According to a 2012 survey conducted by Hams Interactive, 37% of hiring personnel use social websites to check on clients. Since then, that number has skyrocketed. A digital portfolio is one way to highlight what hiring managers will find about you online.
A digital or online version of a portfolio has several advantages. Creating duplicate physical portfolios is time intensive and can get expensive. Digital portfolios can be copied and customized very easily. They are also easily shared with prospective employers. A digital portfolio is also easier to keep updated.
Another advantage of a digital portfolio is the multimedia capabilities — you can include video, audio files, photos, and document files.
One of the easiest ways to create an online portfolio is to use LinkedIn (LinkedIn.com). It may also be the most effective because upwards of 75% of companies say they source employees on LinkedIn. As a careers industry colleague is fond of saying, “If you’re not on LinkedIn, you don’t exist.”
LinkedIn offers categories for your professional information much like a resume does. You just fill in the blanks. The catch is that there are more and less effective ways to do this to catch the attention of hiring managers and recruiters. Be sure you know the pertinent key words for the industry and position you desire.
LinkedIn also lets you upload photos, slideshows, and videos of your work.
One new, innovative way to create a portfolio online is to use Pinterest (www.pinterest.com). Because Pinterest is a visual medium, search out images to represent career milestones — for example, a photo of you in a cap and gown with your diploma, and then a close-up of your diploma. Or a photo of you receiving a sales award, and then a scan of the award certificate. Pinterest also allows you to pin videos, so you can include a video of you making a presentation, for example.
Do you work with recognizable client companies? Assemble their logos in a collage labeled “Key Clients” or “Strategic Account Management.” (Make sure you aren’t violating any copyright laws if you do this.)
You can also create a PowerPoint presentation like the example above and save it as a PDF file that you can bring up on an iPad or other tablet device in a job interview.
Microsoft offers numerous free PowerPoint templates:
If writing isn’t your thing or if you don’t feel confident in getting the details right in your online portfolio, email me at Jeri@WorkwriteResumes.com. I have a 30-page LinkedIn Profile Builder that comes with any LinkedIn profile I write. It offers step-by-step directions for completing your profile. (If LinkedIn allowed it, I’d be happy to build your profile for you, but both of us could lose our profiles for doing it that way.)