By Chris Christoff, co-founder of MonsterInsights.
Landing a job is a competitive game. You need to think out of the box to truly stand out from the crowd and get attention. And a boring old CV or a resume designed with Microsoft Word is not going to do the trick. You can't really judge a person's skills, character or experience based on qualifications and claims alone. This is where CVs fail the most. Imagine if you could simply send a link to your online portfolio in an email to show live examples of your work, case studies and detail your career goals to win over the recruiters instead of just attaching a PDF file. In this post, I'll show you how you can create such a digital portfolio to increase your chances of landing your dream job.
Create a Portfolio
The people who make the most use of digital portfolios are the creative professionals, like graphic designers, web designers and marketers. That doesn't mean it's not useful to others. Even if you're not a creative and you seek a career in a corporate firm completely unrelated to creative industries, you can still use a digital portfolio to your advantage. For example, if you're a recent graduate with a finance degree and seeking a job at a firm like Goldman Sachs, you can use your digital portfolio to show off your skills by simply embedding an Excel spreadsheet on your portfolio with different model formulas to evaluate a stock. There's more than one way to use a digital portfolio. It's only matter of using your imagination.
Show Off Your Best Work
Use your online portfolio to show off your best work. When applying for a job, one of the first things the recruiters will ask is to see examples of your work. This is what they use to determine if you truly live up to your claims and qualifications. Make sure include examples of your best work in your portfolio. What if you're fresh out of college and don't have any examples of work to show? Well, there are many different ways you can build a portfolio without previous work experience. For example, you can do some free work to build your reputation. You can help your community and build a website for your town. Or you can get an internship at a startup or a brand to gain experience as a professional.
Tell Your Story
Create a separate page or a specific section on your digital portfolio to tell your story. You can use this section to show your personality, your journey so far, your goals, ambitions and details of how and why you're seeking a job in your industry. Try to be specific when writing your story. Don't try to write a story that appeals to everyone. Instead, imagine that you're speaking to the hiring manager of your dream job and explaining why you're the best candidate for the job. Make it your cover story, if you will.
Feature Client Testimonials
If you have worked with clients or for companies in the past, be sure to mention them with solid proof. There's no better way to tell a recruiter that you do great work than by getting one of your previous clients to say it for you. Reach out to your previous employers and ask for a testimonial. A short quote explaining how great you are. Then you can proudly feature those testimonials on your website.
Embed a Video
Another new trend in job recruitment is video resumes. Many job seekers have found success with video resumes, especially since they help the employer to evaluate your presentation and demeanor. Try embedding a video in your digital portfolio or using a video as your cover letter. This will help recruiters see your outgoing personality and determine whether you'd be a good fit for their team. Having a modern digital portfolio will give you an edge over the other professionals when competing for a job, especially when you're starting fresh. Even the tiniest detail in your portfolio could make big difference to help you stand out and prove your value to hiring managers.
Chris Christoff is the co-founder of MonsterInsights, the leading WordPress plugin for Google Analytics.