Online Portfolios: The Evolution of Sharing Professional Achievements

These systems, also known as e-folios, provide tools enabling you to organize, manage, and display your academic and career information through multimedia platforms that effectively promote your achievements. Eventually they may replace the printed resume altogether. Portfolios Featured imageare already being used and taught in many schools. Young people entering the workforce are coming with skills to take advantage of this emerging career advancement technology, and you can learn to do the same with popular sites like LinkedIn.

Once you have a LinkedIn profile, it can be developed as a simple, easy-to-use e-folio system. However, most people don’t take advantage of the visual display capabilities available. Work samples including videos, presentations, photos, letters of recommendations, awards, and other graphics can be added to the Summary, Education, and Experience sections LinkedIn profiles.  Scroll down to the section you want and move your cursor over the “add media icon” (it looks like a square with a plus sign).

Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/54/Wix.com_Logo.pngIf you want to develop a more sophisticated e-folio, there are several online platforms that you can use at no cost. Some states provide platforms; Minnesota residents can create an e-folio at www.efoliominnesota.com. There are also other free sites where individuals can select an attractive pre-designed template and enter any content they’d like to share. Among them are www.wix.com and http://yola.com.

The following tips will help you develop and use an online portfolio to showcase your career achievements:

  • Display a summary of your objectives, goals, and accomplishments on the first page that visitors see and make sure the contents of the portfolio relate back to that information.
  • Select work examples that reflect your objective. You may include the following in your portfolio if applicable:
    • Professional philosophy/mission statement
    • Resume
    • Reference list
    • Samples of your best work, including reports, papers, studies, brochures, projects, presentations, videos, and other multimedia content
    • Testimonials and letters of recommendations
    • Favorable employer evaluations and reviews
    • Awards and honors
    • Professional development activities, including seminars, conferences, and workshops attended
    • Transcripts, degrees, licenses, and certifications
    • Military records, awards, and badges
    • Volunteering/community service
  • Concisely reflect on the challenges you’ve faced, the skills you’ve used and developed, and provide a concise description of each piece of work you include.
  • Proof your portfolio and get it critiqued before sending its link to a referred user.
  • Don’t include photographs of yourself unless it conveys a skill or it’s included in an “About Me” section.

Online Portfolios: The Evolution of Sharing Professional AchievementsWhen you are preparing for an interview, select only the items from your portfolio that are most important to show your relevant qualifications. Make high quality color copies to display at appropriate times in the interview. Use a small three-ring binder with sheet protectors for interview presentations. Practice displaying your portfolio pieces before using them in interviews, and send copies or e-folio links to the interviewer(s) following the interview.

While the most obvious help your portfolio might be is selling your qualifications for a job, a career portfolio can also be useful in helping you realize themes in your work that can assist in your decision making about your next steps. Remember your portfolio is a living document; it needs to be kept up to date. If it is, it may very well attract a new employer.

What types of content would you include in your e-folio? Tell us in the comments below.


Clara Hurd Nydam, Chief Talent Strategist, established the company in 1989 in MN and in 1994 WI. Clara sold her interest to current CEO, Cory Erickson, in 2014. Clara is known for coaching thousands to achieve successful career transitions. She holds a BS in Education from the University of South Dakota, and a M.Div. from Bethel University, MN. Her professional designations include Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and Master Career Development Professional from NCDA.


Career Partners International provides top quality talent management services to organizations of all sizes. Their offices around the world help assessengagedevelop, and transition talent in any industry. To find out more about Career Partners International and how you can maximize your organizational performance, reach out to an office near you or contact us today!

Are You Targeting Your Job Search?

BY DEBORAH BIDDLE, Talent Management Consultant

Searching for a new job, whether your career transition is planned or unexpected, often seems like a monumental task.  It’s tempting to jump right in and send out as many resumes as possible.  Slowing down and organizing yourself is a critical first step and taking the time to target your job search makes the seemingly overwhelming task manageable.

As a first step, identify the characteristics of an organization that are important to you in your next role.  Defining these criteria helps to narrow the list of possible companies and create your targets.  Your criteria will be unique to you, as it will include the factors that are most important to you.  Some examples of criteria to consider include:

  • Company size
  • Culture
  • Benefits
  • Advancement opportunities
  • Commute/travel

Once you’ve identified your key criteria, you’ll have the basis for evaluating companies and creating your target list.  However, this is only the beginning.

The next step is to consider how your skills and career goals match the needs of your target organizations.  Consider what you are passionate about, what kind of companies would allow you to pursue your interests, and what kind of work satisfies you.  Think through your problem-solving preference, i.e. people problems versus systems problems.  Determine your technology interests and how your target organizations use technology.  Take all of this into account when considering the organizational goals of your target companies and if you will be energized by working toward fulfilling the company’s mission.

Once you have completed the first two steps, you are ready to research potential companies and further define your list to target. This is an essential step to finding the right job.  It’s more efficient and strategic than sending out a resume for every job opening you come across.  The initial time spent to investigate companies pays off; it will allow you to use your time to apply only to companies who have met your criteria and for whom you want to work.  The objective of a targeted job search is not only to determine the best companies and industries for you, but also to solidify the types of positions you desire, and identify the qualifications your target companies want in candidates.

To develop your list of prospective employers, research companies who have met your criteria and create a database. The quickest and easiest way to gather the information you need is the through the internet.  Vast resources are available to help you.

The following list of resources is just a small grouping of the tools available to help you with targeting your job search.  An outplacement consultant can help you with strategies to verify and expand upon the resources listed below.

  1. OneSource Global Business Browser: Search for companies by geographical area, industry, company size, and other relevant criteria to find companies that match your needs.
  2. Google Search:  Search for people, products, and services within companies. This is a great way to find the contact information for the companies you choose to target.
  3. Google Alerts:  Use Google to send recently published data from your target companies directly to your email inbox. Use company names, decision-maker names, key words and phrases, and the target company’s products and services to set up the alerts.
  4. LinkedIn:  Follow the Company Profiles of your target companies as a way to locate important information, as well as search key words and browse industry data. Check personal profiles of key leaders and decision makers.  Join the LinkedIn Groups to which decision makers in your target companies belong.  Contribute and position yourself as a subject matter expert.  View your connections at the company, along with new hires, promotions, job posts, and company statistics. Liz Lynch, a smart-networking expert, suggests ways to use LinkedIn Company Profiles for a job search on the Personal Branding Blog, The Hidden Goldmine Within the LinkedIn Companies Tab.  LinkedIn can also be useful for networking into your target companies…but that is a topic for another post!
  5. Twitter:  Search for your target companies and key decision makers.  Follow, listen to, and retweet them regularly (Twitter Help and Strategies for Executive Job Search and Personal Branding).
  6. Forbes:  Use various categorized lists with links to detailed company data to narrow your company search and find companies that match your criteria.
  7. ZoomInfo:  Search people, companies, and industry keywords.
  8. Fortune 500:  Contains valuable information, including company CEOs (with contact information), revenues, profits, assets, market value.
  9. Glassdoor:  Contains job listings, salaries and employee reviews.
  10. Google Finance:  Includes real-time financial news, stock quotes, and key company statistics and summaries.
  11. IndeedSimplyHired and Linkup: Search job descriptions and open positions for your target companies. Find information to help you align your qualifications with the requirements for those companies.
  12. Libraries:  Seek out librarians, who are often research experts, to help you find the off-line resources and company information needed to aid your targeted career search.
  13. Chamber of Commerce:  Use the national directory to help you locate a local Chamber of Commerce with lists of local companies to target and research.
  14. Company Website Job Listings:  Review the job opportunities within target companies by visiting the employment or current openings sections.  Directly apply online.  You may also be able to set up job alerts.
  15. Facebook:  Check Facebook groups and Company Pages for your target companies.  Look to connect with current and former employees who you know.
  16. Twellow:  Search the people directory by profession, expertise, profession or other information listed on personal Twitter profiles.

Having the determination to target your job search efforts is important.  Matching your criteria, goals and qualifications with the companies you target focuses your search and helps you avoid precious time applying to jobs or companies that are not an ideal fit.

What resources have you used in your job search to define your target company list?