Six Rules for Personal Resume Web Sites

Since the explosion of the Internet in the 1990s, the number of Web sites and people visiting them increases every year. From eBay to blogs, everyone is using the Web to promote some cause, and job seekers are no exception -- building Web sites to showcase their resumes, skills, portfolios, published work and professional accolades.

The idea of building a personal resume Web site is alluring because it goes beyond the one- or two-page resume. After all, where else does a job seeker have virtually unlimited space to tout details about specific skills and qualifications? Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler are human resource consultants and the co-authors of 'CareerXroads,' a series of directories that list and review career Web sites.

Crispin says that for the arts, engineering, architecture, communications and other occupations in which job seekers need to show examples of past work, creating a resume Web site is a phenomenon that will continue to grow. "In those kinds of professions and occupations, it will become a very common thing," he says. "Some people are finding it is easier to build their portfolio out on a Web site than bringing it with them to an interview."

Both Crispin and Mehler offer warnings about this new way of presenting your work history. Privacy, for one, is a major issue, Crispin cautions, and you should be careful about posting too much personal information. In addition, both men point to the fact that a Web site should not take the place of a well-crafted resume.

"The typical resume gets two to three seconds of a recruiter's face time, so if you expect to e-mail a link to a recruiter and have them open it, you're fooling yourself," Mehler says. He says that a Web site should only be used as a supporting document for a traditional resume. The bottom line, he says, is that "the bulk of the population should still be concentrating on black type on white paper."

If you are considering building a resume Web site, Crispin and Mehler offer some tips to consider.

1. Be secure.

Choose what you put on your site wisely. Don't include any identifying information that can be used to harm you, such as your Social Security number.

2. Keep it professional.

> You wouldn't take pictures of your pets, friends, family or your significant other to an interview, so don't put them on your professional Web site. In addition, make the overall look and feel of your site professional. Stay away from flowery or brightly colored backgrounds and fonts, music and other add-ons. Things that are appropriate for a resume Web site include:

  • Reference letters or certifications
  • Academic papers or lists of journals you have been published in
  • Writing samples or copies of articles you have written
  • Photos of your artwork or other creative projects (if you are applying for a position in which creative skills are necessary)
  • Samples of computer-generated graphics or Web development work
  • Other IT project examples

3. Keep it simple.

Create a home page that categorizes your key accomplishments, and then add links that include additional information to back up each major accomplishment. Minimize the use of large graphic files and pictures that can take users a long time to load, unless graphic design or other artistic talents are part of your skill set and a requirement for your field.

4. Track your visitors.

Many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have tools that enable you to find out where visitors to your site are coming from. When setting up your site, ask about tracking reports so you will know who is viewing your site.

5. Check for compliments.

Your Web site should be a tool that supports your resume, not replaces it. Make sure the two work together. Include your site address in your resume. Have links on your site that correlate directly to your resume. You can also support line items in your resume by including the links that directly support your claims. For example, if your have received a professional award or certification, use your resume to point to the specific link where backup material is housed.

6. Don't stop there.

You can't stop working. Don't think that just because you post a site, employers will come to you. At the end of the day, your research, footwork, resume and interview will be what get you the job.

Copyright 2005 All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without prior written authority.

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