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How a personal website can translate to career success

Your digital footprint is stronger than you think.
You are what you type.iStock

Employers are searching for information about you online, whether you like it or not. If they don’t find you, or something positive about you, then you will get passed over for the next candidate that pops up. More and more, employers are turning to the Internet in order to fill positions in their workforce because it’s easy, they can conduct background checks, and they are looking for candidates with strong tech skills.

In a new study by branded.me and .ME Registry, they found that 84 percent of professionals have received benefits from having a personal website and 63 percent said websites are more valuable than resumes. Eighty-five percent said a personal website will become more important over the next five years. Here are a few tips, based on the research, that will help you craft a strong website that employers will take notice of.

Purchase your own domain name. Having your own name as a domain name (yourfullname.com or .net or .me) is extremely valuable because it will rank higher for your name in Google, and it’s easier to direct people to it if they want more information on your background. In the study, 72 percent said that they have a personalized domain name and 73 percent said that having one is either very important or important for their online brand. You should claim your domain name before someone else does and charges you thousands of dollars for it.

Add various elements to your website. Your website should showcase your unique talents and abilities as well as your personal interests and motives. This way, you can connect with other professionals who share mutual interests while impressing employers with your achievements and experience. In the study, the elements of a website that received the best response from employers were work experience (27 percent), pictures (26 percent), biography (22 percent) and personal interests (19 percent).

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Create a blog as part of your website. Blogs enable you to express your views on topics of your choice, and by producing blog posts, your website will rank higher in Google.

Use business cards to market your website. While websites and blogs are still innovative ways to distinguish yourself, the traditional forms of marketing are still valuable. Professionals of all ages still ask to see business cards when they’re networking. Old-fashioned networking still works.

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