Whether you are planning your strategy to land that first corporate dream job, or making some major changes to your career goals, you need a killer resume and portfolio as part of your job-search toolkit. More than just presenting a bunch of information about yourself, having a portfolio will give you a chance to:
- Showcase your work;
- Give future employers greater insight into what you can bring to the table.
Out with the Old
Before you start creating or updating your resume and cover letter however, take a moment to think about how you want to present yourself and what you can offer. As you know, presentation is everything. When it comes to getting that highly coveted job, your resume should not just be about going through the motions and complying with job requirements.
In the digital age we now live in, the use of a traditional black and white resume in MS Word is becoming a thing of the past. A digital resume and a portfolio will give you that strategic edge, significantly enhance your career options, and even increase you compensation package by as much as 50%.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that a digital resume is a shortcut. In fact, it will possibly require you to put in 10 times more work and effort. A digital resume is also risky because it is a blatant way of standing out from the rest. It can work either for you or against you.
But… predictability is not only boring, it is also painfully dull. If you do it the way it has always been done, you are likely to get the same predictable results. So, if you are done with blending in, it is time to put in some solid effort and a serious dose of creativity to creating your digital resume and portfolio.
Create an Outline
To steer you in the right direction, create an outline for your digital resume and portfolio that will provide answers to the following questions:
- What have you done in the past?
- Are you a better candidate than everyone else?
- How will your future employer know you can be as successful as you’ve been in the past?
- What results can you deliver?
- What do people you have worked with in the past have to say about you?
Additionally, if you plan to post and make your digital resume and portfolio available online, there are certain guidelines you need to also keep in mind. You don’t want spammers and identity thieves to have access to your personal information. So here are a few pointers to help you protect your online security:
- Never include your physical address.
- Spell out your email address like this: yourname [at] domain.com instead of the usual firstname.lastname@example.org
- Avoid long job descriptions. Focus on highlighting the company, your job title, and tenure.
Options for Preparing and Carrying Your Digital Resume and Portfolio
There are various ways you can prepare and carry your digital resume and portfolio. Ideally, you will want one that you can easily access and share at any time an opportunity arises. For example, you can save it to a USB drive (flash drive, jump drive) that you can carry around with you during important meetings and interviews.
Here are some great options you will want to consider:
Portable Drive. The most convenient option is to save your digital resume and portfolio to a USB flash drive. You can carry with you to make sure you always have it should opportunities present themselves.
Personal Web Page. If you have your own website or blog, consider uploading your digital resume and portfolio there. However, if you don’t have one, there are a number of online tools you can use to create a stunning and highly impressive digital resume and portfolio. You can make a great page using the following:
Go Social. There are a number of professional networking platforms that you can use not just to post your digital resume and showcase your portfolio, but also to connect with people in your industry and expand your network.
- LinkedIn profile
- Visually Resume Template
- Facebook Timeline Resume
Create a Video. Consider creating a demo reel that will showcase you as a person and enhance your online portfolio. However, creating a video can be quite tricky, as you need to make sure it conveys the right message.
Infographic. If you are looking for a way to highlight your creativity, an infographic is an extremely popular way of sharing information in a viewer-friendly manner.
Whatever method you plan to use for your digital resume and portfolio, make sure you plan it out carefully. Present yourself in a professional manner. Take into account your target audience, and what is the best way to highlight your portfolio.