The ability to create positive personal impact is one of the keys to success that I discuss in Straight Talk for Success. If you want to create positive personal impact you need to do three things. 1) Build and nurture your unique personal brand. 2) Be impeccable in your presentation of self – in person and on line. 3) Know and follow the basic rules of etiquette.
Jonnelle Marte had a great little piece in the Wall Street Journal Sunday on January 25: “Build a Page on the Web.” She quoted my friend Dan Schwabel, a personal branding expert who says that everybody should have a personal website. “A web site is your way of owning your Google results. It can help your name come up when people search for your area of expertise.”
I agree with Dan. A personal web site with tabs that cover the basics – work experience, education, community service, personal information – is a great way to get your name out there. Employers Google prospective employees as a matter of course these days. Spending a few minutes putting together a basic web site will help your name come up when you get Googled.
Purchasing a domain name is the first step in setting up a personal web page. If your name is Bud Bilanich, you are likely to be the only one whose name comes up when an employer Googles you. Therefore, you don’t have to put much thought into the name you will buy to set up your domain. You can see my website at www.BudBilanich.com. On the other hand, if your name is Joe Smith or Mary Jones, you might have to get more creative in purchasing your domain name. Use a middle initial, or use your given name in full. In my case this would be LeRoy J Bilanich. I guarantee you won’t find too many people with than name on the web.
I find that Go Daddy (www.godaddy.com) is the best place to purchase your domain. Type in the name you want, and Go Daddy will let you know if it is available. If the name you want is not available, Go Daddy will suggest some alternatives for you.
The next step is to set up the page. I Googled “free web templates” and found a site called, surprisingly enough, Free Web Templates (www.freewebtemplates.com). They claim to have 4,265 free web templates for download. You should be able to find one that suits you there. In the interest of full disclosure, I have no affiliate relationship with Free Web Templates. If you don’t like them, Google returned over 24,300,000 hits for the search term “free web templates.”
I think a blog is a good way to add a little personality to your web page. You can link to your blog by creating another tab on your website. WordPress has free and easy to use blogging software. If you decide to set up a blog, I suggest that you focus it on something related to your work or profession. Also, if you set up a blog, make sure that you post to it at least once a week.
If you don’t want to set up a separate web page, you can use Visual CV (www.visualcv.com) . Visual CV is an easy to use on line resume template. I use it. You can see my Visual CV at www.visualcv.com/bilanich. The biggest problem with Visual CV is the way in which the web address works. Visual CV appears before your name, so Google might not pick up your name. However, it is a valuable resource. I suggest creating both a personal web page and a Visual CV. In that way, you’ll be more likely to be found when a prospective employer or partner Googles you.
Finally, list your website on your business card, resume and social networking sites to which you belong. LinkedIn is the best social networking site for business. 42 Rules for 24 Hour Success on LinkedIn is a great book for learning how to use LinkedIn to help you look for a job and to build and maintain a strong network once you’re employed. It’s available at www.42Rules.com and at Amazon.com.
The common sense point here is simple. Successful people create positive personal impact. If you want to create positive personal impact, you need to be impeccable in your presentation of self – in person and on line. This means that you not only need to dress for success, you need to have a simple, easy to find web presence. A web site in your name is a great way to start. Once you get your personal website up and running, consider blogging and social networking on LinkedIn. Also, it is a good idea to set up an online resume using Visual CV.
That’s my take on using personal websites to create positive personal impact. What’s yours? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us. I really appreciate all of your comments. As always, thanks for reading.