The job market is tough out there. But when you’re applying for a job, a personal website may give you the upper-hand. Adding a spark of personality, a resume website can give prospective employers a better idea of what you’re like as a candidate and a person.
Before you know it, you might just have conquered the mountain of applications with a real foot in the door to a new job.
Here are seven tips for your personal resume website:
- Keep it simple. Your personal resume website should categorize your key accomplishments, and then add links that include more detailed information to back up each bulleted accomplishment. Don't throw in too many bells and whistles with pictures and graphics. Remember the old adage that actions speak louder than words? Ditch the canned "I'm organized" line. A clean layout will speak volumes.
- Keep it honest. Aesthetically, avoid visual fluff. Legally, don't exaggerate your accomplishments. A fudged resume memorialized online can come back to haunt your credibility even years later.
- Strike a neutral tone. Your website should be engaging and personable -- but always in a neutral tone. Unless the job calls for it, this isn't the space to tackle controversial topics or express your love for Scientology. Also, avoid showing biases against -- or for-- legally protected groups of people. The last message you'll want to send is, "As your prospective employee, I'm a discrimination suit waiting to happen."
- Be secure. If you don't want to share your email address or phone number with the World (Wide Web...), include a "contact me" reply box on your site that will redirect messages to your personal e-mail inbox. A reply box looks professional and protects your privacy. Win-Win.
- Include a portfolio. Writing samples are often required for attorney gigs. From sample contracts to summary judgment motions, a resume website is a great (and easy) way to showcase a wide range of writing abilities. But when you make your work available to the public online, make sure to redact all identifiable information (party names, company names, etc.). To play it safe ...
- Get permission from previous employers. If you're uploading or linking to previous work and you don't own the rights to it, get permission from your previous employer to use it. The same goes for divulging project details that may be considered proprietary information.
- Be yourself and have fun with it. In contrast to a standard one-page resume, a website can give you much, much more than one crammed page. Links give it depth. The beauty of a website is that it can more accurately demonstrate that you're a fascinating multi-faceted human bein' with a killer skill set and a sparkling wit to boot. Have fun and be yourself.
Go ahead, add that rock climbing trip picture -- the one of you grinning after conquering that mountain.
- FindLaw's Free MiniGuide to Applying for a Job (FindLaw)
- FindLaw's Free Hiring MiniGuide (FindLaw)
- Yahoo's CEO Caught Resume Padding: Whose Head Should Roll? (FindLaw's In House)
- 3 Things for Lawyers to Consider When Using LinkedIn (FindLaw's Strategist)