Maybe you are unhappy at your current job, or you recently graduated and are looking for your first full-time job. Creating an effective website to promote you as a professional will always be the smart move when looking for a new job.
All employers want to know about your career background and professional development. Creating a profile on LinkedIn is great for connecting and networking with colleagues, coworkers and clients; but you are limited to a profile that looks and feels like everyone else’s?
Having your own website will allow you the opportunity to establish your own personal brand. You can organize your information to showcase yourself as you want to be presented. If a recruiting company is helping you find a job, too many times I’ve seen recruiters rewrite someone’s resumé to fit the recruitment company’s resumé template. Unfortunately, recruiters are not writers and may try to make you sound like someone you are not. Don’t let this happen.
Here are five tips to help you build an effective resumé website using Squarespace to help increase your chances of getting your next job.
Tip #1: Pick the Squarespace Template that Works Best for a Resumé
While any of the Squarespace templates could work to create a resumé website, the following templates have a more traditional layout and design that can easily be used to mimic your paper resumé. While mimicking your paper resumé isn’t necessary, it can easily allow you to carry your brand across the paper/digital line.
Choosing one of the preceding templates will easily get you started creating a resumé site. If the above templates aren’t right for you, choose another of Squarespace’s templates that fits your needs.
Tip #2: Make Your Resumé Interactive
Don’t settle for a resumé website that is only a digital version of your paper resumé. Below are ideas for adding interactivity to your resumé to create engagement.
- Link to past and current employers’ websites.
- Convert any email addresses and phone numbers to hyperlinks.
- Create sub-pages for supplemental material you can link to from your resumé.
- Link to your portfolio to show off your work.
- Use Squarespace's social blocks if you are comfortable with sharing your social life on your website (see the Bonus Tip).
Tip #3: Keep the Layout Simple
When you are trying to standout among a crowd of applicants, make yourself memorable. Don’t overload your site with a confusing layout.
- Consider using the Markdown Block for easy editing (link to Markdown article)
- Make use of the Horizontal Rule Block and Space Block to add some breathing room between your content.
- If you do arrange blocks next to each other in columns, don't cram too many next to each other.
- Check your site on your mobile device to see how your pages look on different screen sizes.
- Add hierarchy to your text by applying Heading 2 and Heading 3 to heading sections, see Figure 1.
<img src="http://static1.squarespace.com/static/50dda4a6e4b03955129888bf/50dda4a6e4b03955129888c7/5312b1dbe4b04bcb37e709cc/1393734107540/text-block-edit-bar-h2-and-h3-heading.png" alt="Figure 1: Apply Heading 2 and Heading 3 formatting to sub-headings within your content to add more hierarchy to your writing. It helps to make the text easier to scan."/>
Tip #4: Get a Custom Domain
Squarespace gives you a youraccount.squarespace.com URL for your site, but if you sign-up for yearly or bi-yearly billing you get a free domain name with your Squarespace site. Take advantage of this and get a domain name unique to you. If you already own your domain then map the domain to your Squarespace account.
If you don’t have a domain, try registering your real name if it’s available. If your name is not available, get creative. For instance, Jane Smith, who’s an accountant, would see if the domain JaneSmith.com is available. If JaneSmith.com is not available she could try the following.
Having a relevant or catchy domain name can help others recall your site from memory.
Tip #5: Keep it Short and Simple
Because you’re building an online resumé, you have to exercise caution and not go overboard on how much information you add to your resumé page. A good rule I’ve always followed for paper resumés is not to go over one page.
On the Web, you can’t easily equate one page of paper to one webpage. Use your best judgment of measuring the amount of information you put on a single webpage. Consider comparing the number of words on a printed resumé at a legible font size.
Bonus Tip: Protect Yourself on Social Media
If your social media profiles have information or status updates that might not represent you in a professional manner, consider making your profiles private—limiting access to friends and family.
The last thing you want to happen is for a potential employer to see your rants on Twitter about how much you hate your career, or Facebook status updates of you at the previous weekend’s football tailgating without your shirt on.
If you have any tips for creating a resume site share them in the comments. If you have a resume site you'd like to share, I'd love to see what you've created.