Getting Found With Professional Website

Managing an organization’s website versus a personal website require very different marketing strategies, especially with SEO (“search engine optimization”) approaches. Typically an organization wants their website found in all search results when users search on keywords relevant to their business; for example, an online shoe store wants to be found in a Google search result when a user searches for “leather sandals”. However, an individual may or may not want to “get found” in a Google result and if they are found may want to restrict access to content on the website. With a professional website, an individual controls SE0 and access to their website.

Professionals that use their professional website to share a “body of work”, such as publications, galleries, portfolios, would most likely want to “get found” in search engines when users search on keywords – like the subject matter or title of a work. Obviously, “getting found” can promote a piece of work and the professional who created it.

Certain professions that require significant background experience and skill, such as lawyers, professors, and scientists, might want to “get found” in search engines when users search on keywords related to their profession. It would be beneficial for a professional website to appear when a user searches on the keywords: “Rochester corporate lawyer with 10 years experience”, for example. “Getting found” promotes professionals with particular talent that may be difficult to find.

Perhaps you have “something to say” on your professional website through a blog, videos, or social media. It can be difficult to get people to read your blog because there are so many of them; currently there are 181 million blogs worldwide. “Getting found” can promote your professional communications by increasing your audience.

Finally, if you are a professional seeking employment, you may want to “get found” in search engines when potential employer search on keywords related to your skill set. This is a “pull” approach to seeking employment; “pull” potential employers to your professional website. “Getting found” can increase the likelihood of finding employment.
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Badge Concept: Professional Website

Badges: ProfessionalWebsite
What a badge might look like

Professionals often have to verify their proficiency in a technology, language, or skill; we will refer to the presentation and validation of this proficiency as a “badge”. Visually speaking, a badge could be a background image with overlaying content about the proficiency and perhaps a link to a third-party verification.

A professional website currently promotes the presentation functionality of “badges”. The use of skills is already tightly woven into the framework of a professional website, along with particular IT skills, languages, and certifications – much of the content and linkages related to a “badge” are already in place. However, the validation integration has not been developed yet.

The validation integration would be similar to other web service verification applications. For example, the verification process that a website is secure. When you make an online purchase, you will often see a logo that says the webpage is secure (before you send your credit card information) – basically saying a third-party SSL certificate has been installed properly. Typically, this involves placing some JavaScript provided by the third-party verifier onto a website. Alternatively, in a simpler approach, the badge may just have a URL to the third-party verifier. In both implementations, a third-party company actively verifies the proficiency – making it a more reliable, standard verification.
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Organizational Approach: Collection of Professional Websites

Organizations should consider adopting the use of a collection of professional websites. There are different ways an organization can utilize professional websites. First, a collection of professional websites can act like “biographies” often found on an About Us page of a corporate website. Second, a HR department could require applicants to submit links to their own professional website; it could become the primary tool for a company’s evaluation purposes. Finally, it could be used to create brand awareness. For example, universities can design special professional websites for their students with university colors, logos, etc.

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Facilitate Job Seeking: Professional Website

There are clear advantages with having a professional website while seeking employment.

  • Multi-dimensional Resume: An Interactive Interface For Potential Employers
  • Search Through Website By Targeting Skill Sets
  • Create and Disseminate Resumes and Portfolios

When you apply to an employment opportunity, the ideal situation is to “pull” potential employers to your professional website for their evaluation because of its interactive features. A professional website is built on the standard structure of a resume but has many added features to facilitate communication, enrich content, and develop a skill set.

Some of the communication features are meant to help skip some of the preliminary probing by a potential employer. For example, you can provide the contact information of a reference for an employment responsibility and a potential employer could send an email to that reference – of course you would provide reference information at your own discretion.

Richer content includes using files, images, and linking to provide substance about an experience. For example, if you wrote a paper for a course in college, you can upload and make it available on your professional website.

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Employed, Why have a Professional Website

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.

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Perfect Content

Not sure what you pay more for in business school, getting an education or learning how to write an effective resume. I remember countless peer reviews, where we picked through each other’s resume! Like a resume, content on your professional website has to be perfect.

Here are three stages for getting content right on your professional website:
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Get Content On The Page

  • Obviously, every word has to be spelled correctly and every sentence has to be grammatically correct. Use a grammar and spell checker, and make sure you check it yourself many times – bet you a dime you will continue to find errors after the third time you’ve read it.
  • Use “Action Verbs” – verbs that are sharp and best fit the action you are trying to describe.
  • Check the frequency of your verbs; their tenses should follow a same pattern throughout your professional website.

Succinct, Results-Oriented Content

  • Wherever possible, quantify your results… “Developed more than 20 different websites.”
  • Be precise when you can… What was the name of the company you worked with? What was the name of the person you worked with (could he/she be a reference)?
  • Keep the description of your educational projects and employment responsibilities – line items on a resume – point on.
  • Take advantage of a professional website and its multi-dimensional features; enrich the content by adding interactive elements: more content, a reference, a web address, etc.
  • Reference the skills you used for particular experiences. Skills can be used as keywords to search through your professional website.

Peer Review

  • Get feedback from your support channels: your peers, a career center, professional writing services, etc. The more people who read your professional website content the better. Don’t be discouraged if at first you get a lot of constructive criticism, it is part of the process. Remember enlightening feedback is like gold.

TheProfessionalWebsite service offers many tools to help a user through the above-mentioned getting “perfect content” process.

Add Content: Without Professional Experience

Recent college graduates are faced with a dilemma when they seek employment but do not have enough experience to put on their resume. There are a few ways to get more content on a professional website when you have little professional experience.

Use the concept of “projects”. Projects represent a line-item on a resume under the education section, where you can discuss courses, papers, presentations, or activities you worked on. This is an excellent opportunity to share information related to your educational experiences, whether you are working on or completed an undergraduate or advanced degree. It can add what could be “much needed” content to your professional website.

Adding a “mission statement”. This is a way for a viewer to get a better understanding of your career goals and how you plan to achieve them. When applying to an employment opportunity, this gives added context for them to review you. Any “added content” will make you standout.

Create and post a short video. Develop a video where you talk about what you want to do or possibly demonstrate it. For example, consider you are applying to be a foreign language interpreter, shoot a video of yourself conversing in that language. This idea of sharing a video about yourself became popular in the undergraduate college application process; applicants separate themselves by sharing a well thought out, creative video. Obviously, applicants to undergraduate college programs have little professional experience as well.

Post a blog about your interests. There are many benefits in having your own blog. First, it shows your personality, a viewer can really understand you better; there is nothing better than reading an actual sample of what you choose to write about. It can be an enlightening experience for the viewer. Second, it is a writing sample, if a blog is well written, it can be a positive reflection on your writing skills. Finally, it shows how you handle feedback, an interactive blog demonstrates your ability to respond to criticisms and acknowledgments. All professionals should consider writing a blog, especially for those with less supporting content on their professional website. Business/IT programs suggest that their students write blogs.

It can be frustrating trying to create a resume when you have little professional experiences. Though, it is important to remember that for the jobs you are applying to, competing applicants are faced with the same dilemma. The strategy is to find ways to provide added content to separate yourself from the competition. A professional website offers many ways to add this “much needed” content, including the use of: projects, a mission statement, video, and a blog.