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  • Digital Resumes: 3 Ways Your Website Can Get You A Job

    Wednesday, April 19, 2017 by

    Digital Resumes

    “Looking for a new job is SO FUN!”

    - No One Ever

    We get it, but as digital experts we’re here to help you discover a few clever ways to make the process easier and dare we say... fun?!

    Your end goal, we presume, is to land an awesome job with great benefits and a kickass salary. While there are no guarantees, we can certainly help you on your journey.

    Resumes are essential for the majority of job candidates. Why not stand out even more with a website resume?

     

    Your Website = Your Digital Resume

    A website or digital resume is a great way to share more of your personality and to show what you have to offer far more than a humdrum piece of resume paper and Times New Roman font.

    In the online realm, you have access to color, video, GIFs, and so much more to help you stand out from the crowd of candidates. Most potential employers Google search prospective employees anyway. You may as well give them something to find that shows off your best qualities.

    First, get a website. Consider locking down a domain name that is the same as or similar to your name. For example:

    www.YourFirstAndLastName.com or

    www.YourInitials.com or

    www.YourFirstNameAndYourIndustry.com

    Keep it simple and straightforward so that your site is easy to find.

    Once you’ve got your site ready to go, here are some ways to put it to work for you as you hunt for a new career.

    Domain Name

     

    1. Let the people know.

    Don’t keep your job-hunting a secret. Let your audience of website-viewers know that you’re searching for a job. Write up a quick blurb or blog post tell your story. Build a resume with your skills and experience, but use the visual perks of site-building. You now have access to fancy colors and fonts, videos, images, and logos -- all things that wouldn’t go (or would look weird) on a resume.

     

    2. Make it interactive.

    Freelance designer Robby Leonardi’s design portfolio and interactive resume went viral earlier this year. Robby takes his online viewers through a video game scenario in which users scroll their way through his designs, skills, and experience while witnessing first-hand his commitment to his craft.

    Digital Resume

     

    3. Show and tell.

    Resumes traditionally adhere to a very specific fancy paper format, but keep in mind that technology has updated quite significantly. Most hiring managers first view your resume on a screen, so sharing links to your email address, digital portfolio, and website is the right thing to do. Tell them with your resume, but show them (and show off) your capabilities with a website. Here are some general things to include regardless of your industry:

    • A professional image of yourself on your site helps to humanize your application.
    • Screenshots or icons of work-related or educational awards you’ve received.
    • Images or videos of you at work, giving a presentation, leading a meeting.
    • Pictures from work-related events you’ve attended or helped to organize.
    • Testimonials from colleagues or clients that speak to your stellar work ethic and creativity.
    • Published papers, articles, or press releases that you wrote or that mention you.
    • A bio of your accomplishments.
    • Professional alumni groups to which you belong.
    • Clients you’ve helped -- you can include their logos and website as long as you have their permission.
    • Contact information -- always make it easy for an employer to get in touch with you.

    We do suggest that you tailor your site to your particular industry. If you’re an artist, show your art. If you’re a product developer, show your product.

    Do you have a website resume or have you hired anyone who used a website resume? Let us know what’s worked best for you!

    Build your digital resume today with your very own website.

    Get Started With HostGator!

  • Looking For A Job? Clean Up Your Web Presence With This Checklist

    Friday, March 24, 2017 by
    Clean up your web presence checklist Go ahead and Google yourself. We support you in your narcissistic crusade to see what dribs and drabs of your history rank high in Google’s search algorithm. But seriously, there’s a real method to this madness. There’s a wealth of information available on each and every one of us, especially for those of us who are actively engaged in social media. Here it is: Your potential employers will Google you, and you need to beat them to the chase. Here’s why:
    • To understand what you’ve been publicly sharing since Al Gore invented the internet.
    • So that you can edit any incorrect information, or have it removed (if it’s really bad).
    • So that you can you properly defend yourself if need be.
    • To check if there’s another person who has the same name as you who’s messing things up out there.
    Huffington Post calls this strategy “Defensive Googling.” Be proactive by seeing what (if anything) exists about you in the first three pages of Google. And don’t forget to check Google Images as well. No potential employer needs to see a photo of you doing keg stands in college.  

    Your Reputation Management Checklist

     

    1. Check all of your social media settings.

    Have a thorough understanding of what info you’re presenting as public, and if it’s not what you want, make it private ASAP! Social media platforms almost always have a settings and security section. Go there and check yourself before you wreck yourself. Have a thorough understanding of what info you’re presenting as public, and if it’s not what you want, make it private ASAP! Did you know?... All Facebook background pics are public and you can’t hide them. Profile pictures default to public, but you have the ability to change these settings.  

    2. Fake it ‘til you make it.

    Consider using a fake social media name, or having separate professional and personal accounts. If you have a public account, keep yourself in check and be mindful of your posts.  

    3. Ask nicely.

    If there’s something out there you’re not very fond of, contact the source, and simply ask if he or she can remove whatever is ailing you from their website. If a photo you don’t like or some unsavory comment you once said exists on someone else’s website, kindly contact them and ask them to remove it.  

    4. Hire an expert.

    In extreme cases it may be necessary to hire a reputation management company. There are a variety of companies who specialize in cleaning up regretful digital footprints. This can be a pricey investment, but take comfort in knowing it’s an option should you need it. Here are a few resources.  

    5. Review your own website.

    If your own website is more personal than professional, you may want to remove any mentions of your full name or other identifying features during your job search. If, on the other hand, your website serves as a digital portfolio, take the time to make sure it's up to date and your best work is featured prominently.  

    But wait, it’s not all bad!

    Keep in mind that not every online mention of you is automatically horrendous. Those 5K race results from 1993, no problem. Charity donations? Awesome! Pics of you with family and friends? Totally fine. A good rule of thumb: As long as your online presence is something you’re comfy showing your Grandma (assuming she’s of the more conservative chicken soup-making variety), you’re golden.
  • 17 Internet Business Ideas To Claim Your Piece Of The Gig Economy

    Friday, February 24, 2017 by
    Internet Business Ideas Gig Economy Want to work from home and live the dream? Of course you do! Or, are you aiming to earn some extra online cash on the side through your next brilliant idea? Sure! We live in what’s been dubbed the Gig Economy -- everybody’s got some kind of side hustle to make ends meet, and with big dreams of striking it HUGE. With instant access to powerful resources the web affords the entrepreneurial-minded with endless opportunities to earn money. There are now more than ever ways to be gainfully employed either full- or part-time through the web. If you’re motivated to earn some cash, it’s really only a matter of matching up your skills with which job suits you best. The web is your oyster! Make it count!  

    If you’ve got a knack for the written word…

    Writer Internet Business Ideas1. Social media manager Help business owners set up their social network profiles and use free tools like MySocialSuite to automate their posting schedules. 2. Blogger Write blog posts for time-starved business owners or marketers. Google Docs (also free) is probably your best bet for sharing and editing work. 3. eBook writer eBooks are awesome promotional and lead generation tools. If you can whip up some of these for clients, be ready to earn some mad cash! 4. Resume & cover letter writer/consultant Many people really struggle with this, so make it your job to help them get jobs. 5. Proofreader Make sure those t’s are crossed! Plenty of folks struggle with grammar and punctuation to keep you busy. Resources: Freelance Writing Gigs, Upwork, MediaBistro  

    If you’re the visual/techie creative type…

    Freelance Designer Developer6. Graphic designer For the artistically gifted who also dig tech, there’s tons of available online work. 7. Web designer Not many have an eye for creating sleek websites that grab attention and encourage customers to make a purchase. If you’ve got those skills, get started now!   8. Logo designer Most marketers or business owners don’t have the time nor the inclination to create a clever logo for their brand. Rescue them with your artistic prowess. 9. Memes, online ads, infographics, social media images Sell yourself as a well-rounded digital artist and you’ll finds all sorts of work! Use free image creators like Canva or Pixlr to dazzle your clients. Resources: 99Designs, Behance  

    If you’ve got a sense for fashion…

    Fashion Blogger Internet Business Ideas10. Clothing designer Have a great catchphrase that belongs on a t-shirt/cap/mug you swear everyone will buy? Design it yourself! 11. Fashion blogger/Instagrammer Share your #OutfitoftheDay. Build a big enough following and you'll attract sponsors. Resources: CafePress, HostGator Blog Hosting  

    If you’re crafty and dig fine arts…

    DIY Internet Business Ideas12. Online shop owner Create awesome homemade stuff and sell it! Jewelry, clothing, paintings, plus all of the crafts. Resources: Etsy, HostGator Business Hosting  

    If you’ve got some extra offline time…

    13. Household helper Virtual Assistant Gig EconomyDo laundry, help people pack and move, drive ‘em around, go grocery shopping, pick up dry cleaning, and more. 14. Virtual assistant Be a professional Jack or Jill of all trades and help individuals or companies manage administrative tasks.  15. Online nerd consultant Are you a brilliant business guru? Advise companies and set them up for success. Resources: TaskRabbit, Lyft, UberZirtual, PeoplePerHour, Fiverr, HourlyNerd  

    If you know how to ABC (always be closing)...

    Salesperson Gig Economy16. Affiliate marketer Partner up with some quality affiliate programs (pssst...HostGator has one) and get a percentage of what you sell. This can work great if you’re already using the products you’re selling. Then you can readily speak to how great they are. Resources:  WordPress plugins, Affiliorama, Smart Affiliate Marketing Strategies  

    If you’re a natural born teacher…

    Teacher Tutor Online Business Ideas17. Online tutor or SAT prep master Help individual students in various subjects, or help many at once by preparing them for nerve-wracking standardized tests. Resources: Tutor.com, Get Educated   So, please think fondly of us when one of these online gigs makes you rich and famous, or at least rich.    Have you claimed your piece of the gig economy? Share your experience and what you do in the comments!
  • Creating A LinkedIn Company Page? Follow These Best Practices

    Wednesday, February 15, 2017 by
    Create LinkedIn Company Page As a working person at any stage of your career (recent grad, business owner, professional), it’s a good idea to have a personal LinkedIn page. You can use it as an online resume to strut your skills, make professional connections with former and present colleagues, and search for jobs. Good news: a LinkedIn Company page is another free piece of online real estate to tell the world about your business, services, and products. You just need a company email address to verify that your business is legit and that you’re the official representative. Need help? Watch this walkthrough video from LinkedIn to help you get started:
    As of mid-2016, there are over 450 million users on LinkedIn, so it’s definitely worth getting your piece of the action. And since it’s free, there are plenty of opportunities for small shop owners to compete with the big boys. Here’s how to make the most of your investment:  

    1. Be pretty.

    Get your company profile pic and cover photo setup stat! Logos work great here because they’re a consistent reminder of your brand. Here’s ours -- obviously we’ve got Snappy front and center. HostGator LinkedIn   And here’s a beauty of a page recommended by Hubspot. Notice here that the Nature Conservancy (like HostGator) includes their company logo in both their profile and cover pics. Nature Conservancy LinkedIn   Use images that grab people’s attention and paint a picture about what your business represents.  

    2. Use your words.

    LinkedIn gives everyone an opportunity to write up a little ditty about their business. Win by keeping it simple, succinct, and authoritative. If you have some proven keywords you know work, pepper them in where you can. Every little bit helps on the SEO battleground.  

    3. Remember the details.

    LinkedIn encourages Company Page owners to present details like company size, website, year founded, and company specialties. Don’t keep this info a secret! Let people know what your company is all about.  

    4. Get followers!

    Start by getting colleagues, employees, consultants and anyone you work with on board. Encourage friends and family to support your business by following you on LinkedIn. For added views and follows, consider embedding your LinkedIn Company Page into your email signature. LinkedIn in Email Signature  

    5. Know your audience.

    LinkedIn gives Company Page users access to a nifty analytics tool where a demographic breakdown of the people who are following your page can be seen. This not only helps you discover more about your audience, but gives you insight into what type of content they might be interested in reading and engaging with. Here’s a LinkedIn Company Page analytics example: LinkedIn Company Page Analytics This shows us that this company’s followers are primarily senior-level professionals, but then there are also a good number of entry-level folks as well. In this case a mix of articles or blog posts about leadership, hiring, and productivity hacks might be a good place to start. Use this demographic info to make intelligent guesses and see what works.  

    6. Post great content.

    LinkedIn functions as another social media outlet where you can publish company blog posts, thought-leadership, case studies, and more. Once you get a firm handle on who your audience is, cater your content to them while staying true to your company’s messaging. On LinkedIn, you may want to skew your content toward hiring and employee success, particularly as your first followers will likely be your own employees or people you know who can help introduce you to the right people. For more ideas, take a look at our post How to Publish Engaging Content on LinkedIn.
  • 5 Tips To Rejuvenate Your Creativity And Brainstorm Great Blog Topics

    Tuesday, December 27, 2016 by
    How to brainstorm great blog topics The word blog is originally derived from the phrase web log. By its very definition a blog is a consistent online log that is regularly updated. The question is… are you consistently publishing posts to your blog? Because if you’re not, you’re missing out on site traffic, customer engagement, and sales opportunities. We understand that writer’s block gets in the way, plus who has time to write on top of running a business? However, we assure you that if you can stick with some of these ideas, you’ll be better positioned for entrepreneurial success. It’s worth it. And you may even find that they won’t take up as much of your time as you think.  

    1. Above all, know your audience.

    If you have no honest clue what kind of people make up your audience, back up and figure that out by creating an audience persona. Everything you write should be filtered through what your audience wants. You’ll need an authentic voice, but use it in a way that speaks to your customers and makes you relatable. Filtering your thought process through your average customer’s day will enable you to generate endless content ideas. Ask yourself: what are they searching for?; what will make their day easier?; what will make them more successful?; what do they do for fun?; what inspires them? Then write about some of those ideas. Create Your Blog  

    2. Check an annual calendar.

    Holiday sales and events are a great blog-writing starting point. From Small Business Saturday to Valentine’s Day, or even more local events in your neighborhood -- these are all opportunities to engage your audience. To start, we recommend checking out:  

    3. Expand your About Us page.

    Web content on your site is for your About Us page, while a blog can be thought of more as your About Everything page. This doesn’t mean you need to publicly write about your relationship with mom, but do use your blog to share more of who you and your team are. Be real with your customers and expect big returns. Consider writing about:
    • Vacations
    • Milestones: Births, graduations, marriages
    • Pets
    • Fun office activities
    • Customer testimonials  
    • Employee success
    • Customer success
    • Philanthropy
     

    4. Create long-lasting evergreen content.

    Evergreen blog content is the key to success because it’s designed to last a looooooooooong time. The more relevant a piece of online writing is over time, the better it is for SEO and for your business. These can be things like:
    • FAQ’s - Listen to your customers and you’ll find that they often seek answers to the same frequently asked questions. Write these down and publish them in a blog post. Save yourself the time of answering them later, and proactively help out new clients.
    • Product Descriptions - Describe the benefits of each of your products.
    • Product Walkthroughs - How to use a specific product or service.
    • Resources - Share tools or business resources that make you successful. Your customers will perceive you as an authoritative industry leader and thank you for it. Bonus: If you’re an affiliate, this is a great place to make a sale.
     

    5. Write what inspires you.

    Finally, write about what motivates you to succeed. Write about why you started your business in the first place and why you continue to carry on. Not sure what else inspires you? How about…
    • Favorite movies
    • Music
    • Podcasts
    • TED Talks
    • Books
    • Public speakers
    • Family, friends, church
      Robert Rose, the Chief Strategy Officer at Content Marketing Institute says “Traditional marketing and advertising is telling the world you’re a rock star. Content Marketing is showing the word that you are one.” Use these blog-writing ideas to show your audience who you are. Have other blog-writing tips? Anything particular topics that have been most successful for you? Let us know in the comments!