Up until recently, the idea of having your own professional website was somewhat limited to certain professions – like IT professionals, professors and researchers, artists, etc.. For each of these professions, a professional website made sense: IT professionals demonstrate their proficiency in different technologies, professors and researchers reference their publications, and artists, web designers, graphic designers present their portfolios. However, if you perceive a professional website as a multi-dimensional resume and an online identity, then it makes sense that everyone should have their own website throughout their career. Here are the top ten reasons why you should have a professional website:
First, it establishes your online identity. It can be your primary reference or node in the complex network of the internet. In other words, it might be what you want to appear first in a Google search about you or something you identify yourself with in social media. You will setup your own domain – typically www. yourname .com – which will be your unique address.
Second, it is standardized – built on the framework of a resume. One of the major benefits of having a standardized website is that it works well with other external platforms such as search engines and job boards.
Third, it is dynamic. You can make updates anytime, and the changes are reflected on the website immediately. The data centric approach of a professional website makes changing content extremely easy.
Fourth, it is accessible. It can be found in all major search engines and whatever other directories you choose to subscribe to.
Fifth, it is comprehensive. Using a data-centric approach, it is meant to collect all pertinent information about you and store it in a database. If the data becomes irrelevant, simply hide it from appearing on your website.
Sixth, it is interactive. There are many interactive elements built into the interface that promote further communication.
Seventh, it has rich-content. A problem with a standard profile or resume is that it is one-dimensional. A professional website supports videos, blogs, apps, and interactive elements, all of which enhance the content and provide a richer experience for the viewer.
Eighth, it is an excellent way to share a “body of work”. The advantages of a professional website is you can share actual examples of your work – either through linking or uploading files. As mentioned earlier, many professions look to a professional website to share their work – like publications, artwork, websites, etc.
Ninth, it presents a “skill set”. Many of the major companies offering professional profiles, such as LinkedIn and MonsterJobs, have added the use of skills in their profiles and commonly use them in their searches. The use of a skill set is interwoven into the framework of a professional website; there are tools to help you develop your skill set.
Tenth, the website is yours. You own all of the content on your website.