Career experts generally eschew inclusion of information about family, friends, pets, parties, hobbies, health, marital status, and religious, political, and social affiliations. Opinions are mixed about including photos in portfolios. Some experts feel they humanize the candidate, but others caution that including your photo can expose you to discrimination. But even if you decide to forego portrait-type photos of yourself, incorporating workplace photos that show you on the job in such situations as collaborating on team projects and winning awards can help you tell your story.
Developing Stories Through Portfolio Preparation
Job-seekers learn more about their own stories and qualifications by preparing a career portfolio, thus boosting their confidence and preparing them for job interviews regardless of whether they actually use the portfolio in the interview according to the Quintessential Careers study.
Creating a portfolio generates self-confidence and self-knowledge of your skills and strengths. In a sense, when you create the portfolio, you are constructing your story. You give yourself an opportunity to review and interpret your accomplishments and achievements in a way not experienced by those who don’t create portfolios. By using your print portfolio as a resource to prepare for interviews, you become more comfortable and confident in telling your story. Even if you don’t get the opportunity to present your portfolio to the employer, remembering your success stories through the visual cues you absorbed while reviewing it will help your interview performance.
A Web Portfolio Makes Your Story Accessible 24/7
One of the hot topics in job-hunting relates to the degree to which recruiters and human-resource professionals are “googling” prospective candidates. (using whatever search engine they wish, though “googling” has become an accepted term for this practice). The point of this exercise is to see what kind of information is available online about the job-seeker.
According to a recent study by ExecuNet, almost 80 percent of recruiters said they conducted Internet searches on candidates, and more than a third of them have eliminated candidates based on the results of the search.
A professional resume writer in the Quintessential Careers study said, “I believe the importance of an online presence for job-seekers parallels the importance of an online presence for companies 10 years ago, when the Web was first gaining traction. In time, as with Web sites for companies, an online presence will be second nature to job-seekers; the presence is like a resume but better, as it continues to promote them 24/7, and can provide more and better information than the traditional constraints of a paper resume allow.”