Today’s recruiters are not sitting idle waiting for the perfect resumé to land on their desk. With much more advanced search technology, they are looking everywhere for candidates and an online portfolio may be their ideal destination.
“An online portfolio allows you to show — not just tell — what you have done,” says Louise Kursmark, president of Best Impression Career Services, Inc. and co-author of Cover Letter Magic: Trade Secrets Of Professional Resumé Writers. She says online portfolios can be a great adjunct to a job hunt since employers today are looking for what she calls “proof of performance.”
“Candidates still need a traditional paper resumé, but the portfolio is a deeper, richer expression of their accomplishments and capabilities that can give candidates an edge over others who haven’t assembled similar “proof of performance.” A portfolio can boost a candidate’s confidence and provide an excellent talking point during interviews,” she adds.
Last week we met Michael Sefcik, a graduate and job hunter who has created his own website. In early April, after his third month of traditional online applications, he began working on his online portfolio.
He first selected a website template from Open Source Web Design (oswd.org). Once he had his template he used a web development application, Adobe Dreamweaver, to fill in his professional and personal details and then registered the domain and published his website (via netfirms.ca).
“The website acts as a personal portfolio that contains pictures, articles, information about my travels, samples of my writing, and an in-depth resumé à la Wikipedia-style.”
Sefcik explained he wanted a simple website so he only has four sections: A written summary of his accomplishments (the home page); a detailed version of his resumé including links and pictures (the resumé page); an area to display photos from his travels and other events; and finally he has an “about me page” where he informally talks about himself and his general interests.
“After developing a prototype I showed the website to a family friend, a manager at a consulting firm, who was instantly drawn in by its professional nature and subtle personal touches.”
Anyone in any field and at any level of experience can develop a portfolio to enhance the traditional resume, says Kursmark.
“Students can showcase their very best class projects as well as extracurricular activities that might be relevant. Experienced professionals can include work-related materials and demonstrations.
Everyone can create video or audio clips that allow them to express who they are and perhaps demonstrate something they do well.”
Kavita Gosyne, 26, is a vibrant young journalist. She writes about her transition from student to employee and the issues she faces such as office politics.
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