When I first graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in communications, it felt like everybody else had graduated with the same degree and therefore none of us could find jobs! You had a bunch of smart people with bachelor’s degrees, all bright eyed and bushy tailed, going to the same interviews and being rejected by the same organizations. I must have applied for at least a hundred jobs, got 6 or 7 interviews, and two job offers. Here’s what helped me get those two job offers. It’s so easy that you could do it tomorrow, and it will almost certainly give you an edge. I set up my own website.
Setting up a website is a great way to showcase your best work, your hobbies and interests. And even if you are not looking for a job, but just a cool summer internship, a website can help you stand out.
Now, you might think that websites only matter if you’re a communications or graphics major, where you have a portfolio of work to share. That’s partly true—I think it should be a requirement that anyone majoring in communications/graphic design have a website. But even if you’re majoring in biology, business or women’s studies, a website can help. It shows employers that you’re thinking about your field beyond just your classes and that you have the web skills that are fast becoming essential to any white-collar job.
If you’re convinced already, here’s how you can start:
- Set up a blog using wordpress.com: I suggest WordPress because it has so many templates that allow you to convert your blog into a simple website. It takes NO coding knowledge whatsoever. Just pick a template that include pages, and then use the WordPress settings to hide the blog section (or you can make the blog section just one tab on the website).
- Buy your domain name: Nowadays, WordPress allows you to buy your domain name for less than 20 bucks a year. The domain name helps you to personalize the website. So rather than www.yourname.wordpress.com, it becomes www.yourname.org, or www.yourname.com.
- Decide what you want to showcase: I think it’s a good idea to have these four key sections:
- About Me
- Contact Me
You can expand the work bit into more sections. At one point I had “print writing,” “Web writing” and “graphics.” I also had a separate tab for my resume. Now I collapse it all under the “work” tab. You can also maintain a blog on there, if you have enough to say about your major/field of interest.
- Create the content for the pages, and hit submit.
- Voila- you have a website!
Mishri Someshwar is NSCS’ Director of Marketing and Public Relations and has been with the organization since 2007. Born and raised in Bangalore, India, Mishri now lives in Washington, DC. In her free time she enjoys volunteering, participating in Toastmasters, cooking and spending time with family and friends.