Homework for the Holidays

Christmas is indeed in the air and the last thing any college student wants to think about is school. After all, you’re probably still recovering from finals…it’s been a tough few weeks of cramming, living off ramen and trying holding your tongue at group project meetings. I get it. The good news is, you have about 4 weeks to recoup before it’s back to the mines. It’s time to do whatever you’ve been looking forward to doing. Woo-hoo!!! But somewhere between visions of sugar plums dancing in your head and finding the perfect ugly Christmas sweater, set aside time to create the best Christmas present you can give your future, create a personal website.

Seriously.

You’ve spent the last four years putting yourself in a position that makes you marketable, now you’ve got to find a way to market yourself!

Unfortunately, we’ve been taught to print our resume on ivory resume paper, use Times New Roman font, not be too text heavy, not to use colors or designs and to sum everything up on one 8.5 x 11 piece of paper.

Amiright?

The point is, unless the hiring manager truly reads your resume we all look the same at first glance.

This bothered me that after all that hard work I was one of a hundred in a stack of papers. Nowhere could I showcase my personality, work ethic or most importantly for marketing majors….my creative side! I wanted a way to highlight my talents and set myself apart from the rest.

I expressed these frustrations to a mentor who turned around and gave me the BEST.ADVICE.EVER. when it comes to job searching– build a personal website. What a thought!

My personal website included everything a typical resume would (job experience, education, skills, honors/awards, and leadership activities), but I was also able to include an introduction (which included a link to my blog…. another great selling point), links to projects I did in college from role plays, research papers, to 60-page marketing campaigns and I could elaborate on my work experience and leadership activities. Not to mention the fun and professional theme used to express it all!

Since I built the website myself, I was also able to highlight my creative side and learn a new skill…. web design! This gave the reader a good sense of who I was, long before I had the opportunity to meet them face-to-face. You wouldn’t believe the positive feedback I received from mentors, various individuals in my “network” and most importantly, future employers. It truly made a memorable impression.

But the real value in building a personal website for me was….

It didn’t help me land a job, it helped me communicate my passions and interests and land a job I LOVE!

Ironically, I work for a web/app development and digital marketing company. I do anything from content marketing, branding, marketing automation, social media marketing, to frameworks for webpages. Shoot, everything I enjoy!

So this Christmas season when you’re warming your toes by the fire and sipping on some hot chocolate, pull out a pen a paper and begin creating content for your personal website, before you know it you’ll be live on the interwebs and impressing hiring managers left and right!

Job searching isn’t easy, but it can be fun! Give recruiters something to talk about!

Merry Christmas!

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