Alex Austin is a Graduate Administrative Associate with Engineering Career Services.
Do you ever get tired of trying to fit all of your experiences on a single page resume? Do you feel that simply explaining your projects doesn’t give them justice? Trying to figure out ways that you can set yourself apart from the competition?
If you responded yes to any of these questions, then the answer might be creating an online portfolio. Online portfolios are a great addition to your resume and other application materials. In a Forbes article they explain that, “According to Workfolio, a newly launched company that develops applications for professional visibility, 56% of all hiring managers are more impressed by a candidate’s personal website than any other personal branding tool—however, only 7% of job seekers actually have a personal website”. Take advantage of those numbers by standing out with a work portfolio. Here are some benefits to creating one:
Creative Freedom. Resumes need to be structured so that they make it through any Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) screening. For engineering students, resumes will be based almost exclusively in plain text and have very little design. An online portfolio allows you to break the mold! Using any site builder such as Wix or Weebly, you can design the feel and layout of your portfolio. The best online portfolios effortlessly highlight your skills, achievements and intellect in a creative way. Remember, it should still be easy to navigate and organized so employers can quickly find relevant content.
Increased Visibility. The more places you put your information, the better. In a digital world, having your professional experiences online can help employers learn more about you quickly. Keep your audience in mind—is it a corporation, consultancy, or firm? Utilize your portfolio to visually demonstrate the skills and creativity you would offer a prospective employer.
Stand Out To More Employers. According to Workfolio statistics, the vast majority of people do not have any kind of online portfolio. Offering one to an employer can help your interaction be memorable and meaningful. Highlight your various projects in greater detail, showing employers more of what you have been able to accomplish.
Reflect On Your Experiences. If you document each project in an online portfolio, you have a history of your meaningful achievements. In interviews you will need to rely on your past experiences when answering questions, and your online portfolio is a great reminder of your professional highlights.
"If you have anything really valuable to contribute to the world, it will come through the expression of your own personality, that single spark…that sets you off and makes you different from every other living creature." — Bruce Fairchild Barton, co-founder of Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn