Some people say looking for a job is a job in itself. You’ve got to update your resume, craft compelling cover letters and find open positions that suit your skills. Those things are undoubtedly essential, but have you thought about using your website as a hiring tool, too?
Here are six ways you can do that.
1. Make Sure It’s Free Of Errors
Hopefully, you already know it’s not sufficient to solely trust a spell-checking feature when proofing your resume or a cover letter. It’s important to look it over yourself, too. If your website has numerous misspelled words, broken links or grammatical problems, the people who see it may think you’re careless. But, if your site is nearly flawless, it’ll go a long way in forming positive impressions.
According to a 2019 CareerBuilder survey, 92 percent of respondents agreed soft skills are essential when choosing someone to hire. Also, nearly half reported attention to detail was the soft skill they wanted most from candidates.
Keeping a sharp eye out for website errors could show hiring managers you have some of the abilities they want for the people they bring on board.
2. Be Responsive to Feedback
When your website has a blog with comments enabled, the things people say could give valuable guidance about which topics to cover, the needs readers have, what fascinates your visitors and more. Of course, some people use comment forms only to assume the roles of internet trolls, saying vague things like “This blog sucks.”
But, in other cases, readers genuinely want to engage in healthy debates with you or offer suggestions for improvement. Then, take the time to communicate with them and thank them for weighing in with their thoughts or opinions. The feedback may initially seem as harmful as what a troll would say, but there’s a good chance a person who gives thoughtful feedback wants you to grow and have an open mind.
How does responding to feedback via a visible comment help you get a job? It shows the public — including hiring managers — that you handle criticism respectfully, as well as spend time engaging with the people who give positive comments.
In any workplace, you’ll get feedback from superiors and peers. Employers appreciate seeing signs that you’re capable of taking it into account and acting on it. Blog comments can help demonstrate that.
3. Show You’re a Well-Rounded Individual
Employers usually want to hire people who have broad skills spanning outside the respective open positions. College admissions professionals take a similar approach when looking for prospective students. That’s why hobbies help high schoolers get admitted to universities where they gain knowledge to start their careers.
Maybe the main reason you started a website or blog was to enhance your tech skills and get ready for the job you want now. In any case, use your blog as an extension of your resume. You might only list hobbies as bullet points on your resume, or not bring them up at all. But, a website gives you opportunities to discuss your accomplishments and interests.
Are you a state-champion horseback rider, someone who speaks seven languages or an avid gardener? Depending on the job, it may not be appropriate or necessary to add those details on your resume. However, bringing up those things on your website lets others know you have a lot to offer as a person.
4. Build an Online Portfolio
Many of today’s hiring professionals want evidence of your capabilities beyond merely reading about them as words on a page. With that in mind, consider creating an online portfolio to display your best work. Whether you fill it with photographs, design projects or articles you’ve written, a portfolio shows you have the real-world skills to support your background.
Also, a 2017 survey from Hover polled people involved in hiring to get their thoughts on the importance of online portfolios. It revealed 86 percent either strongly agreed or agreed that they’d visit a portfolio site if given the option. Also, 71 percent strongly agreed or agreed a portfolio’s quality influences their hiring decisions.
Those results suggest you should provide a link to the portfolio in your resume or cover letter, but spend a sufficient amount of time making it excellent first.
5. Populate the Site With Content That Emphasizes Your Interests
Employers prioritize people who have an ongoing, sincere interest in their fields, and a familiarity with them. You can show yours by publishing material to your website that profiles up-to-date happenings in your current sector or the one you want to work in soon. You can also do this in a way that shows your ability to analyze information and give your take on it.
For example, publish the link to a recent news story, then write a response that goes in-depth about how you agree or disagree with the writer. Are there potential pitfalls to the stance that person took? Do you have an idea about the topic that the writer didn’t address in the piece? Taking this approach provides content for your site, plus indicates you’re an emerging thought leader.
6. Help Hiring Managers Find Your Website
Besides considering these tips, it’s also crucial to apply best practices that help recruiters find your website. For example, if most people who currently visit your website only know you by a nickname, it’s time to branch out and add some instances of your name as it appears on your job applications within the web content. That’s known as personal SEO.
Moreover, add keywords related to the job you want. Hiring professionals attempt to streamline their techniques, and using keywords effectively assists them in locating your website quickly.
More Valuable Than You Might Think
As this list shows, your website or blog could be more than something you do in your free time. It could help you land a dream job, too.