If you already have a personal home page on the web, you get it. Skip this post.
If you don’t have a personal web site, you should. Here’s why.
- Be found. When I meet someone new, the first thing that I do is google them (yes, I’m using ‘google’ as a verb). Sometimes I even do that on the way to the meeting with my Blackberry. I deal almost exclusively with web/software companies and the people who are involved in them. If I can’t find you with a simple google search, then I assume you haven’t been involved in anything to speak of yet. Sometimes I’ll find some references to a person, but nothing that concisely shows me what you’re all about. I may give up trying to learn about you if it’s not easy to get a quick summary. The google search that I almost always use is “your name, your city, your state”. Make sure this finds you easily, because this is how most people will google you.
- It’s cheap – hell, it’s free.
- If you can write a little HTML, you can sign up for a cheap account at BlueHost, SiteGround, or any similar hosting site. These sites have basic templates that you can start with and easily customize without having to know much about HTML. You’ll pay about $5/month and the service will include include email, web hosting, blogs, etc.
- If you don’t want to hand code HTML, but want the power of a dynamic web site, then check out Hypersites. You can use a “starting point” that can be easily customized. For low volume sites, Hypersites is free. You only pay if you start getting substantial page views.
- If you want to start blogging and take the lowest-tech route possible, you could simply put up a free blog on blogger.com or a similar service and give it your name as the title.
- Build your personal brand. Let’s face it, people don’t stick with companies they way that they used to. Personal brand is at least as important as your current company’s brand.
Your personal web site should contain at least these basic things:
- Your resume and/or work history.
- A summary of who you are, where you are, and what your current affiliations are.
- Some way of contacting you.
You also want your personal web site to convey a sense of your personality, if you have one. 😉
Ideally, you should obtain a domain name that matches your name. For example, my personal site is DavidGCohen.com. Try googling “David Cohen Boulder Colorado” and the top pages are my personal site and this blog (which links to my personal page). You want to be this easy to learn about.
If you don’t tell people what you’re all about, they may well piece together and initial impression of you that is not what you’d like it to be. You have the chance to shape an initial impression, and I’ve discussed how important first impressions can be before.