Unit #1: Landing Page and Online Résumé

(Worth 10% of your grade; due on September 23)


When you are learning the basics of HTML, CSS, and file management on the web, it helps if you have a “real” project to work on, not just a simulation that only your professor will see. For your first assignment, you will create (at least) two HTML pages that will serve as the first draft of your personal website/portfolio: a “landing page” and an online version of your résumé. You will use basic CSS to style your pages, and you may choose to include images on your pages. You will also write a brief memo reflecting on your experiences completing this project.

Landing Page

The first component of this assignment asks you to think about the first impression you want to make when people visit your website. Your landing page (a.k.a. “homepage”) should be something that you continually update and maintain over the course of the semester as you learn more about HTML, but right now you only need to include basic information about yourself so you can use the “index.html” file as a springboard for users (such as myself) who want to see your online projects. Think of your landing page as a “Visitor’s Center,” a place where people can begin to understand just who you are. You may want to include a picture of yourself, links to your social media profiles, or other information that you consider relevant to your professional online identity.


The résumé component of this assignment should be where you concentrate the lion’s share of your effort between now and the due date. While the style and format of your online version do not have to mirror the printed version, the content and architecture of this page should follow the “standard” expectations for information that most people have when they view someone’s résumé. The genre of the résumé has become fairly standardized over the past few decades, and when prospective employers view your site, they will expect to see certain information arranged in a logical order that allows them to quickly determine if your credentials and experience match their employment needs.

Remember: the purpose of a résumé is to get you a job interview. So, when designing your résumé, try to think like a business owner or human resources manager and come up with a list of information you would want to know about someone you’re about to hire. Making such a list falls under the category of “audience analysis,” a skill that all good professional writing students have been practicing in other courses.

As you work on this assignment, pay particularly close attention to the digital ethos you are creating when you place your finished résumé on the Web. Does the way you present yourself online make you appear like a credible, trustworthy person that someone would want to hire? For example, an email moniker such as “email hidden; JavaScript is required” may be fine for interacting with your friends, but if you owned a business that grossed millions of dollars annually and that worked on accounts for Fortune 500 companies, would you hire someone whose email address was “hokiestud”? Probably not. So think long and hard about the image you’re projecting of yourself to those who visit your site.

Memo of Transmittal

After you have created your two HTML pages and an accompanying CSS file to style those pages, you will write a one-page (300-500 words) memo of transmittal that explains and justifies the choices you made as you worked on this assignment. For example, you may want to discuss your choice of font(s), colors, images, etc. Your memo should explain these choices in terms of the audience, context, and purpose of the assignment rather than relying on personal preferences (e.g., “I chose purple because it’s my favorite color.”). Your memo should also include the URL for your finished website. When your memo is complete, title it “Full Name Unit 1 Memo,” and upload it to your shared Google Drive folder. (Please be sure to convert your memo to Google Docs format so I can comment on it.) Your website should be live on the web and your memo uploaded before you come to class on September 23.

Evaluation Criteria

Your grade on this assignment will be determined by your performance on the following criteria:

  • Audience: Have you effectively addressed the needs and expectations of both primary and secondary audiences of your site?
  • Ethos: Does your site project a professional identity that is appropriate for your intended line of work? Have you included enough information about yourself to show who you are and presented it in such a manner that you set yourself apart from your “competition”?
  • Content: Is your résumé structured logically and does it support the information needs of your audience(s)?
  • Design: Does your site feature a consistent visual design with respect to colors, typography, spacing, and images? Is the design unique, yet professional?
  • Markup: Do your HTML and CSS files adhere to the “best practices” that we have discussed in class? Are your files well organized and carefully commented? Do your files validate?
  • Memo of Transmittal: How well does your memo explain and justify the decisions you made in completing this assignment? Is the memo structured logically? Does the memo adhere to the conventions of standard written English?