Personal Websites vs. Resume: Career Services’ Tips on Applying to Jobs

As seniors prepare for the final weeks of their last semester of school, job applications and career boards are where they spend most of their time.

With a shift in technology, more students are starting to create personal websites to showcase their talents, achievements, and contact information. But are they replacing the traditional resume?

Jennifer Johnson, Youngstown State University’s Career Services director, believes this is not the case — yet.

“We’re seeing it pop up more in certain majors, where it’s appropriate — English, journalism, the professional technical writing majors. There is an interest from employers to see personal websites. The link is generally put on the resume, to the website,” she said.

With the resume still being the primary source of information, the website comes as a secondary reference.

“We’re finding that it’s not replacing the traditional resume; It’s complimenting the traditional resume,” Johnson said.

Career Services offers not only on-site counseling services to help with interviewing and job hunting, but also how to format a resume that works best for a student and their interests.

“We actually added for the first time in the job finders handbook, to our sample resumes, we have an example of a resume for a fine art major,” Johnson said.

The website typically has a format of posting samples of work, experiences while in college and internships, and also adds a personal, creative touch to their job application.

“There’s still a big push for the traditional type of resume. But, even like for art majors, graphic design majors they’re resumes are maybe straying a little bit from the traditional layout, being more creative because that’s what they’re trying to get across,” Johnson said. “And then on the website too, they can post their resume.”

Johnson also believes the Internet is not only a great tool to find a job opening, but is also the primary source to apply to them. Applying online and filling out an online application is still required for most companies.

“Having a resume in a PDF format is very important, we encourage students after they create their websites in maybe [Microsoft] Word, that they’re knowledgeable of how to convert that to a PDF file,” Johnson said.

So as for creating a personal website, it is not only extremely beneficial to apply to jobs — especially in the technological and creative fields — but to still work hard on a solid traditional resume.

“As more technology is out there, and the generation of students are using technology more, I wouldn’t be surprised if more of that comes into play, but at this point they are not replacing the resume,” Johnson said.

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