By: Beth Mannella, Career Advising Fellow
Last month, our colleagues in the School of Communications hosted an informative panel about ePortfolios. Students from various majors within the School of Communications received first-hand feedback and information about developing an ePortfolio. If you work with ePortfolios in any capacity, I have provided the Top 5 Things to Consider, based on information from McKinney and FleishmanHillard employees who frequently view ePortfolios as part of talent acquisition processes!
1. What should I include on my ePortfolio?
The best balance of materials is 1-2 best examples from different categories – hone in on the BEST content. For example, include one example from a class assignment and one example from a student organization publication. Focus on quality and not quantity – share your work with industry professionals, peers, advisors, friends, and family to gather feedback as to which pieces stand out most and should go on your ePortfolio.
2. What about photos and my social media profiles?
Our panelists like photos on ePortfolios, and beyond that, recommend linking all social media platforms to your ePortfolio. Wherever you have a digital presence, link to it!
3. Should my resume mirror my ePortfolio?
These two separate documents should complement and support each other. They should NOT be mirror images of each other. For example, on your resume, explain what you did for a company/position. On your ePortfolio, showcase the actual work through graphics. One great option is to have a link to your resume as a supporting backend page for easy employer reference/downloadable option.
4. What about design and platforms – do employers have preferences?
Regardless of the platform, your ePortfolio needs to be organized, clean, and have a memorable URL address – no messy numbers/letters! Our panelists shared the most professional platforms are Square Space and Cargo Collective. These platforms are more design-oriented, reflecting true portfolio websites. As far as design, keep it clean, simple, and intuitive to navigate – the focus should be on your content, not the site itself.
5. Is there a benefit to purchasing a domain name?
YES! This is part of your brand and from a SEO (search engine optimization) perspective, having a domain name makes this a lot easier! However, it is important to note: an employer will not turn down your portfolio because it is not a self-owned domain.
Get your ePortfolio out to as many people as possible for feedback before you start sending it out for full-time jobs. You cannot receive too much feedback! You want to aim for ease of access when viewing your ePortfolio, so gain gut reactions to your materials and accessibility. In addition, there should be no typos – NONE! This is grounds for dismissing your candidacy. Ultimately, be unique!
Whether you are a student developing an ePortfolio, a career advisor working with students who create ePortfolios, or interested in developing your own ePortfolio, it is my hope these top five tips will help! A huge thanks to Marianne Gissane and Beth Stevenson for serving as panelists!