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March 30, 2017

Why Career Fairs and Jobs Boards Alone Won’t Land Your Dream Job

Career fairs and job boards have long been the foundation for which students build their employment searches on. And that can be a mistake. Don’t misunderstand. Both career fairs and job boards have their advantages. At a career fair, you get face-to-face time with recruiters, a feel for what a company offers, and what their culture is like. On the other hand, job boards are a great jumping off point as you begin applying for employment. Here’s the problem: if you rely solely on either, you run the risk of missing out on landing the job you really want. Give employers another way to connect with you via a digital portfolio.

Digging Deeper with Data

Adding a digital portfolio to your job search mix offers potential employers a more detailed picture of what you can offer. A digital portfolio is dynamic and fluid, which speaks louder than static words on a resume. This is where Portfolium can help. When you create a profile with us, you leave a trail of visual proof of your skills, growth, abilities, and experiences through digital artifacts (e.g., documents, graphics, and presentations) that serve as a map for employers to find you. And the more samples and skills you share, the more complete your profile is. And since employers and recruiters usually search by skill sets, a more complete profile gives you a better shot at being found—and hired! And digital portfolios aren’t just for those with art or tech backgrounds. Every major produces some form of work that can be showcased in a digital portfolio. Additionally, students also gain competencies from their many extracurricular activities that can be displayed as well. All this information helps employers find the candidates that demonstrate strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Other advantages of a digital portfolio are:

  • Building an online presence. Eighty-percent of employers Google your name before even considering inviting you for an interview!
  • Gaining a 10-percent advantage over other candidates because a digital portfolio demonstrates a serious commitment to the job interview process.
  • Integration of college education with work-based learning and illustrating how one supports the other.
  • Keeping your work updated and organized all in one place, which makes applying for jobs more streamlined.

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What’s in Your Portfolium?

Your ultimate goal should be to present a well-rounded version of yourself. So, start by brainstorming what kinds of things you can pull together for each category. We’ve put together a handful of idea starters and suggestions:

School and Professional Works and Projects

  • Work samples from previous and current class assignments, research projects, or group projects.
  • Evidence of specific technical skills (e.g., website development, event planning).
  • Evidence of specific soft skills (e.g., communication, conflict resolution).
  • Academic honors, degrees, certifications/certificates, licenses and awards you’ve received.

Personal Interests, Activities, and Volunteer Work

  • Nonprofit/charity work (personal or corporate sponsored).
  • Travel experiences (personal or study abroad).
  • Proof of professional affiliations and leadership roles held.
  • Special training or independent (self-taught) learning.

Other artifacts to add are your personal or professional mission statement and links to your personal blog and social media profiles. After all, you’re trying to make it easier for employers and recruiters to find and hire you!

Share with us in the comments how a digital portfolio has helped with your job search.

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Photo Courtesy of: pixels.com

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