From the Intern's Desk: Creating a Personal Website

Our graphic design intern, Bella, has the how-to.

From Bella:
A website is part of building your personal brand, which shows your unique point of view, demonstrates your skills and sets you apart from others. It brings life and personality to your resume by expanding on the cold list of facts. When you have an online presence, people can discover and access your work more easily. You never know who might end up seeing it. According to Workflow, 56% of all hiring managers are more impressed by a candidate’s personal website than any other personal branding tool, but only 7% of job seekers actually have a website to share. Here, I'll help you figure out how to set one up. From the Intern's Desk: Creating a Personal Website

1. Choose your tools

Unless you're a coder, chances are you don’t know how to build your site from scratch, but fortunately, there are many tools available that make it much simpler. If you're looking for a creative job and already have work on Behance, you can build a website with your portfolio on Behance Prosite without doing any coding. Format is also great for creatives—you can choose how much you want to customize, and their format integrates with other tools like Lightroom and Kredo. For non-creative job-seekers, Cargo Collective and Wordpress have nice, customizable templates. Although coding your customizations requires some extra work, I found that the code I needed to get the look I wanted was never more than a Google search away. Carbon Made and Squarespace have beautiful, professional themes, so a polished-looking site can be achieved sans HTML.

2. Keep it simple

Whether you're designing your site yourself or using a template, keep the look clean and simple. Your navigation should be easy to use, and your contact info should never be more than a click away.

3. Link to your resume

Use Google Docs or Dropbox to link to a digital copy of your resume. You never know who could be looking at your site—opportunities come when you least expect them.

4. Give yourself a clear title

My website says "Bella DiMarzio" and "graphic designer" upfront. If you're using your personal site to look for work, make it easy for potential employers to see who you are and what you do. Your name and title should be immediately visible when someone goes to your website.

5. Spring for your own domain name

If your name is available as a domain, snatch it up right away (trust me). GoDaddy is an easy, cheap way to buy a domain.

6. Get a second (or third or fourth) opinion

The best way to know if your website is effective is to show your friends and family. Let them navigate the website on their own to see if it's easy for someone who's never seen it before. Can they quickly find your contact information? Do they know where to find examples of your work? This is the best way to figure out what works and what you need to revisit.

7. Put it out there

Attach your website to all of your online profiles—LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Put a link in your email signature, and add the URL to your resume and any cover letters you send out. Your website can be a really valuable tool in your job search, so get as many eyes on it as you can!