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Portfolios – Not Just For the Art Kids Anymore

Welcome to 2013, when social media isn’t enough – even an awesome LinkedIn profile and a clever Twitter page. You need more if you are looking to advance your career beyond your current place of employment.

Everyone has a Twitter. Everyone has a LinkedIn. Everyone has a Facebook. To have all three shows no initiative, it does not make you special. There are additional, easy ways to network and showcase yourself online. And in this job market, you need to give yourself an extra edge – an online portfolio.

Artists have used portfolios for decades to showcase their work to prospective clients. Writers do the same to show samples of their work. A portfolio is a collection of your work that demonstrates the range of your talents and abilities. With the Internet and easy-to-create websites (see WordPress), it’s easier than ever to create an online portfolio that can be seen anywhere, by anyone.

You can use a website created specifically for portfolios, linked here (http://designinstruct.com/roundups/free-online-portfolio/).

What should your portfolio contain? Whatever you want it to, but make sure it showcases your strengths and goes into detail. This can be used to show the hiring manager from a Human Resources Staffing Firm about your charity work in more detail than a sentence on a resume. Use images and simple descriptions. Make it relate to the industry you’re looking to break into. And please, don’t forget to spell-check.

Now that your portfolio is aesthetically pleasing, it’s time to promote. Link it to all of your social media sites–that’s where the manager is most likely to see it. Put a link in the header of your résumé. Add it to your email signature. Tell your friends. Tweet it. Tell recruiters, like Willory, about it. Then start preparing for the interview.

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