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What is Professional Website

What is Professional Website

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Published by: profwebsite on Dec 21, 2012
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12/22/2012

 
 
2012
Copyright 2012 TheProfessionalWebsite. All rights reserved.
A Professional Website
[A PROFESSIONAL WEBSITE] 
Defines a professional website, and discusses its standard structure and content.
 
A Professional WebsitePublished 12/21/2012 by TheProfessionalWebsite
Copyright 2012 TheProfessionalWebsite Page 1
Introduction
My concept of a professional website began when I decided to build a professional website for my brother and Irealized there was not a web service that offered what I had originally conceived: this kind of multi-dimensionalresume with all of the interactivity, functionality, and media available on the internet. I began to think of ways toimprove the whole concept of the resume: how it is written, reviewed, and evaluated; its structure; the media itcontains; and how it is accessed. Much of my insight was drawn from my experiences working towards an MBA atbusiness school, where creating, reviewing, and sending resumes consumed much of our time. Early on Ideveloped a few overarching themes regarding features of a professional website, including: peer-reviews of content; skills-based approach; pull-approach in employment; better communication and interactivity; sharing a
“body of work” and all forms of media; accessible in social media, job boards, and search engines; data
-centric;and a professional identity. For the past two years, I have been enriching my understanding of these themes byimplementing them (in code), researching what published authors are saying in blogs and articles, and conductingmarket surveys.
 
I am convinced everyone should have a professional website and, in my opinion, it should replace the resume.There are so many ways a professional website can benefit you. First and foremost, it is essential in thisinformation age with the increasing use of social media and networks that you establish your own professionalidentity
 –
a website with your own domain, a landing page for all your interactions on the internet. Second, aprofessional website is an excellent resource for career development: introduce a pull approach
 –
where potentialemployers are lured to your website; and develop a skill set. Third, a professional website is an ideal platform to
share a “body of work” such as a portfolio, publications, or coursework. Finally, you can save all your professional
content in one place.
What is a professional website?
A professional website should be considered a combination of a “multi
-
dimensional resume”, a “personalwebsite”, and an “online identity”. It can be considered a multi
-dimensional resume because it is built with thebasic constructs of a resume and has added interactive and communication elements only available with a websiteinterface. It can be considered a personal website because when most individuals decide to build a website, theydo so in a professional context; they may visit a personal website service and design the website themselves but
do so for professional reasons. Finally, it can be considered an “online identity” because
it acts as the central nodefor an individual across the internet. In other words, it might be what an individual wants to appear as the firstsearch result in a Google search or it might be a landing page in social media. Another important aspect of an
online identity is that a professional website has a unique domain name, usually including a professional’s
first and
last name. Altogether, a professional website acts as a replacement to a resume and establishes an individual’s
online professional identity.
 
A professional website is different from a resume not only with the expanded use of sections, such as the additionof a portfolio section, but also in presenting richer content and communication functionality. An example of richercontent might be sharing a paper written from a course referenced in your educational experience and an exampleof added communication might be allowing for someone to send you a message about a particular employmentexperience. There are two very good reasons why a resume should not be completely abandoned. First, resumes
 
A Professional WebsitePublished 12/21/2012 by TheProfessionalWebsite
Copyright 2012 TheProfessionalWebsite Page 2
are well-established, and are accepted in almost every industry and service. There is familiarity: professionals knowhow to make them; employers know how to review them. It makes sense to maintain the structure and basiccontent of a resume. Second, for most types of employment evaluations, it is necessary to have a standardplatform to make comparisons from a collection of candidates; a resume is standardized.
To also be a “personal website”, a professional we
bsite must combine the data-centric approach of a resume withsome stylistic functionality found with personal website web services. Generally speaking, most people are goingto want latitude in customizing the style and layout of particular pages of their professional website. The visualappeal of the website is a crucial component in developing a personal brand; it is not much different from howcompanies develop their company brand through their website. I think the best example to this approach is howWordPress provides their free blog service. The basic content structure, blog posts, widgets, and pages, is thesame for everybody, however you can choose from hundreds of templates to share your flare or taste. Of course,the rich text, videos, and images you upload will significantly influence your personal brand. With a professionalwebsite, the concept is essentially the same but substitute the blogs and widgets with a multi-dimensional resumeand all of its added functionality.
To be effective as an “online identity”,
a professional website must be comprehensive enough to encompass mostrelevant professional content, have the functionality to control how that content is found and disseminated on theinternet, and have a unique address. To control how the content is shared on the internet, a professional website
is built with strong SEO (“search engine optimization”) fundamentals
giving an individual control regarding howtheir website is represented in search engines; for example, an individual can define keywords and a descriptionabout their professional website using meta tags. A professional website has its unique domain name (or webaddress), which acts as the primary reference point for the individual. It can be referenced in social media profiles,on your resume or job search profiles, and/or as a signature in your outgoing emails.
Basic Structure
A professional website has four basic sections: experiences; attributes; communications; and body of work. Theexperiences section represents a professional background
 –
employment, educational, and interests
 –
the same asa standard resume. An attributes section represents the presentation and validation of a skill (something I refer to
as “badges) and includes IT Skills, foreign languages, and certif 
ications. In the body of work section, individuals canshare samples of their creations
 –
such as publications, a portfolio of websites, and a gallery of images or artwork.The communications section has functionality where a professional can share what they have to say
 –
through ablog, social media, or a video. It is becoming more important to have a voice in this information age.
Experience Section
A professional website has the same three basic categories for experiences as a resume: employment, education,and interests. In the employment category, you publish content about your experiences in a work environment; itcould be related to an internship, or a temporary or permanent position you held at any point in your career. Inthe education category, you publish content related to any experiences you had while working towards a degree,
certification, or trade. The interests category is the “catch
-
all” where you publish content related to any
experiences not covered in the other two categories; for example, volunteering or sporting experiences.

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