get you very far. They'll require you to send your portfolio with examples of your work.
Buy your domain. In a previously publishing blog article, I wrote on the importance and how-to on buying your domain. If your domain name is taken, don't fret. Create a combination of your name and keyword displaying your expertise. For example, if you're named Sam and are a baker located in Queens, NY, consider creating a unique domain such as "samthequeensbaker.com"
Structure your website. If you're using the help of an existing platform such as Squarespace or Wix, there are tons of examples to choose from. The most important thing is the flow of your website. Use the format of your resume as a baseline with your categories and cascading information from each. Be sure to include your contact information with a preference to email. Make it easy to find on your site so that people can send you an email if they're interested in getting in touch.
Highlight your information carefully. The goal of digitizing your resume is to showcase your awards and accolades. If there's any place that you're going to tout your experience, this is the place to put it.
Add photos, attachments, or videos. Unlike your resume where you'd need to send additional PDF's or links to supplement, a digital resume gives you the ability to personalize and show examples of your work. Include any relevant, interactive media elements such as photos of you at work, examples of your work (make sure you're not bound by any confidentiality agreements first!), along with videos of speaking engagements.
Design it based on your target industry. This is one of the fundamentals in branding. You may not have a branding style guide but you should do your research on a style and tone that your industry focuses on. In our case study, we specialized in early childhood education with bold icons and vibrant pops of color. The overall presentation was kept clean with shadowed cards and handwritten script showcasing the trends in the education field. Do your research before you make any stylistic choices.
Optimize with keywords. Ask any recruiter and you'll likely get similar responses with how they review resumes. Based on the role and industry, there are certain "buzzwords"that are must. Consider those when creating a digital resume not only in the content on your site but also in your SEO or search engine optimization. Some platforms have integrations where you're able to input those keywords that you'd like to be found or known for. Remember, your personal brand is all about highlighting you as an expert in your niche! When people Google "(insert keyword here)," you'd like to eventually be found as a key resource.
Revise as needed. Your skill set and experience may change so remember to revise your digital resume as needed. Keep it focused on your target role. What's your dream job? What are they looking for? And most importantly what in my background will be considered a transferable asset?
If you're looking for your first job out of school or shifting careers, get in touch! I'll help you create your personal brand and digitize your resume to give you the competitive edge for your next interview.