How to Use Your ePortfolio to Tell Your Story

by Leila Mustafa

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 21 seconds

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Our own Leila Mustafa wrote this post...hopefully, about her experience that brought her here opposed to anything she better not be thinking currently! Enjoy.]

Six seconds. That’s about as long as it takes for recruiters and hiring managers to review your resume, according to this story from the HR networking website, TheLadders

You can’t underestimate the power this single piece of paper possesses, so you should probably let someone else read it besides Microsoft Word’s spell-check. If you’re anything like me, you probably have trouble keeping your resume to the ideal length of one page. You want your interviewer to know your previous positions, but also what you accomplished and learned while you were there.

Wouldn’t it be nice to give your prospective employer another way to see the real you?

During my senior year at Southern Methodist University, I took a class dedicated to the job hunt. Michele Houston was my instructor and worked hard to improve her students’ “self brands.” One of the major components of this was maintaining our ePortfolios, which I couldn't stop thinking about when I read this story. 

Michele taught me that if you have trouble keeping your resume short, you can utilize an ePortfolio to tell the story you can’t fit on one page – but please, spare the details about your hometown and how many brothers and sisters you have.

Here are a few tips to make your ePortfolio more than simply an online resume:

  • Use it to give data – if you were an editor at your local newspaper, this is definitely an accomplishment. If you managed a staff of 30 people, that’s even more impressive. If you can give the circulation of the paper, you may save your prospective employer some time searching for that information. Since you aren’t as limited on your ePortfolio, you don’t really have a good reason not to give the numbers.    
  • Use it to show what you can do - If you have writing samples or video editing clips, show them off! If they aren’t on your ePorfolio, it’s as if they don’t exist. If you wrote a research paper that you are proud of that wasn’t published, upload it to a document-sharing website such as Scribd and embed the code on your website. 
  • Use it to show you are a thought leader – No matter what field you work in, being able to write about new developments in your field is always a good idea. This is a great way to engage your colleagues and start conversations that they care about. If you are in between jobs, this can show that you are still being active in your field.

Good luck on your job search! 

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