Having your own Web site can help you network with psychologists and market yourself to potential employers. But you may feel like a Web site is out of reach if you have limited computer skills. Take heart: You don't have to be a technology whiz to construct your own site.
Many Web-authoring programs — such as Dreamweaver, Microsoft FrontPage, Claris HomePage or Netscape Composer — provide templates and coding so you just plug in the information, which means you don't have to master Web-formatting codes such as HTML. Odds are that if you can use Microsoft Word, you can create a Web page.
Here's some advice for creating your site:
Tap university services. Universities typically offer students free Web space, as do many Internet service providers. Check with your university library or computer science or journalism departments to see if they offer information or seminars on Web-site building.
Keep it simple and professional. While an animated chicken strolling across your Web page might grab attention and laughs, is it professional? Keep the content on your professional Web site geared to what an employer would need to know. Consider including links to your research, teaching portfolio, syllabi, clinical work and service projects.
Remember the Web is a public place. Separate from their professional Web pages, many students maintain sites for hobbies and belong to networking sites. With a few clicks, employers can often easily find this information as well. So carefully consider what information you post online. (Look for more on the pros and cons of online personas in the March issue of gradPSYCH. You can also read what APA's ethics director has to say about the issue.)
Start your site right away. The job hunt isn't the only reason for creating a site. You can use the Web to share your research with faculty at other institutions who might help build your? career down the road. By including your Web site address at the bottom of e-mail messages and in presentations, people can later learn more about your research, clinical experience and aims for the future.