Our 31-May webinar covered how to create a WordPress resume. An online resume or CV is a very handy tool that we strongly recommend at #CareerGravity. But during the seminar, one of the viewers asked a great question: What if you’re looking to change careers? In that case, we suggested she may be better off beginning with a blog.
This begs the question, which is right for you? Sometimes the answer is “both.”
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Before we tackle that question, we need to understand the difference.
The home base for your Internet presence is your personal website. At #CareerGravity, we highly recommend using WordPress to build your site. While WordPress is the world’s most popular blogging software, you don’t necessarily need to use it that way. You can use it to create an online WordPress resume. This means creating categorized and tagged posts that describe your skills, accomplishments and projects instead of traditional blog posts.
If you think about your career as a product that you’re selling, wouldn’t it make perfect sense to have a web site? Of course it does, and you want your personal brand to have the same benefits:
- More and more, clients and employers are performing online searches to learn more about the people with which they are considering to engage. Having a search engine friendly web site makes it more likely they will find you.
- Indexing your experience through the use of keywords makes it easy for people to zero in on the skills and/or expertise in which they’re interested (more about that later).
- Multimedia capabilities (i.e. images, video, presentations, links) make it easier for you to tell your story in a vivid and interesting way.
- You can use specialized links to direct people to specific content areas of your profile.
- While this practice may soon be common place, for the moment at least it will help you to stand out from the crowd.
Having built myself a WordPress resume years ago, I’ve found the following three benefits from my effort:
I’ve relied heavily on my web site when communicating my background and skills to a variety of people. Sometimes, I’ve used the site to respond to job opportunities by including links to my professional bio, a sampling of my public speaking engagements, or links to all of my social media accounts. While it’s very convenient to have these links at my disposal, the best part is really the flexibility. I can embed presentations, documents, images, and even video. You can’t do that on a paper resume.
Analytics is the fifth pillar of Inbound Marketing and it has been very valuable to have the insight into traffic sources, engagement measures, and keyword analysis. If you’re using WordPress to host your online resume, there are lots of great plugins that make it a snap to integrate Google Analytics. Using analytic tools gives you an understanding of how people are finding you online. Also, it gives you an understanding of what interests visitors to your resume.
OK, what’s the bottom line? Has my online resume produced results? Answer: oh yeah!
Some of the results are hard to quantify. I’ve earned consulting business and speaking engagements and the degree to which my online presence helped can’t really be measured. But I have also received direct emails and form entries from my website that led to new consulting projects. One originated from a Google search while the other came from a blog comment I left.
The alternative to configuring a site to be an online resume is use it as a more traditional blog. This requires dedication and consistency in order to create results. But the results can be fantastic! It gives you a platform to demonstrate your personal style, knowledge and thought leadership in a particular niche. As I mentioned earlier, this can be the perfect answer for recent college graduates and career transitioners who don’t have extensive experience. Here are some of the benefits:
Regular blogging gives you an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and skill in a particular area. You can comment on industry trends and establish yourself as a thought leader. This is a perfect place to let your personal branding shine through. The key to success is to be remarkable. Being remarkable means creating content that people want to share with others. Think about providing helpful advice, inspirational messages and entertaining posts. If you build it, they will share!
To a large extent, networking is a numbers game and so is search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines love websites with lots of pages that get updated regularly. The more stuff you have and the more frequently it changes, the more they love you. But the most important aspect in SEO by far is inbound links. The more great content you publish, the more links you’ll accumulate.
Blogging also gives you the opportunity to engage in conversations with your readers. This is a very important aspect and is where you can really shine. Be sure to write your posts in a way that encourages (and directly asks) readers to add their comments and ask questions. This provides great opportunities to demonstrate thought leadership!
Have Your Cake and Eat It Too
What if you want to do both? Well, if you own your domain name then it’s no problem! There are several approaches you can take if you want to pursue this angle.
First, you’ll use your main domain to host your WordPress resume (e.g. www.rufusxaviersarsparilla.com). Follow the steps we’ve outlined in this article, in the #CareerGravity Blueprint and our webinars to get it up and running.
Second, you’ll have to create a subdomain. This is usually done using the control panel on your web host. Many of these hosts use a tool named cPanel which which contains a section to manage your domains:
After you click on the “Subdomains” icon, you will be taken to a screen where you can easily create a new subdomain. From here, you could establish a whole new website like blog.rufusxaviersarsparilla.com:
Once your subdomain is created, you’ll need to install WordPress again on the subdomain. After the installation is done, be sure that you create menu links to easily navigate back and forth between your main website. You now have the best of both worlds – an online WordPress resume and personal/professional blog!