Tips & Tricks for Grad Student Sites
People.ua.edu has recently been made available to graduate students, and if you are one of them, you may be asking yourself some questions: What is a graduate student website? Why do I need one? What should I put on it? The first two questions are answered in a previous post: Welcome Graduate Students! But even after you've been convinced of the utility of a personal academic website, you're probably still unsure what should go on it. We are here to help!
Your personal academic website is your online identity. And you get to choose what it looks like! A good rule of thumb for design is to keep things simple (a nice neutral color palette works best) and consistent (i.e. don't use different colored text for each page). Avoid long walls of text in which the reader can get lost; pictures or block quotes are a great way to break up paragraphs. Above all, keep the design professional-looking and non-cluttered.
Professionalism must apply to your content as well. Potential employers as well as your teachers and students will be looking at your site on a regular basis. You want it to make a good impression! A link to your Twitter feed or blog is admissible only if the contents is appropriate for a professional environment.
Now that you know how to make your site look good and what not to put on it, let's talk about what you should put on it. Most important is keeping your personal academic website up-to-date; as this great Chronicle article puts it, "Nothing says apathy like a website that hasn't been updated since 2004." Any time you do something new, add it to your site.
Content you might post includes but is certainly not limited to:
If you have any additional questions or need some help getting started,
Welcome Graduate Students!
We are happy to announce that People.ua.edu is now open to all UA graduate students.
Students need an online resource to collect and showcase their research, publications, academic and work experience. Having a website is a great way to begin building a professional reputation. We call it a "personal academic website".
Just what IS a personal academic website? I'm glad you asked!
Call it a website, call it an e-portfolio, either way it’s your online presence and it matters to your professional reputation. It is your face to the online world. It’s your virtual identity. What do you want it to look like?
An academic website is the online version of your CV. It should include your research and teaching interests, list of publications, and any courses you’ve taught. It should also include an appropriate picture of you and contact information, like e-mail and mailing address.
Why have a personal academic website?
The real question is: Why NOT have an academic website? When a collaborator, search committee member, potential employer, or postdoc supervisor searches your name on a search engine, your website should be among the first hits that appear. You want to be well represented for your academic work. Your other name-associated sites, like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Google Scholar will also be on the first page, so take the time to make them professional, or set them to private so they won’t show up.
How much does the website costs?
While you are a student here at UA, the site will not cost a thing! Zero. Zelch. Na-da. When you graduate or leave the University, we will provide a zip file that contains all the content of your website. You may then recreate your site within a purchased or free account through Weebly or using another website provider.
Ready to get started with YOUR personal academic website? Visit the Getting Started page or give us a call. We'll be happy to answer any questions.
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