By: Samantha Fang ’23
If you are a good writer and want to share your insights into an industry or have an artistic background, you might want to think about creating a personal website or shareable online portfolio. Personal websites can also be utilized as a blog to showcase your writing skills and knowledge of the field you’re interested in. See below for some dos and don’ts when it comes to personal branding!
Personal Branding Dos
Brief Introduction / About Me
On your personal website, it is important that you dedicate a small section to self-introduction. Visitors of your site want to learn more about you so be sure to keep this section updated and relevant. Your “About Me” section should focus on who you are, what you do, how you got to where you are, and what your future plans and goals are. Expanding on your elevator pitch is a great start to writing this section! If you have never written an elevator pitch before, check out this post from our Student Career blog!
Here are some questions to help get you started (adopted from the Balance Careers):
- What are you currently doing (in regard to your career) and how did you get there? How does your background make you unique?
- In terms of the work you do, what aspects are you most passionate about and why? Share what you love most about your work.
- What do you consider some of your biggest professional and personal accomplishments? How did your attributes contribute to those accomplishments? Be as specific as you can.
- What are you looking for right now? If you’re job seeking, considering a career change or looking to take on projects or gigs, mention it in your statement. Include your email address in the last sentence, so it’s easy to get in touch with you.
Check out the full About Me page guide on their website!
Examples of Your Best Work
Since your personal website can act as a shareable online portfolio, be sure to feature your best work and projects! If any of your work has won awards or received special recognition, definitely make a note of it on your site. If any of your work is located off your site, such as on Github, make sure to link to it so visitors can easily find your work. Any article features, interviews you have done, and contributions to websites and blogs should definitely be showcased as well if you feel they are relevant to your professional goals and career!
Blog Section (If Applicable)
You could also utilize your personal website as a blog, which is an excellent way to showcase your industry knowledge. Great topics to write about are notable new developments in your field, passion projects outside of your current work, professional accomplishments and career goals!
With a great personal website, visitors will likely want to reach out and connect with you! Always include a section on your site with contact information so they know where to find you. This section could include a professional email address, your LinkedIn profile, or a contact form. Remember to only include an email you check often and/or a contact form that you will regularly keep up with.
Keep Your Website Updated
If you are consistently sharing your website on your professional profiles or to new connections, make sure you are updating your website regularly to reflect new posts, accomplishments, and projects!
Personal Branding Don’ts
Don’t Fill Your Site With Blocks of Text
Filling your site with huge blocks of text will likely turn visitors away! Your website should be engaging and easy to read. Within a couple minutes of looking around your site, visitors should be able to get a good sense of who you are and what you have accomplished so far! The last thing you want is visitors feeling overwhelmed or struggling to locate your work once they have found your site.
Try and find other sites you admire and write down what they do and use that as inspiration.
Don’t Include Everything You’ve Ever Worked On
Be strategic about what projects you choose to display on your site. Only include your best work and the projects that really showcase your skill sets!
Don’t Link To Personal Social Media Accounts
Linking to a personal social media account will likely be seen as unprofessional and a form of oversharing. Unless these are business accounts or ones that further showcase your work, refrain from linking to them! (other than LinkedIn)
Other Ways To Build A Professional Online Presence
If you do not want to create a personal website or if this does not really apply to your specific field, you can build your online professional presence through LinkedIn and other platforms as well. Check out this guide from The Balance Career about this!
Interested in writing a blog for the Career Development blog? It’s open to Macaulay students and alums. If you would like to contribute or have any questions, feel free to email Jamie.Ruden@mhc.cuny.edu.