A professional website can be considered a combination of a “multi-dimensional resume” , a “personal website”, and an “online identity”. It can be considered a multi-dimensional resume because it is built with the basic constructs of a resume and has added interactive elements only available with a website interface.
A professional website is different from a resume not only with the expanded use of sections, but also in presenting richer content and communication functionality. An example of richer content might be sharing the paper written for a course referenced in an educational experience. An example of added communication might be allowing for someone to send you a message about a particular employment experience.
To also be a “personal website”, a professional website combines the “data-centric” approach of a resume with stylistic functionality found with personal website web services. Generally speaking, there is latitude for customization regarding the style and layout of particular pages of a professional website.
To be effective as an “online identity”, a professional website must be comprehensive enough to encompass all relevant professional content and also have the functionality to control how that content is found and disseminated on the internet. The four sections mentioned above describe the depth of content collected with a professional website. To control how the content is shared on the internet, a professional website is built with strong SEO (“search engine optimization”) fundamentals – giving an individual control regarding how their website is represented in search engines; for example, an individual can define keywords and a description about their professional website. The proper use of skill sets can also be used to distinguish oneself.