You are reading this on a screen, so you already are active online and getting information from the Internet. Surely, you know you are not alone in this. Employers do it, too.
The question is how actively are you controlling your own online reputation and presence?
A quick Google search of your own name will give you a hint. These days, we are all Googling each other and the results are 1) revealing, 2) occasionally surprising, and sadly for some job seekers, 3) horrifying.
If your experience has been 3), talk to friends and acquaintances and ask them to take down embarrassing photos or comments about you. Then build your e-portfolio so that the results of a search give you a strong, positive online presence.
ISSofBC offers e-portfolio development with Mahara, a program that lets you upload a mix of text, image and media files. Rich in information about work history and accomplishments, Mahara e-portfolios offer a well-rounded portrait. We believe in the power of e-portfolios to present anyone to the world. Here’s why:
1) Traditional resumes are dying.
Sad but true, those two sheets of paper rarely compete with an employer’s Google search of your name. Don’t agree that the traditional resume is on the way out? Check out this recent article in Forbes:
The writer compares the filtering of information. In a traditional resume, the writer chooses what to include. In a Google search of an applicant, the employer does the filtering, sorting through information to find relevant skills and experience. Some employers feel they get more truth from Google.
Although resumes may be on the way out, rules that govern organization of the information remain. Apply them to your e-portfolio and LinkedIn profile. Plus, until the traditional resume actually flatlines, you can embed it in your portfolio.
2) An e-portfolio is less restricted than a resume.
You have much more space to present yourself on the Internet. No two-page limit to curtail your creativity.
3) An e-portfolio is much more attractive than a resume.
Traditional resumes don’t allow you to have videos, images or sound files. E-portfolios do. They are just like a website and you can use multiple elements to demonstrate your skills and talents.
4) E-portfolios allow you to review and reflect on your career.
All that information you used to keep in a master resume (or in your head) can now be stored electronically and reflect your vast career experience. You can see yourself (and strengths and weaknesses) in a longterm way, which helps you with decision making and planning.
5) E-portfolios show proof you are part of the 21st century.
The creation of an e-portfolio requires some computer and Internet skill. You seem a lot more computer savvy than if you are just carrying around paper and albums of your work.
LinkedIn is only one result; more is better
Use multiple social media sites to create a strong online presence. An e-portfolio that lives at www.yourname.com would be ideal and sure to top the list of search results. Add LinkedIn and others that you have built.
Now that I have urged you to create an e-portfolio, let me also suggest that you shouldn’t panic about it. Patiently assemble your online materials to produce quality. Many of us have work that doesn’t show up online; start finding ways to move it into cyberspace. Scan, upload, collect. These are the first steps to making your e-portfolio and manage your online presence.
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.