Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Set Yourself Apart with a Personal Website (No HTML Needed)


Above you will see my website...it's pretty intense and it represents the BEST OF THE BEST Film industry intern websites.

Note: This is not expected. It is not mandatory like your resume or a well-written email cover letter. This is an investment in your future career, online presence, and professionalism. Below I will give you 3-tiers of ease in creating your own resume and some tools to do so (no HTML or GRAPHIC DESIGN KNOWLEDGE REQUIRED). 

Not convinced? According to Forbes, "56% of all hiring managers are more impressed by a candidate’s personal website than any other personal branding tool—however, only 7% of job seekers actually have a personal website."

TIER 1: The "Everything" Website
Time Expectation: 6+ Hours
Wow Factor: 10
Helpfulness in Getting a Job: 9 (According to my boss at ABC, I got hired because of my website.)

Pages to Include (if Applicable): 
  1. Home Page (with Links to every social media/internet presence) and all your website pages
  2. About Page
  3. Resume 
  4. Writing Section: Writing Samples (even if just Copywriting), Writing Resume (if applicable)
  5. Production Section: Production Resume (ever been on set?), Portfolio of Set Speciality (i.e. Production Design, Lighting Design, Cine Reel)
  6. Graphic Design Portfolio (Increasingly valued skill)
  7. Any other examples of work: Web Design, Photography, Award Winning Art
  8. "Something Else" to Stand Out: Youtube Videos You Made, Story of your life, Documentaries you made
Always remember to link to everything, even if you reference another page of your resume. Include the link to your website in your Linkedin, Twitter, Resume, Cover letter, follow ups, and emails to employers. Pony up the money for a unique domain name, which should be a variation on your name. 

Websites to use to CREATE an "everything" website: Wix.com. Wix offers tons of templates to drag and drop elements-- no HTML required. I created my website on WIX. It's also free, though I would suggest paying to buy your own domain. Squarespace, is another website that is similar but more expensive. 



TIER 2: The Scrolling One Pager
Time Expectation: 2-3 Hours
Wow Factor: 5-8
Helpfulness in Getting a Job: 7+

One-page scrolling websites are on the RAGE. They are simple to make, include your resume, basic contact info, a bio, and one or two audio-visual elements. Although, you can take it a step further and add links to different sections and include an entire portfolio. An excellent example of this is Mohamed Nadjub's Personal Website. 

The industry leader in creating "one pagers" is Strikingly. It's free and again, no HTML. Another alternative is the $8 a month, Onepager. Workfolio is also a website created just for this very reason- personal websites. They offer plans at $10 a month that include your own domain. This is twice as expensive as Wix.com, but their sites are very impressive.




TIER 3: The "Blog" Website
Time Expectation: 2-4 Hours
Wow Factor: 5
Helpfulness in Getting a Job: 4 (+ if artistic job)

These websites are usually created using WordPress (html, sometimes) or Tumblr. However They function as a blog, but also provide links to Linkedin and illustrate some portfolio. 

Pros: You have a website. You already know how to build one on these platforms. Looks nice. Shows personality through blog posts.

Cons: Difficult to navigate. Common. Doesn't scream 'professional website.' 

Tips: Make sure you keep the blog posts to one topic or portfolio. Always include links. Create your own header with your own name. Attempt to stray from templates. 



TIER 4: The True One Pager
Time Expectation: >1 Hour
Wow Factor: 2-3
Helpfulness in Getting a Job: 3

These quick websites host a photo, a brief bio, and a host of links creating a landing page for your internet presence. These are particularly perfect for actors or as a quick starting website. 

CREATE using about.me. It's a free service and super simple. You could have a website in about 30 mins. 




Regardless, here is what to include in ANY Personal/Professional website you may create:
A focus. Don't put everything you have ever done down on your website. Try and think of it as an expansion of your resume. Contact information. “Leave off your home address and keep contact information more general–such as your name, e-mail and phone number,” Brooks says.
A professional headline. “This can be your job title or a more general description of the role you play or want to play, and it gives visitors a chance to remember you as the person who does X, as well as giving search engines more chances to display your site when people search for someone who does what you do.”
A brief bio. 
Your resume. 
Professional summary/objective. “A short, descriptive bio helps explain to visitors what you do and how you can help them."






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© No Experience Required Maira Gall.