You have exactly 8.5” x 11” to separate yourself from the pack of other highly motivated candidates. What are you going to do? Find a sleek template online? It’s an advantage over people who’ve never used Google (infants and those older than 90). I’m guessing you’ll highlight your achievements. But, chances are, you’re only distancing yourself from the latter half of the pack, not your real competition. Also, employers have good reason to believe that people lie on their resumes. Now what? Unless you’re the president of the Harvard Law Review, you’re resume will only get you so far.
So then how are you going to differentiate yourself? You should first focus on building relationships (“networking” is for computers), offer to donate your services to the right company, and practice persistence. These tips are for another post…
I’m here to tell you, that a good resume is no longer good enough. You, my friend, need a website.
Are you done rolling your eyes? It’s okay, apprehension, fear, and rejection are all normal reactions to something that’s new. It’s uncomfortable to wander into the unknown (there’s only 250 million blogs out there). Taking in content from the Interent is one thing, producing it is a whole different creature. I’m sure you’ve already come up with a list of reasons why you haven’t made your own site. Let’s dissect:
I have nothing to say.
What field are you going into? Ok, talk about that. Talk about your insights. Share some useful information you’ve found. Ask provoking questions. Express your passions and curiousity.
If you’re hunting for a sales position, give your own spin on the latest trends in the industry. You want a career in politics? Start by deleting every Facebook picture tied to your name, then, share what your ideal world would look like if you were the King of America. (I passed a collegiate level US History course)
Maybe your line of work doesn’t require much writing at all. You’re a freelance hairstylist? Show off some pictures of your latest work. You’re in real estate? Share some photos of the houses and neighborhoods you work with. You want to become a chef….okay you get the idea.
If you can carry a passionate conversation about your desired profession, there’s no reason you can’t write about it as well.
Why would anyone care what I have to say anyway?
Let’s face it, the vast majority of people probably won’t care what you’re saying. That’s not the point. First figure out your target. For this example, it’s potential employers. You don’t need a steady stream of traffic for your site to be a good investment of your time. Adding a www.[YourName].wordpress.com (or buy your own domain) to your business cards and resume gives you an opportunity to expand your resume beyond it’s very strict limits . A website is nearly limitless. Even if you don’t wow them with your knowledge, you can certainly impress them simply by having even a very basic website linking to your LinkedIn account (which is essentially a resume on steroids).
And you never know…you might be pleasantly surprised to find that people enjoy what you have to offer. I’m grateful to encounter this feeling on a daily basis.
I’m not tech savvy, I haven’t the slightest clue how to operate a blog.
If you can sign up for an e-mail account, you can operate a blog. It’s not hard. I promise. There are people who are rather tech-illiterate who operate many blogs. A quick search found me this video which walks you step by step through every aspect of starting a wordpress.com blog. I recommend you try to figure it out for yourself first, but if you get stuck, the video seems like a decent reference.
Making a website about myself seems arrogant
Right. Talking about yourself and/or your interests online is the ultimate indication of arrogance. So I’m assuming you don’t have a Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter account then either. It seems that Facebook has filtered out the 400 million most arrogant people on earth. Impressive.
For the sake of argument, I’ll grant you this. But tell me, when you go into an interview, do you shy away from boasting your strengths? If you do, you need a lot more help than a website can offer. I’ve never actually hired anyone, but I have a pretty good track record with interviews…employers like confidence. Employers want their employees to be bold. Touting how great you are is undeniably obnoxious. Clearly demonstrating what you bring to the table, however, is necessary. Use every advantage you can get.
You don’t have the free time
If you’re content with the job/career that you’re in, this is a valid argument (and likely you’re not still reading this post). If not, find a better excuse. Some of the busiest, most successful people out there take time to pound away at a keyboard to maintain a stream of content on their blog. Included in this list: master new age marketer Seth Godin, billionaire Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban, the contemporary preeminent expert on mind-body medicine and spirituality, Deepak Chopra, and “the voice of this generation, of this decade“, Kanye West, only to name a few. You’re not busier than Kanye.
It’s not a matter of free time, it’s a matter of prioritization. If you’re aspire to a better job, prioritize your life that way. If you would rather watch the Celtics game, then you have no room to complain.
That’s it. If you’re actively seeking new employment, and you don’t yet have a website, I challenge you to give it a shot. Maybe a website isn’t necessary in every instance, but give it some consideration, and don’t shy away because it seems like too much work. Too much work is better than a compromised dream.