Designing a website may seem strenuous and stressful, but with a little help, one can even create one in an afternoon. Before I being going over the items and criteria needed, I must inform my readers that I have currently been learning extensive coding and that coding is not a necessity for designing a website in this day and age. Also it is important to note that, just like a social media or LinkedIn profile, it does need to be updated once in a while to keep it modern and current.
Dozens of website building platforms allow you to design a simple and effective website yourself. They have tutorials, live chat help and require no coding. For example, I learned to build websites through internet research and simple trial and error as well as testing different programs and platforms to see what fits me best.
I purchased my domain on domain.com for less than $30 a year. This same website offers a simple drag-and-drop website builder called Weebly. Through this program, you just log into your account to edit your website.
In the beginning your website may look like It got wrung through the dryer a few too many times. But after adjustments, and the unsolicited advice of your friends and family, you will create a website that displays you and your skills, experience and attributes, which will catch the attention of any recruiter. Be patient and realize that no one is a master at website building the first time; it takes practice, time and patience to build a website that looks good and is effective in attracting others.
As a bonus, you can add basic website building skills to your resume after you are done!
1. Choose your Target
You want to attract the attention of a recruiter, right? You could have the most beautiful and eye-catching, jaw-dropping website known to man, but if you are displaying everything, and I mean everything, you will catch the attention of no one.
Understand whom your website is mainly targeting. Are you looking to be hired as an intern? Full-time position? Gig worker? Or just push your image out there? Every target requires sight modification.
For example, my website aims to provide a mix of more information on me as well as attract a potential full-time job. Because I have decided to target this, I have webpages of my experience, projects and skills, but I have also added a bit about my hometown, hobbies and a link to my blog.
If you are looking for an internship, but have little or no experience, focusing on your skills and keen attitude to learn would be a priority, rather than on your hometown, hobbies and blog.
Just like a resume, you do not need to put everything up. Information should be relevant to your career path as well as current. Like a CV, if it is older than five years, it does not need to be on your website, unless it is relevant to your line of work.
If you’re a student, like myself, then you have a bit more leeway with previous experience or volunteer activities older than five years. It is more common to have experience from more than five years ago, because it is acceptable that you have little to no experience during your studies.
In this case I suggest you also include your recent education and even specific courses if they are unique to your future career field. Include pictures of projects or assignments that you think would impress a future employer, but make sure to keep it professional.
3. Examples and Pictures
What is the point of a website if it is just word-based like your resume? The answer: no point. Display pictures, videos, links and any other useful visual information on your website under the correlating paragraph.
Link your social media to your website if it is appropriate, but remember that in that case a recruiter may find it, so delete your inappropriate posts right away. This helps your build your personal brand image and shows HR that you are open and have nothing to hide.
Design is a complicated process that is unique to every person and industry. I guarantee you will change your website layout multiple times before you find something you like.
For example, I love red — it is my favorite colour, and if I could, I would paint the town red and wear it all the time. To no one’s surprise my first website was masked in the color, because it’s a catchy color that fits my personality — two things you want in a website, or so I thought.
However, left right and center everything was red. I even researched professional colors that match red; I found that grey fit well and decided to make my website red and grey. As someone who takes pride in my current website, I am totally and utterly ashamed of my first website and you will be, too!
Even though I thought I could fix my mess of a website by adding a “professional” accent color, I had to be honest with myself and take out the flashy mono color. My website is now mostly colorless, and it is still catchy and represents myself.
Do not be afraid to try different styles, colors or designs; eventually, you will find something that not only fits you, but looks professional.
Bonus tip: I am going to save you a few hours by telling you that a modern sleek website is what you will most likely end up with, so start around that design area.
5. Contact Information
The second most important information on your website is your contact information. Even better if you have a contact form right on your front page or header. There is no point taking the time to design your website when no one can find you.
If, for some reason, you cannot add a contact form or button on your website, add your email and phone number in the header or front page.
I add this because you will always need to make sure your professional website is current with new information and design. Researching other websites you admire can inspire you to add elements that continue to make your website current and eye-catching. It also allows you to research potential job competition and design your website to give an edge over them.
Plus, researching other websites from people in your same field allows you to grow your career connections with other like-minded people. I rarely come across someone who also has a personal website, but when I do I make sure to shoot them an email to ask them how they got a particular element in their website or admire their website. It is rare to come across someone who took the time to design their own website, and I admire people who do. Those are the people who take time and pride in their work, who are not afraid to market themselves and take risks to stand out. They will most likely apply those same traits to their career to climb up the ladder. Simply they are people who are the best to network with and create lasting work relationships with.
If you would like to check out an example of a personal promotional website, you can head to my website at MadisonMussio.com or .ca if you are Canadian.
Do not hesitate to email me at [email protected] if you want to ask questions about designing your own or would like advice on a specific element. I hope that these tips from the two articles not only inspire you to design your own website, but also help launch your career!