Every professional should have their own professional website, whether they are seeking employment or are gainfully employed; here are some clear advantages for someone not necessarily looking for employment:
- Establishing an online professional identity.
- Owning and choosing how to “project” your content.
- Sharing a “body of work”.
- Validating your proficiencies in technologies, languages, etc.
LinkedIn has built an effective network of professional profiles and a compelling argument that everyone (not only job seekers) should use their network – evident by the size and scope of their network and average age of their user (41 years old). However, as argued in our previous blog Network Vs Identity, they successfully built a network and have only started to develop depth in their profile. A professional website should substitute the need for a LinkedIn profile and act as the central node for all networks across the internet.
A weakness of the LinkedIn model is that a professional does not have full control and ownership over the content they publish. The concept of the professional website ensures whoever owns the website has full control over their content; there is no sharing content with third-party marketing services. This should make a professional more comfortable about the accessibility of their content; all professional content can be stored in the website database and published with “on” or “off” switches. It can become a repository of all relevant professional information – a benefit for a professional at all stages of employment.
There are advantages in having your professional website accessible by not just potential employers but also your colleagues, clients, associations, etc. When you work on a collaborative effort, colleagues can learn a lot about your skills and experiences you bring to the team by reviewing your professional website. A client can verify and be reassured you can handle a project they are deciding to move forward on. A professional website acts like a biography on an About Us page often found on corporate websites.
A professional website is an excellent resource to present a “body of work” – publications, galleries, or portfolios. Promoting your work is an on-going requirement. A professional website allows for you to publish content related to the work, accept feedback or reviews, and add PayPal “Buy Now” buttons, and once all the content is in place for one piece of work, you can move on with your next work.
With today’s vast technology landscape, it is often necessary to validate a professional’s experience in various technologies. As a professional adds experience and/or acquires licenses, certifications, or awards demonstrating their proficiency in a technology, a professional website is an excellent way to display it. Moreover, a professional website introduces the concept of badges – what could become a universal way to verify a skill in a certain technology.
I also suggest reading a previous blog Top 10 Benefits of A Professional Website to learn about other benefits of a professional website service. TheProfessionalWebsite offers a professional website service that has all of the above mentioned functionality.