Three decades ago, resumes were simple one-page printouts with all the details potential employers needed to know about you. Sure, you could dress them up with on-point formatting and heavy paper stock, but getting a one-page document to stand out among a few hundred others was never easy.
A lot has changed since then. Of course, the printed resume is still an essential part of the job process--but these days, its most important goal is more focused. Many times, modern job applications have you submit everything digitally in webforms anyway. So the goal of the modern resume is to convince recruiters and hiring managers to check out your personal resume website.
What is a Resume Website?
A personal resume website gives you more power and flexibility to make your sales pitch. A website gives you space to host personal projects, testimonials, and images and videos that won't fit on a traditional resume. Plus, it can be designed from the ground up to communicate your message.
Your website will remain online as long as you leave it there. Many creative freelancers use their personal websites as marketing tools. It's there that you'll find a link to their portfolio, their contact information, and whatever else is necessary for their industry. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to create a website in 2021.
A website resume can stand alone as a one-page website, or it can be a page contained within a much larger portfolio.
This website is mainly found by people who you give the link to. You aren't building something that you're hoping will be found by the search engines, and that will make you famous. Instead, it's just the digital equivalent of the printed resume or CV. When someone wants to know more about you or see your work, they go directly to this website. Maybe it's only on your job applications, or maybe you use it more widely, and it's on your business cards, email signatures, and letterheads. If you want to know more, read our article on the different types of websites and their focuses.
Advantages of Building a Personal Resume Website
There are many reasons why you would want to have a website resume. Here are just a few of the most important reasons.
- Differentiates you from your competitors
- Can be made as detailed as you need it to be, anywhere from a single page to many pages
- Makes you look more relevant in the modern workplace
- Easy to keep it up to date
- Can provide a more personal and lasting impression than a written resume
- Allows you to publish multimedia content like photos, videos, and presentations
- Communicates more personality than a standard form-based resume
Here are 15 Things You Must Include on Your Website Resume
- A Clear Purpose
- An Inviting Home Page
- Professional Portrait
- Introductory Statement
- Relevant Experience
- Employment History
- Certifications and Qualifications
- Personal Projects
- Contact Information and Form
- Social Media
- Testimonials and Recommendations
- Downloadable and Printable Format
1. A Clear Purpose
Before you dive headfirst into building your website, take a moment to ponder exactly how you want to use it. Think about who's going to be viewing it and the message you want them to take away.
Your personal resume website is a marketing piece for your personal brand. It's not easy but think of it in pure business terms. You're selling a product. You place it in front of potential buyers. What do they need to know?
Identify that purpose, and build your page to suit. Remember, you can always finesse it later for different job opportunities.
2. An Inviting Home Page
With your mission in mind, set out to make the home page warm and welcoming. Many design elements can come together to make this happen for you - but it can go wrong quickly.
The best advice is to find a beautiful template on your favourite website builder, like Pixpa, that will work for you. The design should make the visitor feel welcome and make you seem friendly. Imagine the personality you'd like to exude during an in-person interview and bundle all of that into the colours, layout, fonts, images and text copy on your home page. Want some inspiration?Do read our article on 10 Top Tips to Making your Online Website Stand Out.
3. Professional Portrait
It's important to put a face to your name. A professional photograph helps make a more personal connection. You don't want to be just a standard, non-descript list of bullet points and 12-point Times New Roman font. You want to be you. The fastest and most effective way to make that happen is to include a photograph right on the opening landing page.
Pay attention to the photograph. It should be technically a good photograph, and it should be business-like for most professionals. Don't shun all individuality, but also don't go crazy with your outfit or hairstyle. Make it look good, just so the reader can visualize you personally talking to them. Here are some more useful tips to create your online portfolio website.
4. Introductory Statement
The first few elements on your home page set the mood for your visitor's entire encounter with your online presence - and that sets up the likelihood that you'll get a follow-up. The first thing visitors will notice is the layout - the colours and the use of space. Then they'll gravitate toward your photograph to "meet you." And finally, their eyes will land on your text.
So what do you want them to read first? Do you want them to dive into your education and your skills? More likely, you'll want to say something directly to them, welcoming them to the site and clearly laying out what your goals are. Whatever you do or want to do, spell it out in a friendly and professional way. For example, visual artists might use an artist's statement, while others may opt for a more traditional objective. If you want some inspiration, do check out some examples of outstanding portfolios built with Pixpa.
5. Relevant Experience
Once you've got the formalities and small talk out of the way, it's time to dive into the meat and potatoes of your resume. As you compile the relevant sections, make sure you consider the overall length that you want your page to be.
It's common to find both short single-page web resumes, but many people build multi-page sites. The critical thing to remember is that your landing page must lay out the complete picture succinctly. Some viewers may not be inclined, or even have the time, to click through the entire site. You want to wow them with the home page, but give them the option to come back later for more depth of information later on.
So with this in mind, you have several options. Most resume websites start with a single page and well-laid-out CV, and additional links are added as necessary. The site stands alone as a single-page view, but it also is home to other information for those inclined to look.
What experience do you include on that all-important home page? This will depend on the job you're applying for. Naturally, you want to pick the ones that speak best to the job. As a result, you'll need to move things around and customize the organization of this list occasionally.
6. Employment History
The same can be said about the employment history section. You want to include former employers, but you also don't want to belabor the point by including unrelated high school summer jobs. The purpose of the work experience section is to show that you're a reliable employee, that you are trainable and have workplace experience, and to show that you have relevant experience. It's up to you to pick the jobs you've had that demonstrate these things.
Just like your employment history, the amount of detail you want to include in the education section is up to you. You definitely want to include your highest level of completed degree. But is it necessary to label each step of the path you took to get there and details like your GPA? Sometimes yes, and sometimes no.
If those degrees or training programs were completed and add to your qualifications that make you the right fit for a job, then, by all means, include them. But if they don't add anything meaningful, it's probably best to keep it brief.
Your education section may be more important than your employment history if you're new to the workforce. Not to overelaborate the point, but it all depends on the situation.
The skills section allows you to do some creative target marketing. There are certain things that we're all taught to include and talk about when we're interviewing for jobs, right? Do you have strong people skills? Of course you do. Well, this could be an excellent place to list that.
But an even better technique is to go back to the ad for the job. What skills are they looking for--what things did they specifically list in the ad? By addressing these, you're speaking to the hiring manager who wrote that ad.
Of course, you need to be careful not to appear like you're just copying their language. It needs to be genuine. Don't make promises you can't deliver. Instead, find creative and meaningful ways to demonstrate clearly that you have the skills they're asking for.
9. Certifications and Qualifications
Professional qualifications are essential in some industries. If you're working in one of those, you'll know you should have certain qualifications. If these are mentioned in the ad, you should have them listed here. But there are many careers where this isn't required.
Items in this list should be reserved for professional-level certificates. This isn't the place for listing yourself as "good with computers." Mention here that you hold a Microsoft certification or a Lean Six Sigma certification, for example. Save the less specific stuff for the "skills" section.
10. Personal Projects
Potential employers are looking for a person to join their team, not just a drone who comes to work every day. To that end, be sure to put a little personality into your website. Include personal projects and things you're doing on the side. Try to spin things so that they're relevant to the job at hand, when appropriate.
11. Contact Information and Form
A resume website needs to make it obvious and easy to contact you. To that end, make sure your email and phone number are apparent and accessible. To make it even easier for them to reach you, include a web form.
12. Social Media
Linking your social media is a great way to keep your site updated and relevant. Use your best judgment as to what networks you want to connect. Don't link to anything that you don't want potential employers to judge you by. Many job seekers use LinkedIn, so this is usually a good choice. If your Instagram or Facebook accounts are relevant and safe for work, link them too. Be very careful to keep it all professional and on the up-and-up, however.
13. Testimonials and Recommendations
Your website is a great place to collect testimonials and references, too. Instead of just supplying a list of names upon request, you can include professional recommendations you may have received. Don't inadvertently put your reference's contact information or identity online without their permission. Also, make sure that they're relevant to the skills and projects at hand.
14. Downloadable and Printable Format
It might seem old-school, but in some situations, it might be handy for hiring managers to be able to print out your CV. Always include a PDF downloadable copy of a basic one-page document that they can print to hand colleagues. Make sure that the formatting comes outright, no matter how it's printed.
Lastly, don't forget to be an individual with your resume. Let it tell a story that is uniquely you. Keep it professional, but the more memorable you make it and the more fun you have with it, the more you'll stand out. Here are 12 Great Tips to Write Awesome Website Content.
Examples of Resume Websites Built on Pixpa
Pixpa is one of the best full-featured resume website builder platforms available. You can view all Pixpa resume templates on the website. Here are a few great resume website examples for inspiration.
Tokie Taylor, Photographer
Taylor uses a captivating image to grab attention before directing you to her CV. Once there, you'll see a dynamic web document and artist's statement. It's a beautifully done website, with an excellent portrait of Taylor and lots of personal touches. Since it's a section embedded on her portfolio site, it's easy to click away and check out her impressive catalog of work, too.
Lewis Robinson, Architect
Robinson's portfolio website is packed with information. The entire website shows in a gallery-style view, with the large header providing contact information and the items of interest scrolling below. Instead of showing as webpages, his resume, CV, and references are included like another page of the portfolio. Since they're in a document view, they're a little hard to read, and they feel much more static than most resume websites. But the effect is good in that it works with the site as a whole.
Jena Locastro, Graphic Designer
Locastro has a simple PDF resume shown in an embedded PDF viewer. It's an easy technique that integrates the viewing and downloading of the document into the websites. It also makes updates super easy. Links to her social media accounts and portfolio are in the header.
Brook Perryman, Graphic Designer
As you might expect from an excellent graphic artist, Perryman's resume is a thing of beauty. It is a classic one-pager, but it's also unique enough to stand out in any pile. A contact form button and a download the PDF action button are located above the top. The main webpage is entirely text but clearly shows a lot of information. Links to the rest of her portfolio are cleverly put at the bottom.
Maryam Berenji, Urban Design
Like many working professionals, Berenji uses her online portfolio to host a one-page resume. The document itself is simple and entirely text-based, not unlike a printed CV. But the fact that it is internalized within her portfolio makes it a powerful tool. Recruiters and those interested in her work can dig deeper and find out about her many projects and accomplishments.
Roxane Fiore, Artist
Fiore is a visual artist, and her resume website perfectly blends the multi-page CV with her drawing portfolio. While her drawings are featured, she also includes lots of text and her artist's statement. The result is a website that provides a lot more detail than a simple CV but also maintains a cohesive and unified look.
A website resume gives you so much more power than any one-page printed text document ever could. A website is multimedia and engaging. A website has links--so it can be as big as it needs to be for the task at hand. If a recruiter wants to spend more time getting to know you on your site, you should let them!
Resume Website FAQs
What should a resume website look like?
There's no standard format for a personal resume website. But, in a way, that's what's so great about the format--it provides a creative avenue to connect with potential clients and employers. To get an idea of what a resume could look like online, take a look at Pixpa's resume templates.
How many pages should a resume website have?
There are no set rules. Every resume should have some central component that is no more than one printed page in length. This is so that if an employer wants to print it out, they can. But online, you're free from these constraints. You can have links to other pages or other things of professional interest like your portfolio of works.
Which website builder can I choose to create a professional resume website?
There are tons of website builders out there, but Pixpa is one of the top choices for visual artists. One look at the beautiful resume templates available to work from, and Pixpa stands out as a robust resume website builder.