The economy is growing, but the job market is remains pretty rough. When you're applying for a job, having your own website can increase your odds of success.
A personal resume website can add a spark of personality to your paper (or PDF) resume and cover letter. Before you know it, you might just have a real foot in the door to a new job.
Here are five tips for a successful -- and legal -- personal resume website:
Protect your online portfolios. An online portfolio is often required for creative professionals, and a personal website is a great (and easy) way to showcase creative skills, career experts tell Forbes. But when you make your creative work available to the public online, you need to make sure to protect photos, logos, stories, research papers and so forth. You may even want to trademark or copyright your online property to make sure your work isn't used without your permission.
Keep it simple -- and honest. Your personal resume website should categorize your key accomplishments, and then add links that include more detailed information to back them up. From a legal standpoint, don't exaggerate your accomplishments. A bloated resume that's accessible online can come back to haunt your credibility even years later.
Strike a neutral tone. Keep the information on your website fun, interesting and personable. But always aim for a neutral tone. Unless the job calls for snark, avoid including information that could be controversial such as religious or political views. From a legal standpoint, avoid showing biases for or against legally protected groups of people. The last message you want to send is, "As your prospective employee, I'm a discrimination suit waiting to happen."
Be smart about what contact info you share. For security purposes, you may want to create an e-mail address specifically for your job search, use a temporary phone number, or even list a P.O. box instead of your home address. This probably goes without saying, but don't make your Social Security number available for the world to see. It won't help you get the job.
Get permission from previous employers to share work. If you're uploading or linking to previous work and you don't own the rights to it, make sure to get permission from your previous employer to use it. The same goes for divulging details of projects that your former employer might consider proprietary information.