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How to build your own website in minutes

Friday - 3/14/2014, 4:11am  ET

Laptop typing (thinkstock)
It's now possible to build a nice-looking website in a few moments. What to leave in, what to leave out? (Thinkstock)

WASHINGTON -- Many say the paper resume is dead -- that's both the good news and the bad news.

In the digital age, the days of trying to fit all of your accomplishments in a single page of heavy stock paper have either passed, or are waning.

Jobseekers and professionals still need a way to tell the world about what they're doing or hope to do, and much of that communication is done online.

That's raised the importance of two concepts -- web presence and personal branding.

And then there's the nagging question: "If everyone else has a website, why don't I?"

For many, WordPress, Tumblr and other microblogging platforms are the answer.

Yet, even those relatively user-friendly sites require more than a little design and layout experience, and a lot of time to produce a professional-looking site.

Enter Strikingly.

Need a website? Have a minute?

David Chen is the CEO of Strikingly.

With a single click, a user can build a professional-looking website, which utilizes information in a person's LinkedIn professional networking website.

Chen initially contemplated integrating users' Facebook information, but realized the information posted on Facebook wouldn't help people get hired.

"They see a lot of you partying or making unprofessional comments," says Chen.

Chen says most people don't consider employers will likely do a Google search and peruse social media accounts when considering potential employees.

"All of them can harm your online branding, and as a result, your career," says Chen.

With Strikingly, once the information from a user's LinkedIn account is integrated, the new resume can be tweaked, both editorially and visually.

Links can be added, photos uploaded, and backgrounds changed to suit the user's preferences.

With a free Strikingly account, the user's website URL will include strikingly.com, followed by the user's name.

With premium plans, a user can have a personalized .com domain name.

Always have a resume handy

Being able to quickly access and share an online resume is considered vital by many, as is the importance of the resume looking good when viewed on a mobile device.

Chen says the websites created with Strikingly are pleasing to read on desktops, tablet, or smartphones.

Since would-be bosses might flip-through job applications during a coffee break, Chen says online presentations should be easily digested on a mobile device.

"Weave it together as a story line, of why I should work for you, why you should hire me," suggests Chen.

"That's really kind of a cover-letter style of web presence," says Chen.

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