The one hour project you can do before bed tonight that will change the job search game
Do you have an online presence? If not, you should get one. You know this.
If you don’t have a findable online presence, you dramatically reduce your chances of getting a job. Career Builder published a report earlier this year stating that 35% of employers are less likely to interview candidates they can’t find online. Also, a majority of available jobs reportedly go unadvertised. So, if you meet someone at a networking event or party, or score a referral from a friend, that Google result can make all the difference.
I’m often asked if LinkedIn is enough. My answer to that is sure, I guess, maybe, inasmuch as doing the bare minimum of anything is “enough.”
You can have a LinkedIn profile and hope that it’s enough, or you can be the person with a personal website, a blog, and an active Twitter account with a few thousand engaged followers. I know who I think most hiring managers are going to prefer.
“Buuuuuuuut,” I can already hear you protesting, “I don’t have time to create an actual serviceable online presence! I’m too busy scrolling through Facebook and watching the thing on the Netflix!”
I know time is tight. Fortunately, being visible doesn’t have to take up as much of it as you might think. Assuming you already have a LinkedIn profile, you can actually build a personal website in about an hour and spend 15 minutes a day on Twitter. That’s a total of one hour and 15 minutes a week plus the initial investment of one hour to build the website. Surely you can invest that.
Here’s a breakdown of creating your website. Not long ago I read this article on The Muse, and thought, yes, that’s about right, but I did things a little differently, most recently for a group I’m a member of, not a personal site. So, the instructions I’m giving are a little different from the ones I followed but not dramatically so.
The point is that you should do this and there’s really no excuse not to.
Website in an hour:
Buy a domain name – 10 minutes: Go to a domain seller like Go Daddy and buy a domain. Your own name will often suffice but if it’s a common one you might have to get creative. I paid $110 for five years, or just over $20 a year. If you can’t afford that, you can just use the service domain.
Choose and sign up for a service – 10 minutes: There’s a variety of them out there like WordPress, Tumblr, Wix, Squarespace, and more. I used Squarespace most recently. I have also built sites on WordPress and Tumblr and have found they all have their merits. If you want to have a blog, you might consider WordPress instead. Squarespace charges a monthly fee. Others don’t, but you have to purchase themes.
Choose and install a theme – 10 minutes: Don’t dwell on this too much. Pick something super simple. You’re often best just to stick with simple themes anyway but if you want to change it you can do so later. Just get the site up and running for now.
Create your landing page – 20 minutes: Give it a title, write something welcome-y, upload a photo, add your contact information. Put your name in the header and maybe the job title to which you aspire. Upload a photo – something that makes you look professional and personable – and write a very short paragraph about who you are and welcoming people to your site. Again, don’t overthink. That way lies madness, or perhaps more accurately, hitting a wall and never finishing your project.
Add an About and/or Resume page – 10 minutes: If you have a workable summary on your LinkedIn page, copy it and paste it into an “About” page. Keep it simple. Cut and paste your resume onto that page or a separate page. Also include a link to a PDF of your resume. Granted, these instructions assume that you already have a summary, resume, and picture. So, if you don’t you’ll have to factor in time to write them.
And voila! Instant website. Don’t get lost in the details. You can futz later.
Here’s the one I created on Friday in about an hour (again, not a personal site).
Tomorrow, you’ll go back and proofread what you wrote, you’ll link to any relevant work, websites and social media. And then your site will be ready to share. Today, just do these basic steps.
The sense of accomplishment will be greater than you imagine, and the payoff probably even greater.
Now go build a website.