How & Why you should have a Personal Website

How & Why you should have a Personal Website

 

Hello fellow graduate students!
If you are active on Twitter, you may have seen some conversations about personal websites over the last week – questions on how to get started, if these websites help get you jobs, and more were discussed. The overarching theme in these conversations is that these websites certainly will not hurt you, and can even be used in the job search by those hoping to hire you!

 

Pros of having your own website:

  • Self-promotion and personal branding cannot be understated here! This is your chance to say exactly what you want people to know about you – your research, scientific communication interests, diversity work, and more!
  • This can be a visually-appealing version of your resume. You can include research and teaching statements on your website, and fill these in with photos demonstrating your teaching and research abilities (and no one will know if these photos have been staged!)
  • Your website will be looked at during hiring. One tweet highlights this perfectly:CaptureYou can link your other professional profiles so people can find them directly from your website (Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Scholar, ORCID, ResearchGate, Github, etc)

 

Importantly, it is never too late and never too early to start your website. If you start early, you can easily build it up over time, and reap the benefits sooner!

 

Tips and Ideas for making your website:

  • Make it visually appealing! No one wants to see a wall of text while they are skimming over a site. Show don’t tell.
  • Link to everything you can! (Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Scholar, ORCID, ResearchGate, Github, etc) This will help you get more, continued visibility. Even link directly to your CV. If someone is reviewing your website as part of a job search, they will likely want to see your other profiles as well.
  • Link to other sites you may be on – like your lab or department website.
  • Promote yourself! List any awards or accomplishments you have on your CV – don’t be afraid to toot your own horn.
  • Check out what your website looks like on a phone – most web editors will allow you to preview these views and edit them as needed.
  • When uploading photos, tag them with your name or the event name to allow them to come up in google image searches.
  • Add any news coverage you have received for your work
  • Feel free to make a blog to highlight some of your career choices. For example, explain how you came to engineering as a field, or how you chose to go to graduate school, etc.
  • Consider adding a space for those interested to contact you.
  • If you are interested in teaching now or in the future, consider putting sample syllabi on your site, or TA evaluations, to highlight your strengths in teaching.Keep your website up to date! Set yourself a calendar reminder every few months to go back and check on it. Include new awards, update your research projects, and more. Don’t wait until weeks before your job application goes out to edit – you’ll almost certainly forget something important.

 

If you want to see some good examples of graduate student websites for style, content, and other ideas, check out this list. Add your own website so others can see your great ideas!

 

What other tips or questions do you have? I look forward to hearing from you!

 

Carolyn Chlebek

FY19 Graduate Member Coordinator

grad-coordinator@swe.org

@carolyn_chlebek

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