Take Your Resume, Light a Match, and BURN IT
Now, while your resume is turning to ash, do yourself a favor. Give yourself an advantage over 99% (making that up, but it’s high) of your career competition.
Make an eportfolio. (Also known as an “electronic portfolio,” or “online portfolio”)
Nobody Cares About Your Black and White Resume Document
When you personally want to find information on a topic or find information on a person, where do you look?
If I had a guess, I’d say you probably start with a popular search engine such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo… or maybe a social media platform such as Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.
So if that’s where you’re looking for information, where do you suppose your prospective job employers are looking?
You guessed it! Search engines and social media platforms!
Congratulations! You get a shiny star sticker!
Burn the resume. Build an eportfolio. TWEET THIS!
Let’s Get Serious About Your Job Search
In all seriousness though, what would I find in Google if I typed in your name?
Assuming your last name isn’t Smith, Johnson, Jones or other prevalent surname (that can crowd a person out of search engine results), would I find helpful (read “employable”) information about you if I typed your name into Google?
I hope the answer is “Yes.” And if the answer is “No,” I hope you just mean you don’t have an online presence and NOT “Sweet mother of pearl, I PRAY a prospective employer doesn’t search for me in Google!!” Feel free to use your imagination here of things people have online that they wouldn’t want an employer to see.
3 Reasons You Need to Build Your Website Now
I write all this because I care about you.
Whether I know you personally or not doesn’t matter. What DOES matter is me helping someone like you who wants to have a professional presence online and who wants to control your online image to the world.
If you consider yourself someone who takes initiative to grow and succeed in your life and your work, you are the type of person I enjoy helping.
If you are lazy, hate hard work, think of 1,001.3 excuses not to start something unfamiliar to you because you’re afraid to fail, then feel free to pick up your bag of mediocrity and head on out.
If you’ve chosen to stay, and aren’t quite convinced you need an eportfolio, here are 3 reasons:
- Your eporfolio will help you stand out. Bottom line: If 10 candidates apply for a job, and the employer gets 9 black and white resumes and one professional eportfolio, which candidate do you think will engage the employer more?
- Your eportfolio is discoverable and dynamic. When your prospective employer searches for information on you online (and they WILL search for you online), give them something powerful to look at. You cannot rely on job sites such as CareerBuilder to do all the work for you. And, unlike a static resume, your eportfolio is ever-changing. When you have new updates and accomplishments, you can add it to your eportfolio and it’s instantly available. And when people return to your website, you can be assured they have the latest information.
- Your eportfolio gives YOU power and control over your online image. First impressions create or kill your career. Do you want to be in control of what people find out about you online, or do you want someone else to have that control? I know my answer.
Eportfolio AND Resume/Vitae (Not in lieu of a resume/vitae)
Understand that I do believe a resume or curriculum vitae is important. The point is that just submitting a resume digitally or via print is NOT where you should stop.
If an employer insists on a printed resume or a Word Document of a resume, great! You STILL need to make your professional website known by including within your resume and in with all your other correspondence .
Once you have your website ready, that URL should be right next to your email address and phone number whenever you include a signature or your contact information.
Just wanted to be clear on that. Your resume/vitae is definitely part of a solid eportfolio.
What to Include in an Eportfolio
I’ll keep this short for now. At the bare minimum, include these 3 pages in addition to your websites home page:
- About – Tell about yourself but, most importantly, share how you can provide value to others/organizations
- “Resume” or “Vitae” – At the very least, offer a link to your resume/vitae in PDF format. Even better, include highlights in your actual page. I suggest not uploading the Word .doc file if you can help it. And I especially suggest not uploading a .page file (or whatever that file type is from a Mac)… employers with PCs will likely NOT be able to open a Pages file type.
- Contact – Include a contact form page. And I actually suggest included your contact info in the header or footer or sidebar too so that it appears on every page. The goal is to make it easy for potential employers to contact you. A contact form page links with the email address you specify without sharing your email address on your website. If you’re open to it though, feel free to include your email address and/or phone number on your website. I do suggest, however, to avoid putting your home address on your website. Keep this in mind when you upload your resume/vitae PDF if you have your address in that document.
Many would argue with me at this point and say, “Hey! You left out the “portfolio” part of your eportfolio!” I agree. That’s why I called it the “bare minimum” to just add an About page, a Resume page, and a Contact page. I admire the person who’s at least willing to start with that in their eportfolio endeavors. BUT, while you could stop at those three things and still be ahead of 95% of prospects, I highly recommend continuing with a fourth page which would be artifacts of your work… the actual “Portfolio” part in your “Eportfolio” website.
As you already know, employers LOVE to see proof of your value. “What have you done?” Your prospective employer is (figuratively) shouting, “Don’t tell me, SHOW me how you’ve achieved results!”
So answer that employer! Grab your demo videos, professional project pictures, spreadsheets, documents, testimonials, Pulitzer Prizes, and Moon Landing photos and include your best successes on an Artifacts page (though you can label it something else. Just make it clear).
There are always more pages/items you could include, but start with the basics. These are the core of a useful eportfolio.
Will You Let Me Help You Get Started?
You deserve a beneficial online presence. I have free resources waiting for you.
I plan to create tutorial videos soon to help you each step of the way. Be the first to find out when they’re released. Sign up for my newsletter.
In the meantime, here’s what I suggest to help you:
- Start with my free ebook to give you some base knowledge in getting started with a new website.
- Subscribe to my free Building a Website Pro podcast in iTunes that guides you in building your own website with WordPress.
- Watch me build a website in 3 minutes. I recorded it with a timer on-screen to show you how simple it is to get started. Watch Now
That’s all I have for now, but I will be updating this article again soon as I add resources.
The important thing is to get started.
You deserve a personal website. It’s definitely worth it.
And for goodness sake, clean up that smoldering resume you burned earlier before you start a REAL fire. 🙂
All the best,