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Tips on maintaining a professional website from Jason Carney

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Jason Carney provides tips on website etiquette. Check out his tips in this article from MainStreet.com.

 

7 Do’s and Don’ts of a professional website

By: Jeanine Skowronski

February 6, 2012

More and more companies are turning away from traditional resumes and looking at your online presence instead to vet you for a possible job. As such, having your own website can increase your chances of scoring a position.

“Employers are moving away from a one-dimensional to two-dimensional resume to a three-dimensional approach,” says Bruce Hurwitz, president of Hurwitz Strategic Staffing in New York. “It’s good to have one now. In 10 years, probably everyone will need one.”

A website will only help if it’s created correctly, though. Here’s what to do – and what not to do – when putting yours together.

Do Keep It Simple

“Think of it as the first sample of work they’re going to see from you,” says Carolyn Hughes, vice president of people at SimplyHired.com. “You want it to be easy to navigate and very organized.”

You also want to make sure all of your contact information is readily available in the work you are using the website to showcase.

“Integrate other channels as well,” says Samantha Zupan, spokeswoman for job search engine Glassdoor.com. “Put up links to your Twitter handle and LinkedIn profile.”

But Don’t Phone It In

Like a quality resume, the website should be devoid of typos and misspellings, clutter and inaccurate or misleading information. It should also illustrate that some time and effort was put into the formatting, which means those who don’t know anything about making a website shouldn’t try to do so on their own, says Jason Carney, director of human resources at WorkSmart Systems, a human resources outsourcing firm.

Do Update It Frequently

If you just put together the website and forget about it, the project may appear abandoned, incomplete or irrelevant, which could make prospective employers doubt the quality of your work performance.

Instead, “update facts often,” Carney says. But don’t tweak skills.” This could come off as disingenuous, since it gives the impression you are changing the information on the website to cater to all of the jobs you are applying to.

Do Make Printable Information Available

Regardless of technological advancements, some employers will still want to see a resume in written form. As such, it helps to include a downloadable PDF of your resume on the website so employers will be able to get all the information they require in a single visit, Zupan says.

But Don’t Keep that Resume Up Right After Starting a Job

You may want to remove this PDF once your job search is over.

In fact, “kill your online resume altogether,” Carney says, since not doing so may “send some strange signals” to your new employer or even your new co-workers.

Do Be Authentic

When setting the tone of the website – for instance, you may be torn between writing your bio in first- or third-person – it helps to stick to what feels right to you and your industry, Hughes says. This allows the site to act as a natural cultural screening and increase your chances of finding an employer you click with.

“Stylistically, it will appeal to the places you belong,” she says.

But Don’t Be Unprofessional

Similar to the rules regarding the professional use of Twitter or Facebook, “don’t put up anything that gives an impression you’re not looking to give,” Zupan says.

For example, Hurwitz says photos should always be conservative and not include anyone other than the person owning the domain name (for instance, no group photos from that last big party you and your crew attended).

Additionally, “negativity is never good,” Hughes says, since it isn’t valued in the workplace and won’t help your quest for a new position.

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