E-portfolios are new and hot ways to showcase your skills and capabilities. They’ve taken the hard-copy portfolio used for years by artists and writers and moved them onto a whole new e-page. Many people are interested in exploring e-portfolios for good reason, but they take time to develop. In order to get yours developed and available to your network audience, work on these five must-have sections first:
1) Evidence of your work accomplishments
If your work consists of designing buildings, we need to see photos of the completed projects. If you sew costumes, offer some scanned copies of sketches you made. If bake pastries, then how about some customer comments about how delicious your lemon tarts are? See where I’m going? E-portfolios are for showing and telling evidence about your ability.
An e-portfolio is an awesome place to have a thumbnail of your university degrees or the many computer certifications you’ve attained. You can show them in an e-portfolio; in some programs, like Mahara we use at ISSofBC, you can display your certifications in a mini slide show. You look accomplished and savvy!
3) An “About Me” section
This introduces you in a nutshell. This is like your elevator pitch or your PAWS statement. Whatever the job search term for your introduction, this is a few words about how many years of experience you have, your relevant education and your most applicable skills to your job target.
4) Some graphics or pictures
A page full of text is not appealing to read. Find some art to go with your content. Maybe the art will be photos of you and your past co-workers. Maybe you will use pictures from a free photo-sharing site. I’m hesitant to suggest clipart, but if you find something nice, then use it. Just beware of using the same tired images from Word that are seen everywhere. Aim to be fresh. The art you create yourself is always the freshest. Check out the amazing art LinkedIn contributor Liz Ryan uses. Is it hand-drawn and scanned? I don’t know but it’s stunning!
5) A link to and from your social media sites
LinkedIn and other sites let you place one of their icons on your e-portfolio or other social networking sites. This is perfect for your e-portfolio. Similarly, you can place a link from your e-portfolio onto your social media sites. Your goal is to be accessible to your network; individuals in a network will have varying preferences for their research. If all your information is connected, the search between your sites becomes seamless.
These are five must-have sections in an e-portfolio. Keep in mind, there are many more nice-to-have additions like your photo, an audio or video introduction, details about your education and work history, your accomplishments and many more. If you’d like to learn more, check the e-portfolio program at ISSofBC.
About the Author: Gwen Pawlikowski is a freelance writer and entrepreneur who has also worked as an ISSofBC employment counsellor with newcomers. She lives in New Westminster and loves the diversity of the Lower Mainland. Please click here for information on ISSofBC’s career services.