Create a Gorgeous Personal Website with These 5 Free and Easy Tools
If I told you there was a guaranteed way to impress over half the recruiters in America, would you take it?
A recent survey by Workfolio found that 56% of recruiters are more impressed by a personal website than by any other job seeker promotional tool (including resumes). They also found that only 7% of job seekers actually have a personal website.
The reason? Most say they don’t know how to set one up, or what to put on it once it’s been created.
The good news is that there are tools that will allow you to create an attractive website in minutes and they don’t require any coding or design skills. Use one of these and you’ll be ahead of 93% of US job seekers. Not only that, but you’ll have a way to show recruiters all the great things you have to offer.
Here are five of my favorites.
About.Me pages are well-designed, clean and easy to use although limited in functionality. The primary benefit is that you can quickly tell your story, inject more personality than you can in your resume, and provide recruiters with easy links to all your social profiles where they can learn more about you. As a non-techie, I found it foolproof to use with the design options being incredibly intuitive. Here is how a profile looks http://about.me/ryanchris
Quick side note: For all these sites it goes without saying that you should never link to something that doesn’t reflect well on you professionally. Recruiters will check them out.
About.Me offers both a free and premium option. The primary benefit of the premium option is that the navigation bar are the ability to use a personal Web domain (www.yourname.com), remove the About.me branding from your page, and access Google Analytics.
Flavors.me allows you to create a smart and fairly comprehensive website and offers lots of flexibility for such an easy-to-use interface. Set aside half an hour and you can have a simple website that showcases your art, photography, design portfolio etc. You can see some sample pages here . And if you have some HTML skills, you can customize the templates to create a really unique looking site.
Flavors.me also has both a free and premium option, with the premium option offering more layouts, improved customer support and domain name support. But for most users, the free option is perfectly fine.
I’m not quite as crazy about the design options on this site (you can see them here http://www.weebly.com/themes/) and I find the interface a little more confusing, but that may just be me.
Weebly offers lots of options for adding media such as videos, photos, work samples etc., allows you to link to all your social media profiles and also permits HTML/CSS editing for those who also want to show off their design skills (although you can stick with the templates just as easily). Again, both free and premium options are available.
Carbonmade is especially for those with creative work to display. It’s light on the ability to add text although there is room for a bio/resume and contact information. On the plus side, it offers an excellent, easy-to-use interface, meaning you can have your work displayed in minutes.
It also gives you the opportunity to make yourself more visible because recruiters can search by both speciality and location. The free option allows you to create up to 35 images within your portfolio; if you pay a monthly fee, you can have up to 500 images plus 10 videos at the time of writing.
I have a spot spot for Vizify. I found it by far the simplest to set up – I was up and running in 5 minutes – and definitely the most beautiful.
Vizify pulls data from your current online profile and uses it to create a stunning visual representation of your career, interests and social media presence. Here’s mine so you can see how it works.
I chose not to include Facebook as I use that mainly for personal stuff, and that’s an important point to make – add only sites that make the right impression from a career perspective. Stay away from anything that might reflect badly or just give a muddled impression to employers.
What Are you Waiting for?
So there they are, 5 free and easy tools that can put you in that tiny percentage of people who have gone the extra mile and created a personal website. If 56% of recruiters think that’s the best way to get an edge, the only question is what are you waiting for?
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