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With 70% of employers using social media to vet job candidates, you want to be seen as a qualified, memorable job seeker. But the truth is, your social media alone isn’t enough to accomplish that.

If you're looking for other ways to stand out in a sea of applicants, consider developing a professional website.

Here are the top five reasons why you need a website and how to take full advantage of having one.

Reason #1: Introduce yourself on your terms

Have you ever Googled your name and come up with pages upon pages of hits? Now, imagine you’re a recruiter who has received a promising resume and wants to research a candidate but is unable to figure out which one of those hits is the right one. It’s difficult to make a great first impression when you’re tricky to find.

With your own professional website, you could share the address on your resume and ensure that a hiring manager knows exactly who you are and where to find you. Your website is a one-stop shop for everything a recruiter, or anyone else, may want to know, including: your full bio, articles you’ve authored, projects you’ve completed, and all of your social media accounts. With a website, you get to be in control of what you put out there for hiring managers to see.

Reason #2: Share your POV and expertise

Your website isn’t just a repository of information about you; it’s also a way to showcase your personality through your site design choices, as well as the language and images you use to highlight your experience. You have an opportunity to show—not just tell—your passions, interests, and areas of expertise.

By sharing articles and self-written blog posts, you can feature your knowledge and demonstrate what you know and how you think.

Reason #3: Let your experience shine

Think of your site as a living, breathing portfolio. Where a resume summarizes your key achievements, your website can also share links to articles, blog posts and papers you’ve written, notable projects you’ve completed, any classes or certifications you’ve completed, and causes you support. It’s overwhelming to share all of this on a single LinkedIn page or on your resume, but on your own website, you can find ways to showcase your experiences in a way that’s accessible and compelling.

Reason #4: You don’t have to rely on social media

Even if you’re an active social media user, you may be overlooking a key fact: the information you share on social media doesn’t actually belong to you. Once you post, your content actually belongs to the platform you’re using. And if a platform shuts down, all those witty posts you took the time to craft? Poof! Gone.

Having a website is more reliable and puts you fully in control of your content: you own it and have the final say on what, when, and how your information is shared.

Reason #5: Network strategically

When we think of networking, we typically think of one-time events where you leave with a bunch of business cards in your pocket. But how many of those people did you have meaningful conversations with?

Having a website allows you to continuously network. Not only can you share your website address on job applications, but you can also be pro-active and share it with peers at organizations you’re interested in as well as with experts you admire.

It takes just a few minutes to send a thoughtful introductory email and to later follow up—of course, with a link to your site in your signature—making it even easier to make a strong first impression on whomever you’re interacting with.

Now that you know the top reasons to have a website, come back next month to learn how to get started on creating one of your own.

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Nisha Kumar Kulkarni profile image

Nisha Kumar Kulkarni

Nisha Kumar Kulkarni is a writer and creative coach in New York City. She helps women living with chronic illness and mental health challenges to pursue their passion projects without compromising their health.

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