How an Online Work Portfolio Can Help a Job Search - dummies

How an Online Work Portfolio Can Help a Job Search

By Joyce Lain Kennedy

Your goal in presenting an online work portfolio for your job search is to make readers feel as if they know you, respect you, and like you. By inviting hiring authorities to view a close-up of your talents and personality, your online presentation opens the door to conversation.

Portfolios can range from something as uncluttered as a long version of your resume, to a website well endowed with materials. Keep your portfolio up-to-date, with no broken images, broken links to other sites, or stale information.

Your basic online portfolio includes your contact information, your resume, your cover letter, and a customized assortment of other illuminating content, such as the following information:

  • Career summary and goals. A capsule statement of where you’ve been, where you hope to go, and what you bring to the table.

  • Reference blurbs, letters. Short endorsements and references, especially potent in a video showing the reference giver speaking.

  • Lists of accomplishments. A consistent record of success stories on how you have benefited or will benefit employers. Accomplishments aren’t job duties and responsibilities or personal achievements, such as college graduation.

  • Degrees, licenses, and certifications. A listing of details on how you gained qualifications in your career skills: college, vocational/technical school, state testing, or a professional organization, for example.

  • Samples of your best work. A collection of samples in any media, such as video, film, reports, papers, brochures, projects, photos, structures, products, art, designs, published books, and more.

  • Case success studies. A showcase of problem-solving talent and leadership qualities. The C-A-R method (challenge, action, result) is a popular format; the candidate uses video and displays documentation.

  • Marketable skills. A group of skills, competencies, and qualities that employers will pay for. For example: “Demonstrate technical skills, management skills, and communication skills.”

  • Awards and honors. An assemblage of any certificates of awards, honors, and industry recognition. Recent college graduates should include evidence of scholarship awards and elected offices.

  • Conferences, workshops, and industry expos. A roundup of professional or industry conferences, seminars, workshops, expos, and conventions that relate deep interest in and connections to career fields or industries.

  • Professional development. A listing of professional association memberships and participation, including committee memberships and chairs, offices held, and reports written.

  • Military records. A listing of military service, military occupational specialties useful for civilian employment, and badges and awards of personal valor or exceptionalism.

  • Blogging. A blog reflects you professionally and personally. You may be blogging about your concern for animals, or maybe you’re on the membership committee for the local Toastmaster’s Club.

  • Volunteering. A description of volunteer activities as it relates to your career. Community service can be invaluable for new graduates and for re-entry women who return to work after raising children.

Don’t overload your portfolio with information that can’t support its own weight in marketing you for employment. If you suspect that a recruiter can’t grasp your subject in a few minutes, give it a makeover.