If there is one aspect of online presence that job seekers should create and develop, it’s the online portfolio.
According to a recent Forbes article, 56 percent of all hiring managers are more impressed by a candidate’s online portfolio than any other personal branding tool. However, only 7 percent of job seekers have created an online portfolio.
Here are four reasons why every job seeker should have their own online portfolio:
1. Increased visibility
Your job search is all about marketing yourself, getting your name out there, and becoming known. The resume, cover letter, networking, and online portfolio are all tools that allow a job seeker to accomplish this task. In this competitive job market, every tool and potential advantage should be utilized.
It should be as easy as possible for hiring managers to find information about you, and creating a online portfolio increases your visibility and accessibility. Another benefit of having a strong online presence is that you can ensure the most current, professional, and accurate information about you is available online. Maybe the right question to ask is: why wouldn’t you create a portfolio?
2. Added value to job applications
An online portfolio can act as an extension of your other job application materials by allowing you to market yourself beyond your resume or cover letter. It provides a platform to put forth other materials that your resume and cover letter don’t feature in order to show evidence of skills and qualifications that you possess.
There is also greater freedom and flexibility allowed when creating a portfolio. You can include photos, video, and links to your work, recommendations, writing samples, presentation slides, and website designs.
It’s convenient to have all your professional documents and information organized in a single place. The next time someone asks for a copy of your latest resume, all the professional materials and information you may need will be accessible online and from any computer. It can also serve as a backup for these materials in case something happens to the originals.
A portfolio can also be used as a tool to assess your own skills and professional growth. Having all these professional documents and activities gathered in one space allows you to see what you’ve accomplished, strengths, weaknesses, and identify what might need improvement. It can also serve as a confidence booster when needed.
As is the case with any part of an online presence, just creating a portfolio is not enough. It should be tweaked and updated as time goes on. The purpose of creating the online portfolio is so others could see it. Promoting your website is therefore equally important. Make sure to include a link to your portfolio on resumes, cover letters, business cards, social media profiles, e-mail signature, article biographies, and presentations.
Alexandra Janvey, the author of this post, is a librarian and avid writer. You can find her on Twitter at @Alliebrwneyez.
Ask Levo Mentor Chelsea Burcz, freelance writer, how she keeps her work visible online!