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Personal website gives job seekers an advantage

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Staff writer |
Employment   A new survey of human resource professionals

A new survey of human resource professionals shows job seekers who have a personal website in addition to a traditional resume can better define and differentiate themselves with recruiters in today's competitive job market.

While decision-makers view traditional resumes as the go-to tool to communicate professional experience, 67 percent of those surveyed say a personal website provides more insight into a candidate than a traditional resume alone.

68 percent of HR professionals are looking to assess personal qualities that aren't perceptible from a traditional resume.

Half of survey respondents believe a personal website helps to "humanize" a candidate.

Nearly one third of the HR professionals surveyed agreed that a personal website can provide a competitive advantage in the job market.

Four-in-ten recruiters would be more inclined to contact a candidate with the personal website when considering two candidates with seemingly equal qualifications.

According to a recent panel at the University of California Berkeley's Beyond Academia conference, U.S. human resource professionals receive an average of 100 applications for every job opening on the market, and as of this spring, the National Center for Educational Statistics reports another 2.8 million college graduates have joined the ranks of job seekers.

61 percent of recruiters in the survey said that online content helps them identify "red flags" with candidates.

One-in-five recruiters surveyed said they "frequently or always" screen candidates on Facebook, and nearly half check candidates' Facebook at least some of the time.

The types of online content most likely to hurt or eliminate a candidate from consideration are: risque photographs (71 percent); negative comments about work (69 percent); negative comments about a current or former employer (66 percent); and inappropriate language or cursing (65 percent).

Conversely, content that could be featured on a personal website, including self-authored articles about one's profession or involvement with community activities, are viewed by more than a quarter of recruiters as content that would enhance candidacy.

Recruiters surveyed also said "proactive recruiting" is the most influential trend in their recruiting process: more than half of recruiters conduct an active online search in addition to considering online resume submissions. "A personal website could improve a candidate's chances of being discovered," said Lesic.

78 percent of those surveyed reported that digital content like an online website and the increased availability of information online are influential trends in recruitment.

83 percent anticipate that their jobs will be even more reliant on digital content over the next five years.

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