Rachel Owart, a senior entertainment and media studies at the University of Georgia, works on photos for her online portfolio in Athens, Georgia, on Monday, July 24, 2017. (Photo/Reann Huber, www.reannhuber.com)

Gone are the days when good grades and landing a few leadership positions in clubs were good enough to get you a job after graduation. With job competition at an all time high, your bland, boring resume will blend in with the other hundred that employers receive. There’s more pressure than ever to stand out among your peers.

Students should make a personal website or online portfolio to highlight their achievements and have an edge when applying for jobs.

According to the Grady Career Center, employers are impressed when candidates have a personal website, since very few people do. According to the University of California Santa Barbara, your website shows managers that you took the time to create your brand.  It also shows that you care about your brand and have basic computer skills.

Should you apply for a job that’s far away and can’t fly over for a face-to-face interview, a personal website is a readily accessible way for employers to get a feel for the type of person you are and put a face to a name.

Resumes are limited in the information they offer the  employer. How many unique and in-depth things can you say about yourself in only one page? A website allows you to go into full detail of all your accomplishments, giving you space to add samples of your best work with pictures and explanations. It’s a fuller sense of the product you can provide employers.

Obtaining a personal website is easier than ever. You don’t have to break the bank setting up your own website, especially when money is tight for students.

Some web-hosting sites such as Squarespace offer discounts to students if they provide valid university email addresses, and several other places offer free website building tools so you don’t have to learn how to code. It’s cheap and easy to get, like the fast food of personal branding.

UGA has tons of great resources for students to get started on their websites. Students have free access to Lynda.com, and can take courses in WordPress and web-development. If you’re really serious about making your own website, the UGA Center for Continuing Education offers a course about creating top-notch WordPress websites for $200.

Some colleges within UGA, such as the Grady College of Journalism, even require you to make an online portfolio.

With resumes becoming stifling and stale, take the time to build your own website. It’s a way to increase visibility among the job applicant pool, show off your best accomplishments and give you a place to build your brand.

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(2) comments

Molly Hunt

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UGA Center for Continuing Education is charging you for a tutorial??!? And on WordPress? That takes like a half-hour to master.

Seriously, if you're going to make a website, code it yourself.

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