Resumes have, with time, become passé and are no longer the best networking tool in a student’s arsenal. From the moment you hand over your resume to someone it becomes outdated with not much scope for updating, unless you make a new one. A student personal website or a student career portfolio is just the opposite. Every negative of a traditional resume can be fixed at the click of a button. In my opinion not having a personal student website is the equivalent of being unprepared for opportunity in the digital world.
Unlike a conventional resume, a personal student website is not static. Every accomplishment, the moment it is achieved, can be uploaded on your website. To begin with, understand that a website is a means to an end, not an end in itself. In addition students need to have a realistic knowledge of their capabilities along with clarity about communication goals.
Listed below are some guidelines educators can use to help students create their personal websites:
Find the right website builder tool:
Evaluate simple portfolio applications like Portfoliogen.com, OnPowerWeb.com, pathbrite.com and see what works best for your students in terms of portfolio creation. If the dashboard for any of these tools is easy to use and can be taught to students easily, then go ahead and ask them to give it a shot. Alternately, pick a couple of students in your class to do this evaluation for you.
Having created several personal student websites successfully, my advice to any student has been to create an impact on the viewer from the home page. An educator can assist a student in writing out an introductory summary laying out their most important and significant achievements. Help them imagine if people were visiting their site and only reading this one section. What is the impression they would like to leave on them? As an educator you can guide a student to formulate a short introductory note about themselves which leaves a strong impression without an element of arrogance or pompousness. If you are not sure then check out this student of the year portfolio example.
Examples of Your Best Work:
I personally feel giving examples of your work speaks volumes. If you are an artist or a designer or a photographer then create a visual gallery to showcase the work you are most proud of. If writing is your passion then attach clips of articles you have written or published on the web. Teachers can help students select their best works so as not to clutter the site and overwhelm the visitor. Have a look at some of the student personal website examples below to know how to project your best works.
Keep the website updated:
Websites are not static, but dynamic and hence it is important to keep them updated regularly. As a teacher you can help a student keep a record of his / her achievements and encourage them to update the site whenever they accomplish something. There is a thin line between showcasing your accomplishments and sounding pompous. This is where a teacher can step in and steer the student on the right course.
Keep it professional:
Students require guidance from their educators when it comes to creating a personal website. At times they can get carried away with the content and graphics that they upload, some of which could end up causing more harm than help. Ensure that the student does not reveal more personal information than is required. The aim should be to develop a positive digital footprint which adds value to the student’s digital personality.
A student personal website can create the desired impact if it has the right combination of words and graphics. Students should be encouraged to make their sites look impressive and leave a lasting impression on the visitor.
About the Author
Author: Anuja Lath
Anuja is the Founder/CEO at OnPowerWeb, a dynamic platform to empower students to build their story on the web by chronologically recording and maintaining their milestone achievements and activities. Anuja presents this concept at schools and educational institutions to help students build a meaningful and positive web presence.