Personal Websites for Young People

I was knee-deep into trying to get NPR interns jobs by tweeting when I realized that we had a problem: I had no links. Part of the usefulness of Twitter is that much of the content available is in teaser form: a little blurb and then a link to find out more. Our interns didn’t have their own personal websites, resumes, or other place to contact them online — nothing to link to.

This is a problem. If you’re actively looking for a job, please make it easy to find out more about you and contact you. You don’t need to have a slick website but you do need to have something — a LinkedIN profile, an profile, or even something this.

Here are some good examples of the few NPR interns that have personal web presences. Only two of the follow are actively looking for work:

  • Brandon Neil – A large splash-page photo that links directly to a PDF of his resume. Actively looking for work.
  • Georgia Rhodes – She’s a photographer so she uses a blog/portfolio style site.
  • Megan Pellegrino – I know she has a redesign on the way so I won’t criticize the the early 2000s design but this is an example of a more work-oriented / job-hunting personal site. Actively looking for work.
  • Anna Tauzin – Demonstrating she can work in Drupal, her site is pretty basic on the outside but take a look at her blog, portfolio and you will quickly realize what’s what.
  • Katie Hayes – As a photojournalist, she has a selected portfolio of her best work along with bio/resume and a blog of her recent musings. Good style.
  • Tristan Ahtone – OK, his blog hasn’t been updated in eight months. Brutal. But he has the most unique and personal design — clearly some work went into this.

I ended up scrambling to get interns to have their resumes uploaded to a public Google Doc. That’s OK for Twitter but not going to do you many favors down the road. A friend told me I should open up a business doing personal websites for college-grads. Charge a small, one-time fee that does the basics: bio/resume, objective, a photo or two, and maybe a few links. Thoughts?

Update: Some people call this building the “personal brand.” Here’s an article on MediaShift that talks about it in more detail.