by Sharon Florentine

Personal Websites Give Job Seekers Greater Control

Feb 19, 20143 mins
CareersIT JobsProductivity Software

If you are looking to land your next tech job, creating and promoting a personal website can help you control Google search results, better highlight relevant skills and provide an edge in a competitive job market.

Trying to set yourself apart from the millions of other job-seekers out there? Creating and promoting a personal website can show you’re serious and career-minded, highlight your skills and better manage Google search results to put your best foot forward. And Strikingly claims you can do it with one click.

David Chen, CEO of Strikingly, along with cofounders Dafeng Gao, CTO, and Teng Bao, chief product officer, developed a mobile-optimized platform thats designed to offer a one-click approach to help even the least tech-savvy folks create their own websites and strengthen their personal brand.

“In this day and age, especially if you’re searching for a job, you must go beyond being just a ‘consumer’ on the Web,” Chen says. “A social media presence isn’t legitimate enough anymore, like it was just a few years ago, but given how fast the market changes, how busy people are with work, family, other obligations, it can be difficult to devote the time to building and maintaining a site,” he says.

Going Beyond Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter

Strikingly was created to combat what Chen and his cofounders saw as an unaddressed need — to make it easier for job seekers to empower themselves and help them highlight their skills and Web presence in a single location. Presenting an online portfolio with work samples, a resume, links to social media profiles and other information can give employers a powerful, holistic picture of candidates and their strengths, Chen says.

“Forbes says that 56 percent of employers look at personal websites as the most powerful branding tool for prospective employees,” Chen says. “You know you’re going to be Googled. Why not try and take control of the image that is out there, beyond LinkedIn and Facebook and Twitter?” he says.

“Having a personal website not only gives you control over your branding and your online persona, it shows prospective employers that you are serious, dedicated, and that you’ve put in the time and effort to interact successfully with the world in this way, through the medium of the Web,” Chen says.

When hiring for their own company, Chen says, he and his cofounders give much more detailed and thorough consideration to applicants with their own sites, believing it demonstrates a dedication to their work and also highlights their design and technical skills in a way that traditional applications can’t. But Chen says Strikingly is geared toward professionals of all skill levels, and in all industries.

“Even design and tech folks want a solution that’s innovative, simple to use, and mobile-optimized. The process for most solutions available, like WordPress or having a domain on is so tedious and time-consuming. Even my cofounders, who are designers and developers, struggled to find time and tools to create their own sites. So, is exactly the opposite of that — you can create a professional, high-end looking site even if you’re not a design or tech guru,” Chen says.

It’s free to get started with Strikingly, and if you like your creation, pricing ranges from $8 to $20 month, depending on which features you choose.

Sharon Florentine covers IT careers and data center topics for Follow Sharon on Twitter @MyShar0na. Email her at Follow everything from on Twitter @CIOonline and on Facebook.