Talking the talk doesn’t cut it for most employers anymore. When finding qualified candidates for an open position or promotion, they need to see for themselves what you can bring to the role and organization as a whole. This is where online portfolios come into play.
Unlike your standard binder and paper-filled portfolios, online portfolios offer an unlimited and interactive space to showcase your personal brand anywhere and at anytime. Online portfolios can tell a much-detailed story about you – weaving in milestones, accomplishments, and visible proof of your qualifications – something that a standard resume and cover letter cannot provide, says Morgan Norman, co-founder and CEO of WorkSimple.
“When crafting your online portfolio, job seekers must remember who their audience is and what they’ll be looking for in a candidate,” says Norman. Rather that focusing on which work to showcase, it’s best to focus on the overarching qualifications that can sell your brand for any position.
To achieve that in your online portfolio, here are three key elements according to Norman:
Employers want to know that colleagues can depend on you and that you can deliver. Consider featuring projects or work detailing your role and responsibilities that solely fell on you or your team to accomplish.
Strengths and Skills
This part of the online portfolio can be the most extensive. First, be honest about your biggest strengths and what skills you’re most competent. Then, showcase specific pieces that reveal your proficiencies with documentation. If you’re excellent at Adobe Photoshop, post your best work. If you’re good at negotiating, write out several instances where you excelled in it. Get creative – this maps out the unique selling points of your personal brand.
When you’ve decided which projects to feature, ask yourself, “So what?” This will give you insight about what employers are really looking for – what you can do for them. Then, show evidence with facts. Write up a small blurb, case study, or link to an online source. Let them know what goals you accomplished.
Your portfolio is simply a timeline of the evolution of your personal brand. On the job market, like any other market, you want to sell the best product: make it be you.
What do you think of online portfolios? Do you think they can help build a personal brand to attract employers? Why or why not?
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and/or employers. She is also the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011), #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.