A few months ago, Hack Library School posted about e-portfolios and their benefits. Ever since, I’ve been working on creating my very own e-portfolio and thought that I would share some of the things that I’ve learned. I’m working on a 4 part series that describes the different things I’ve been thinking about while designing and creating my e-portfolio including content, design, publishing, and mobile.
The first step is to decide what content you want to include in your Web site. This really includes any kind of Web site or e-Portfolio–you have to know how you want to portray yourself to your audience and what information you want to give them. The way I see it, there are 4 important categories of information: the About Me, Experience, Work Samples, and Links.
1. Start off with your “About Me” type page. What do you want to tell people? I’m in the midst of a job search so I saw this as a kind of secondary cover letter. Mine is 4 short paragraphs and a bulleted list. I tried to keep it personal but professional–but most importantly, SHORT. People don’t want to read your autobiography, so just give them relevant details.
2.You’ll also want to give people an idea of your previous experience. This could just be a link to your LinkedIn profile, but it also could be a more in depth portrayal of the different things you’ve done. I went with a kind of untraditional resume format and listed position descriptions organized by skill. This way I get to highlight the skills I’ve been working on and back up those skills with positions.
3. People want to see what you can do! Giving them samples and examples is a great way to set yourself apart from others, especially if you worked on a unique project or product. Like the experience, my samples are organized by skills. Again, I wanted to highlight the skills first, then provide support.
Make sure to ask permission to post your samples. Did you work in a group project? Make sure your group members don’t mind you posting the project online. Did you create something for an internship or job? Ask your supervisor if it’s okay to post. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
4. You have other online profiles, right? LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc.? It’s a great idea to link between the different services that you use–but make sure they’re actually services you want to share with professional connections. For example, Facebook is a social network for me–not a professional one. I only share my Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ because those services are ones that I curate for my library connections.
There are a lot of resources that talk about curating your online presence, and it’s really important to follow them. One of the ones that struck me most was to keep a united front! Use the same (or similar) pictures across sites. Use the same (or similar) descriptions of yourself. Make sure people know when they’ve found you on different services–it’ll help you come off as a well-rounded individual!
iLibrarian has a great post with 17 easy tips for managing your online presence. I recommend you read this and start thinking about it while you’re creating your e-portfolio. I know I have been!
When you create these pages, make sure to portray yourself accurately, but also be your own cheerleader! It’s important to recognize that you are a great person and you’ve done some really impressive things. Don’t be afraid to brag!