November 17, 2005
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CAREER PORTFOLIOS: PROOF OF PERFORMANCE
Research conducted with recruiters and career professionals identifies value in the use of career portfolios for all job-seekers
(QUINTESSENTIAL CAREERS: DeLand, FL) — Job-seekers learn more about themselves and their qualifications by preparing a career portfolio, thus making them more confident and prepared for job interviews — regardless of whether they actually used the portfolio in the interview — according to Career Portfolios: Proof of Performance, a research study released by Quintessential Careers, one of the Web’s oldest and most comprehensive career development sites.
In a time when many employers are skeptical of the claims many job-seekers make on their resumes concerning their experiences and contributions, a career portfolio can be just the tool to use to show rather than tell.
With Career Portfolios: Proof of Performance, Quintessential Careers examines a number of key job-seeker issues, including the growing importance of having an online presence, overwhelming value of developing career portfolios, how and when to use portfolios, the emerging trend of online portfolios, discussion of key elements that should be included in portfolios, and the necessary balance between content and design.
Career Portfolios: Proof of Performance, which was developed to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the founding of Quintessential Careers, involved a virtual focus-group approach, covered a number of issues related to career portfolios and emerging trends in managing an online presence, and included separate focus groups with recruiters and career professionals.
“There’s no question — both from the current research project as well as other sources — of the trend toward career portfolios,” states Dr. Randall Hansen, founder of Quintessential Careers and associate professor of marketing at Stetson University, DeLand, FL.
“Job-seekers can gain more insight and confidence in themselves by creating the portfolios, and hiring managers can identify tangible evidence of previous work and proof of performance,” adds Katharine Hansen, creative director of Quintessential Careers and lecturer of management at Stetson University.
Among the findings of the study:
- One of the hot topics in job-hunting relates to the growing tendency for recruiters and human resource professionals to “google” prospective candidates. The point of this exercise (using whatever search engine they wish, though “googling” has become an acceptable term for this practice) is to see what kind of information is available online about the job-seeker. Most of the study participants described searches for a candidate’s online presence as an emerging trend that is not yet in widespread use — except, perhaps, for higher level positions (where one would expect to find more, but where the stakes are also higher).
- Both the recruiters and career professionals found great value in the process for job-seekers of developing of portfolios — if for no other reason than the added confidence job-seekers gained from preparing simply preparing the portfolio.
- Several strategies can be deployed to get the portfolio into the hands of the interviewer. The portfolio can be used at the beginning of the interview, especially if the interviewer uses the traditional question that asks the job-seeker to describe him/herself. The portfolio can also be used to help answer a question about a specific type of problem or work situation. As a component in answering the questions, the job-seeker can show similar work in the portfolio.
- Most of the focus-group participants recognize the value of online portfolios, but think that the emphasis is — and should be for the short-term at least — on print portfolios, then developing an online portfolio after the print version has been developed. Several reinforced that online portfolios make the most sense for white-collar professionals, especially those involved with the Internet.
- Career portfolios should be filled with artifacts and information that clearly show the job-seeker’s accomplishments and tell a story of why the job-seeker is the ideal candidate for the position s/he is seeking.
Beyond Career Portfolios: Proof of Performance, added for the site’s anniversary, visitors will find more than 250 articles and tutorials on all aspects of job-hunting, from career exploration to job-offer negotiation included in the now more than 2,500 pages that comprise the site. New in 2005 is the Quintessential Job Board. The site also reviews and links to more than 1,400 external job boards and company career centers, including job sites in all industries in the U.S. and around the world. Visitors will also find career information on writing cover letters and resumes, mastering job interviews, and negotiating salaries.
Throughout its nine years on the Web, Quintessential Careers has strived to be a job-seeker’s one convenient source for virtually all career information ‘ from college to retirement, offering expert advice on all aspects of job-hunting, including tips, resources, and examples to help job-seekers write a stellar resume and cover letter; information to prepare for job interviews; techniques for negotiating higher salaries; strategies for successfully changing careers; as well as advice and resources for returning to college and/or attending graduate school.
Besides the gradual increase in the site in these nine years, from a professor’s Website to one of the dominate career sites on the Web, the site has also seen a record increase in visitors, from a few thousand back in 1996 to more than a million unique visitors in October 2005.
In addition to teaching marketing at Stetson University and serving as Webmaster of Quintessential Careers and publisher of QuintZine, Randall Hansen also writes a weekly career advice column under the name The Career Doctor, and is co-author of the cover letter bible, Dynamic Cover Letters, now in its third edition. Katharine Hansen, creative director of Quintessential Careers, is the co-author of Dynamic Cover Letters and author of Dynamic Cover Letters for New Graduates and A Foot in the Door: Networking Your Way into the Hidden Job Market.
Quintessential Careers has received more than 100 awards and honors, been recognized in numerous career books and magazines, and welcomed the praises of career counselors, job-seekers, and employers from throughout the U.S. and around the world. Its articles have been reprinted in all forms of media around the world.
Editorial Note: More background about Quintessential Careers can be found at https://www.livecareer.com/quintessential/home.html.
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