Do You Own Your Brand Online?

Are you entering the job market fresh out of school? Here’s why you need a website in 2020.

Nicole Bedford
Nov 16, 2019 · 5 min read
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

You’re young full of optimism, have a zest for life, and you’ve just conquered college after four years of sleepless nights, anxiety-inducing deadlines, blood, sweat, and tears.

You’re ready to dominate your job hunt and crush every interview. But wait, before you start sending out that newly minted resume, you might want to consider your online presence and, more importantly, your brand.

Did you know that 80% of employers complete a Google search on prospective candidates before an interview? Yikes! If that was your initial reaction, then we’re sure that a simple Google search may not serve up your best life moments thus far.

Are you worried about those sordid pictures across Social Media of your crazy gap year or the one, two many weekend benders after midterms?

Go ahead, take a moment, and Google yourself and see what pops up on the first 3–4 pages of search results. Did you like the results, or were they full of cringe-worthy exploits across your social media accounts? How would you fair if someone from Human Resources did the same?

The truth is, your prospective Employers are busy, and so the probe won’t go that deep, but they will run a quick search to see what type of presence you have online. When they type your name into the search bar, you want the results to yield content that aligns with your resume and personal brand.

For that reason, launching your website as a recent college graduate is the logical next step. Owning your site, using your first and last name as the domain, creates a home-base or hub for everything ‘you’ — it becomes your online resume, portfolio, and even a blog to showcase your voice and brand focus.

Reasons Every Post Graduate Needs a Personal Website

Perhaps you’re only partially convinced that you need a website because you’ve already created a LinkedIn profile. Still, the reality is that using Social Media platforms only is not going to cut it.

When you launch your website, you’re in the driver’s seat; you control it ultimately. Every aspect of the site is yours, and it will stand the test of time.

Need more convincing? Let’s dive deeper into the benefits of owning your site.

1. You Own Your Brand

You are a unique individual. No one else on this planet has your fingerprints, your unique genetic code, and you are autonomous in your identity. Your online presence should be the same.

You should own full rights to your brand. What’s more, you should control the scope of your brand awareness and how it is portrayed online.

Launching your personal and professional website with your firstlastname.com means that search engines like Google will rank it as number 1.

Therefore, when anyone types your name in the search bar, the site is the first thing served up.

Your website is how you control the narrative and ensure that prospective employers see what you want them to see first. The brand you have crafted for them to see.

Numbers don’t lie, and statistics show that the first result of a Google search receives 32.5% of click-throughs. The second receive 17.6%, and the third even lower at 11.4% of clicks.

While your social media profiles will rank high (granted you don’t share your name with a lot of others or a celebrity for that matter), you want your website to be the first thing that is seen, upfront and center to prospective employers.

Therefore, allowing you to own your brand completely.

2. You Secure a Job Much Faster

Having a sleek, professional website with carefully crafted content will impress the 80% of employers that Google your name. So much so that the offers will come pouring in.

Why? Because taking the time to create a great website to showcase your professional exploits, the expertise, and knowledge you’ve just acquired in college, show them that you’re serious about what you do, you’re innovative, hardworking and you pay attention to details.

Depending on your chosen profession, you can use your website to showcase samples of your work or display the portfolio you began compiling while at college, write a blog with knowledge in your field, etc. the options are endless with your website.

Take this opportunity to showcase who you are; doing this successfully will ensure quick hiring.

3. Showcase Yourself: That’s right, brag baby!

You’ve come a long way, and you’ve worked hard to do, now is the time to showcase all of the accolades and accomplishments you’ve achieved.

Your website is the perfect place to do so.

Your professional resume only has so much space, and due to specific standards, you have to truncate your shining moments.

With your website, you don’t have to do that. You can present everything that helps lend to your professional brand.

The content you can add to showcase yourself include but is not limited to:

  • A picture (or multiple images) of you
  • A resume page
  • A professional bio
  • A place to share your accomplishments
  • Internships and work experience
  • Causes you feel passionate about and any charity work
  • A full spectrum of your body of work/portfolio
  • Links to your other social profiles
  • A blog showcasing your knowledge and expertise
  • A contact form

There is no limit to what you can showcase on your website. Go wild. Be creative and present yourself in a palatable way. You are building your brand, so don’t skimp on anything.

4. You can Expand Your Website in the Future

One of the great things about owning your online presence is that you can continue the expansion of your website.

Perhaps initially, it is just a professional portfolio with your CV, bio, and accomplishments.

The next step is adding content like a blog, a podcast, or a series of instructional videos.

Again, there is no end to the possibilities and no limits in sight. Plan initially for the expansion and release in stages as you continue to grow professionally. Not to mention the monetization potential when done correctly.

There are no downsides to controlling the narrative and owning your brand online.

Originally written for Hosting.co.uk

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Nicole Bedford

Written by

Practitioner of Witchy Woo-woo, wanderlust enthusiast, and bona fide book nerd. Words in Elephant Journal, Blavity, etc. Contact: nicole@aninjusticemag.com

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