Are you struggling to find a job? Or perhaps you want to make that next step on the corporate ladder?
There seems to be a tool that can help you gain professional recognition and attract development opportunities – personal website.
This is something we have all been guessing at with studies like Jobvite’s indicating that recruiters are using new technologies to scout for job prospects and evaluate existing ones, and the fact that we all are increasingly searching for online reviews of services and products, even people, we are interested in, but we wanted proof. That’s why we have partnered up with branded.me, a personal branding platform, to conduct the first ever survey linking personal websites and career success.
As our Sales and Marketing Executive, Natasa Djukanovic says “When .ME domains opened for worldwide registrations we were aware that personal websites and personalization of business are the future of Internet, and that is exactly what this survey shows.” Whatever industry you are in, and whether you are a seasoned professional or a beginner, a personal website and controlled online presence can significantly impact your career.
Personal websites yield tangible benefits for their owners.
84% of respondents reported that they have received tangible benefits from having a personal website. Benefits are many, with almost half of them getting new job offers and more than half attracting new customers.
Personal website can also help you get recognized as a competent professional in your industry (53%) and gain access to network of likeminded individuals (52%). When you think about how sometimes the most important thing is to know the person that can help you get the job done or introduce you to your potential mentor, you realize how important this is.
Recruiters and hiring managers are really using Google and social media to evaluate applicants before the interview.
When asked if they believe that employers are reviewing their online brand before the interview 70% them said “Yes”, while half of them were proactively contacted by a hiring manager as a result of him/her noticing their website.
Majority of those surveyed (63%) believe that personal websites are more valuable for their long-term career than resumes, which is no wonder since personal websites allow us much more freedom in choosing what and how we want to display, as well as being much more interactive. And it seems that this upward trend is bound to continue with 85% of those surveyed reporting that they believe that personal websites will become even more important for career success in the next five years.
Personal website is the key tool for building our personal brand.
It is no wonder then that 71% of respondents consider their personal website as either very important or important in helping them build their personal brand and attract new business opportunities (70%).
Personal websites differ greatly from one person to another and that is what allows our personalities to shine through. They represent our “online home” where we can choose to feature whatever we want – pictures, blog posts, resumes, projects we are working on or anything else we think would serve the purpose – but there are still some similar features all websites that are used to promote a personal brand and grow one’s career have.
Website elements that have received the best response from employers or clients were work experience (27%), pictures (26%), biography (22%) and projects/portfolio (20%). When you start making your own website, make sure to include these.
Personal websites go with personal domain names
Personal website owners recognize that personal websites go best with personal domain names, which is why they are commonly used. 72% of those surveyed said that they have a personalized domain name and 73% said that having one is either very important or important for their online brand.
Since more and more employers are Googling candidates, your website’s placement on the results page is very important. You can ensure your visibility by using your name as web domain, and since .ME is newer, it is easier to find one available. “The biggest usage of .Me is with people working on their personal brands,” Natasa said in a recent interview for SFGate. “Through their blogs and portfolios, the username.me or nickname.me easily identifies the person behind it.”
We are proud to see that 14% of respondents are using .ME for their websites and that they are aware of ways .ME can help them establish their personal brand.
Most people are missing out on all these benefits – Good or Bad
Even though the benefits of personal websites for career development are many, most of the people are not using this opportunity to differentiate themselves from the masses and share their achievements and value they can add to the company with potential employers. Out of 15 072 respondents that entered the survey only 600 (4%) reported to have a personal website and qualified for the survey.
Unfortunately, the results were not so surprising considering the study .ME Registry did with MWW in December 2013. This study showed that two out of three Americans are tired of Facebook and other social media controlling their online identity (65%), that 67% of them are interested in learning how to create a website and that over half of them (54%) are interested in registering a domain that reflects their own name. At the same time, it also showed that almost half of respondents don’t know how to register a domain name (47%) or create a website (51%).
The interest is there but people just don’t know how to go around doing it, or the process of creating a website itself is just too time consuming (43%) or too costly otherwise. This is at the same time good and bad. It’s worrying that people are not using personal websites as a tool to position themselves on labor market, but at the same time it is a great opportunity for people who are willing to make the effort and be one of few in complete control of their online presence and career development.
As a response to challenges people face while building and managing their personal brand, a range of services has appeared, such as branded.me that allows you to create a fully customizable websites in seconds. We, on the other hand are here to provide you with the most personal domain name available and with the knowledge on how to build your brand and use this kind of services to your best advantage.
The goal of this blog post is to spread the values of self-appreciation and importance of taking care of ourselves, and give you a place where you can feature who you are and celebrate your achievements. All of these values are going to be embodied in “ME Day” celebration on March 16th, 2015.