What is a resume website?

A resume website, sometimes called a CV website, is a digital version of a traditional paper resume. Like the printed version, it is self-designed, but an online format adds an attractive presentation of your skills, a portfolio of your work and testimonials of your abilities. Creating a resume website also makes you more searchable online, and providing the link to a prospective employer allows easy access to this presentation.

When should you build a resume website?

You can use a resume website to update and share your qualifications with ease when you are:

  • In the process of finding a new job in your field

  • Changing careers

  • Looking for freelance opportunities

  • Becoming a professional consultant in your field

Resume websites also make it easy for potential employers to quickly find you and your skills online and can even help you stand out from other applicants with static resume documents. When an HR manager reviews your application, they can see creatively designed content that gives them a more comprehensive understanding of why you are right for the job. And, your resume website can also help to prove your dedication and seriousness about your career.

How to build a resume website

Here are several steps to consider to when building a resume website:

1. Pick the process that's right for you

Determining how to set up your resume website requires choosing one of three options:

  • Make a unique website on your own

  • Use a resume website template

  • Use a resume website builder

If you are extremely web-savvy and would like the most creativity in design, do everything yourself. Otherwise, make the process easier by using a template or resume website builder, the builder being the most user-friendly with drag-and-drop features. Either of these options make it possible to create a resume website without previous coding or website knowledge.

2. Find a unique domain name

Selecting this name is part of your personal branding. If possible, use your own name to keep it simple and relevant. If that domain is already taken, try adding something personally distinctive, such as your profession or location. For example, would be an effective option for Del Sims, the candidate, and their interior design portfolio. Having your own domain name, as opposed to one the includes the template or builder's site in the URL, instills credibility and professionalism when sharing your link. Using ".com" instead of "" is often more effective.

3. Decide on your design

Determine which template best presents your material, or, if self-designing, consider your best layout. Choose the scrolling one-page design if your purpose is to provide an easy overview of yourself and you believe less is more. The multi-page option works best if you have multiple attachments to present, such as portfolios, awards, press releases or publications.

4. Choose and organize relevant sections

Although a standard printed resume has specific guidelines for format, a resume website allows more freedom and creativity. However, there are still some basic elements that are recommended for all resume websites, including:

  • Home page: In a single-page design, this is the only page, divided into sections of detail. Be creative and give hiring managers the clear, detailed information they need. In a multi-page design, this is the landing page of the website and starting point of your creative expression. Minimally, this can be your name, photo and area of expertise. However, consider adding a brief paragraph summarizing your background or experience.

  • About page: Use this page to talk about yourself and the reasons you love what you do. Creatively present detailed information about your education, certifications and experience. Utilize fonts and images as you style the page. Add links to companies you've worked with and projects you've worked on. Elaborate on experiences and skills you've used and learned.

  • Portfolio or work sample page: An effective resume website lets you show your work as well as describe it. Use this page to visually highlight your skills by displaying and linking to samples of your work. Consider how to show, not tell, your accomplishments and build a gallery of photos, writing samples, press releases, performance videos and links to your work that are offsite.

  • Testimonial page: Give recruiters a different perspective by providing testimonials and references from previous coworkers, managers, mentors and friends.

  • Contact page: Because the principal aim of your job search is getting discovered, clearly display your contact information on your resume website. Make it easy for a hiring manager to contact you by providing any relevant emails and phone numbers. This is also a good place to add links to social media profiles that are work appropriate. Make contact even easier by also adding your information to the footer of your resume website.

If you decide on a single-page design, use each recommendation as a section. Alternatively, with a multi-page design, each recommendation becomes a page.

5. Optimize for SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a pattern of optimizing your website so it ranks higher in search engine results. The more exposure you get on these pages, the more likely it is that employers and recruiters come across your resume website.

There are a few things you can do to improve your website's ranking:

  • Analyze the goals in your job search to discover what keywords are strategic to you

  • Use those keywords in the text of your resume site

  • Try the template provider's or builder's SEO tools to guide you in optimization

  • Choose a clear and simple domain name to guide prospective employers directly to your website

6. Add a professional personal photo

When a hiring manager visits your resume website, it is to learn, and see, more about you. Find a neutral, professional-looking headshot that is a recent and true representation of you. It should capture a good balance of serious and friendly demeanor. Hiring a professional photographer for a good headshot may be your best choice and a good investment.

7. Publish and track

When you have finished completing these steps, look over your resume website twice. Have a trusted friend look for any issues you may have missed. After reviewing it for typos, inaccuracies ad formatting errors, publish it. Make sure to maintain your site regularly and update all information as needed.

In addition, your template provider or site builder may provide a tool to help you keep track of the traffic to your resume website. You might be able to see how many views you get, where the views come from geographically and how the viewer got to your site. Plus, you might be able to track the effectiveness of certain keywords and adjust keywords to improve your SEO and view ratings. All of this information can help you experiment with different tools and designs to get the most out of this job search tool.

Prepare for interviews with practice questions and tips

Tips for building a resume website

Here are several ideas to consider as you create your resume website:

  • Provide a link to the PDF version of your resume somewhere easily accessible on the site. Some hiring managers still need the ability to download and print your resume.

  • Display your portfolio by splitting the content by fields, such as writing, visual work, auditory work, performing arts or programming.

  • Use best web design and development practices to communicate your computer and web skills through your well-designed resume website.

  • Link to your relevant social media channels to help optimize exposure of your resume website and further establish your personal brand across multiple digital spaces.

  • Consider hiring a web designer to build the site for you. This can ensure the site looks professional, uses best design practices and is correctly coded. Or, you could use this investment to have the web design professional show you how to build your website and provide you guidance along the way.

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