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Recruiting 2.0: Online resumés and portfolios

Without fail, interviewers will always ask you the following question: Tell me about yourself.

“Well, I’m a recent graduate from such-and-such university and I majored in being the best that I can be. I consider myself an intelligent, hard-working, creative and passionate person. And, right now, I’m looking for the perfect position for me.”

If you’re one of the lucky few, most of that will be true!

However, as prospective candidates we can begin answering that question well before we reach the face-to-face interview. We possess the power to bring the employers to us; to wine them and dine them without even seeing their faces or hearing their voices.

Enter the Online Personal Brand

Your Online Personal Brand is a definitive representation of you that centres on differentiation, communicating your offered value, and honestly and strategically packaging your personal and professional self with a sense of vision and self-awareness.

Carve out your niche. Really tell them about yourself. Because, after all, employers want to get to know you.

After I was laid off, I started my own blog (centred on marketing – my professional field of interest) which doubles as an online resumé and online portfolio.

The online platform – that is, the Internet and all of its web applications – make developing an Online Personal Brand relatively simple. The central principle is that you must provide the definition and, ultimately, you control how the world sees you.

That same online platform, however, can also make it exceedingly difficult to be seen due to the high level of saturation within the blogosphere.

So, we have the Blog – a chance to thoughtfully parse out your opinion and educated insight on professionally related subjects.

The Online Biography – an open window into better understanding you (exercise discretion, of course).

The Online Portfolio – the show part of ‘show and tell,’ where the work you’ve done and what you’ve achieved can be adequately showcased.

With these elements, you can create the resumé of the future.

egg copy2 Recruiting 2.0: Online resumés and portfoliosTalentEgg Tip: Traditional resumés are far from dead at the moment, however, so don’t forget about it yet – most jobs still require an electronic or hard copy version of a traditional resumé. Venture online to be part of the growing number of people slowly changing that reality.

When it comes to thinking creatively about job hunting, we too often relinquish ourselves to the natural ebb and flow of job boards and online applications. They definitely serve an important purpose, but instead of waiting for a surge in demand for your brew of talent, create that demand yourself.

The benefits of online resumés and portfolios are many:

Worldwide Exposure

By creating a website or blog you enter into the wonderful world of search engines (most notably, Google). Instead of prospective employers stumbling upon your Facebook profile, they see www.you.com, something which accurately reflects who you are and why they should hire you.

You will also be exposed (and indirectly linked) to all other related blogs and websites – suddenly, your name and what you have to say matters and has the potential to be read by almost anyone in the world.

Your Brand

As stated above, your Online Personal Brand is your opportunity to show and tell others about yourself, from likes and dislikes, to professional goals, to quirks, qualms and other intangibles.

Branding boils down to presentation: the look and feel of a site, what you say and how you say it, and how seriously you take it all.

Controlling Your Brand

Being the mastermind behind your own online existence and means you control how employers and the web perceive you. However, don’t forget to Google yourself once in a while so you know about anything out of your control.

Definition = Content

Your words are powerful. Use your words to further define your web space because “excellent communication skills” are often at the top of any employer’s checklist.

What better way is there to showcase those skills than with subject matter you genuinely care about?

Network With Your Network

You are now a link. You can be linked to and you can link to others. The most powerful network imaginable has just opened its doors and you’ve decided to walk over the threshold.

This self-made web presence can effectively summarize you in a few simple clicks. This may sound scary and unattractive to those who don’t wish to be placed in a box.

However, it’s important to remember the ‘box’ is of your own creation and no one can better define you than you.

To get started, try out some of the following online resources

WordPress – Quick, easy and free blog hosting and setup

TypePad – Another great blogging software specifically for professionals and small businesses, but it has a cost

LinkedIn – A first step to building your professional network

How to write a Career Launching Resumé – Resumé-writing series by TalentEgg’s founder, Lauren Friese

Creating A Successful Online Portfolio – A cool guide to the dos and don’ts of online portfolios from Smashing Magazine

Written by

Simren Deogun recently graduated with high distinction from the management and English programs at the University of Toronto with a CGPA of 3.6. Her career goals include establishing herself within the field of marketing and communications, and engaging in writing or literature-related ventures in her free time. She enjoys dabbling in graphic design and is always finding new ways to enhance her skill set. She also developed and runs her own marketing blog.

7 comments

  1. April 10, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Great advice Simren. My only concern is the number of employers that will actually take notice. I think the answer to that question may be one of quality and not quantity. If an employer is taking notice of your online portfolio, blogs, and the rest I think they truly may be a diamond in the rough. However, as we see increasing layoffs that predominately affect baby-boomers, Generation Y may start setting the standard. If that new standard includes job screening involving everything you've talked about I will be quite happy.

  2. April 10, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Brian, your concern is certainly warranted. I think this article, as with many on the TalentEgg Incubator, are catered more towards Gen Y, who have the ability to transform the job hunting process for both seekers and employers. I see it as a matter of taking advantage of the resources available to 'you' and ultimately the onus is 'yours' to make employers notice — that's all part of the challenge!

  3. Jeremy O'Krafka
    April 10, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    Simren, I really enjoyed your post. It was well thought out with some excellent resource links. I understand Brian's concern, but look at this strategy a little differently. My belief is that your online brand serves two important purposes in your job search and career management. 1) It gets you noticed and recognized by other professionals in your field. I like your reply, that it is your responsibility to get employers to take notice. This also includes anyone else with influence who may be able to help tap you into the 80% of jobs that aren't advertised. Tools like LinkedIn and Twitter are excellent gateways to entice people to click through to your blog/website. 2) Your online brand represents you, once you have been noticed by and employer and are under consideration for a job. Having your website/blog pop up first on a Google search for your name is a great strategy to manage the inevitable online reference check.

  4. July 13, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    My thoughts exactly Jeremy!

  5. April 20, 2010 at 2:59 am

    This blog article presented me a full load of ideas, many thanks for sharing

  6. May 21, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    What a great blog. Glad to see that it is so popular.

  7. June 8, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    I must be getting old. From back in the day compared to now, putting something decent together has gotten crazy simple. Man, I am amazed at what you can do now.

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