Thursday, August 21, 2008

Your face beyond Facebook: Self-Marketing Part II

Now that you are done clearing up Facebook and removing that video of you jumping on top of a cop car from YouTube, we can move on to positive online person building. I've convinced you that you need your website. Here's how it goes.


Building a webpage may sound difficult and these examples were not done by amateurs, but this does not mean that your website has to outdo anyone’s in Flash animation banners – unless you are looking to get into web design. People come to learn about you. For those who are coding impaired, there are some services that can help you drag-and-drop your content into place and have comprehensive tutorials. is a good example and it also offers affordable hosting. Geocities’ PageBuilder tool is another great one. Don’t be intimidated by the complexity of web design. The old rule stands: Keep it simple, sweetie.

Your website should contain three basic elements:

1. A good photograph of yourself. This may even require a trip to a photo studio. Look friendly and approachable, but let your clean, crisp dress ooze professionalism.

Would you like to have this fella over for dinner? (This is Max Billings, B!G's pres. He's probably very flattered.)

2) Your resume. I cannot emphasize how important it is that all spelling is correct and all your verbs (designed, implemented, assisted, etc.) are all in the same tense. Make sure the spacing on the website is just as you wanted it in IE, Firefox, and Safari. Your drag and drop website should help you with that. If all else fails with the formatting, save it as a PDF file and have your “My Resume” link lead directly to the PDF file. Make sure that there are no red or green underlines, like in Microsoft Word, especially under your name. They will show up in PDF.

3) An introduction. This will serve as your one-size-fits-all cover letter. Briefly describe yourself and have a short paragraph for each of the following: past, present and future. Highlight major professional accomplishments and your future projects.

Link, Link, Link

Linking to other websites, those relevant to your own experiences of course, is very important. It provides more insight for your viewers into what you have accomplished.

It also serves as proof that you really are involved in these activities - some employers tend to wonder sometimes. If your local newspaper mentioned your track and field abilities in an article, link to it. If you volunteered at a charity event, like a race, link to the event. It underscores your accomplishments and dedication to your goals.

It’s all about you

Besides the basics, you may want to discuss things you are really passionate about and the direction where you would like to take them. The Bright Ideas Group’s very own Sid Wahi has a website full of his mini-shrines to his most coveted activities, namely web design and stock portfolio and his high school experiences – you would too if you went to school in the Himalayas. Devang has a display of his travels and scuba diving expeditions. Remember, pictures are worth a thousand words so instead of describing your travels or rock climbing adventures, put up a few photographs, maybe one per blurb.

Write what you know

Your website should include topics that will present a more accurate picture of your personality. Are you an enthusiastic reader or film buff? Build a page of reviews and recommendations of your favourite movies and books, with brief but deep analysis. Avoid giving a worst-ever list of books and movies. You want your readers to get positive vibes.

Be like Roger. Show your thumbs.

Do you have a flare for finance and developing your own analysis for the way the markets/economy is going? Sid’s website includes articles about the mortgage crisis and analysis of his own stock picks. Even if your portfolio isn’t skyrocketing at the moment – and who’s is in this day and age (those who sell short)– don’t be ashamed. Learn from your mistakes and evaluate errors. Employers see strength in well evaluated faults. Incorporate these into your write ups.

Don't feel bad if thing's don't go your way. Learn from your mistakes.

Keep it real

Finally, remember to be honest. If you are considering this, you probably have a few things going on already and are just looking for a way to discuss them. There is no need to exaggerate your past feats or future aspirations. If your future goal is to climb Mount Everest, but you haven’t even been to an indoor rock climbing course, you’ll look like you’re blowing hot air.

The viewer should leave thinking that they have learned something about you and with a burning desire to find out more.


Max Billings said...

Olga, who is that professional looking individual in the well-lit, wide-angle, blue-tinged photo? What a professional looking picture that successfully establishes this individual as being serious about maintaining his brand!

Ana said...

Don't flatter yourself!