Designing (and Maintaining) an ePortfolio

by Brad McNally, Head Editor, INALJ Ohio

Designing (and Maintaining) an ePortfolio

bradmcnallyOnline presence is an interesting thing for job seekers. On one hand, the easier it is to find out information about a candidate, the more a potential employer might feel confident that the hire is a good decision. On the other, a poorly managed (or offensive) digital presence can lead a hiring manager to keep on looking.

An effective ePortfolio can be just as useful as any other tool in your job search and it is a great way to build a digital presence that you have control over. Being able to include a URL on the top of your resume can lead a potential employer to a larger amount of information about you as a candidate. Here are three things to remember when designing yours:

Update It Often

Many online portfolios feature a large amount of work when the applicant was a student. This is often because the ePortfolio project is featured as part of many MLS programs. The problem with this is that once you have moved on from graduate school you are still learning and accomplishing things. You wouldn’t send out a resume that was a year old for a newly posted position – don’t do the same thing with your online portfolio.

Personalize It Tastefully

Make it professional, by all means, but add a bit of personality. This is a chance to showcase your skills in a different way. Check out some design sites and look into themes for your chosen CMS. WordPress has a huge variety of themes, as do many others. The skills you are using to make the site show through, so try to make it something to be proud of. Something engaging and not too over the top might be memorable for any prospective employer. Of course, consider your audience as well. If you are seeking a job in archives, a portfolio that showcases your work with children creating crafts may be less useful, but publications and a full CV could definitely help.

Promote It Consistently

A link to your ePortfolio should be included in your contact information on resumes and business cards, as well as anywhere else appropriate. Include your LinkedIn information as well, or make that part of the design. Some job seekers feel that this is pushy, but it is a step toward personal branding. You want to market yourself as the best possible candidate. By building up yourself as a brand, you can distinguish yourself from other candidates and show that you are an expert in your field.