Chapter 9: How do I use my ePortfolio to find a job
Let's face it
Many employers don't know what an ePortfolio is yet. Does this mean that my ePortfolio won't be useful for finding a job? Certainly not! The ePortfolio can help you prepare for finding a job.
How can my ePortfolio help me do this?
q By building your ePortfolio you will be much better prepared for the interview.
q An ePortfolio gives you confidence. It tells you: This is what I can do! This is what I’m good at!
q The information and skills you have recorded in your ePortfolio will help you match your own skills and experience with those needed for the job
q When you go to your job interview, your ePortfolio might help you to talk to your employer more easily. You can give examples of your abilities and experiences, even those that are not directly required for the job.
q Having an ePortfolio also shows you have organisational, presentation and communication skills. It will provide a much more rounded view of who you are and how you can contribute to the business of your employer.
Please be careful:
Your future employer might not know as much about new technology as you. So be kind to them: speak slowly and avoid technical jargon!
Present your ePortfolio in a way which makes them learn something about you not about the technology.
1. Write your CV
Many employers are not (yet) familiar with ePortfolios. But they all know about CVs. So, to make things easy for them, you should make a presentation of your ePortfolio that looks like a CV.
Depending on the type of job you are looking for, your CV might take different shapes. This is something that can be easily done with a computer: with an electronic CV, the same content can be presented differently. Why not use the online version of the European CV (Europass)! You can complete it on-line here and then upload it into your ePortfolio.
Some ePortfolio tools even provide the facility to automatically create a CV from its contents, others provide templates that you can fill in.
You can even print it to make it look like a normal CV to a computer-allergic employer if they still exist!
2. Enhance your CV
Once you have built your CV (or several), you can enrich it with documents that illustrate what you claim in your CV. For example, if you say you have experience of working with people, you could upload photos of you working with people or a document you designed together with others.
You can use the contents from your ePortfolio to show things you have achieved while at school, at work or in the community.
3. Review your CV
Ask people you trust to feedback on your CV. Practice your presentation.
4. Put it in a format readable by your potential employer
Is your CV on line?
If so, please remember:
q not all employers have Internet access
q if they do, there might be technical problems that prevent access to your ePortfolio, for example a firewall blocking certain sites.
Before you have the interview think of what to do if problems come up!
Check in advance whether or not they have internet access. You could also send the URL of your ePortfolio in advance and ask for feedback.
q Prepare a portable version of your ePortfolio, i.e. one that you can bring with you.
What you can do:
qbring your own laptop with the ePortfolio on the hard drive
qburn a CD or DVD
qsave the ePortfolio on a memory stick / USB key.
The best idea might be to bring a printed version with you in case something happens to your computer in the middle of the presentation or in case you have compatibility problems with your employer's computers.
Rule of thumb:
Think before you go to the interview and make sure you are prepared!
What problems could occur?
à Don't take any chances!
If a technical problem comes up and you can deal with it well, this will impress your future employer because it shows that you are able to anticipate problems ahead of time and deal with them! It will also show that you can perform under pressure.
5. Present your CV and ePortfolio
In your interview, you should have a printed normal CV which you can use as a plan for talking your interviewer through the interview.
Depending on the formality of the interview, you can let the interviewer handle your ePortfolio or you will guide him/her through.
Some images were taken from www.pixelquelle.de. Thank you to the contributors!