WSU Graduate Student/Athletic Communication Staff Assistant at Michigan State
The application process can be daunting not only as an applicant, but an employer as well. For some jobs in sport, hundreds of qualified applicants apply for one position. So how do you separate yourself from the rest? It is in the details and all about taking that extra step. I am not talking about badgering those reviewing the applicants, but turning in material that is the most memorable. One way to accomplish this feat is to provide an online portfolio.
When I am putting together my resume and application materials, the first thing I think about when it comes to format is will this stand out among the rest? I am confident, as I am sure you all are, in my work experience, so the part I can control is how professional I come across. The great part of an online portfolio is its ability to serve as a living document that can be seen by any prospective employer at any time. It also allows you to go more in depth than you can on a resume about your experiences.
In my own line of work as a sports information director, design is a major part of what I do. Graphics and note packets are difficult to show off in a short, clean fashion when turning it in with the rest of my application. To highlight my samples though, I upload them to my online portfolio where they can be seen on the platform they were designed for and can include several, instead of just a small sampling.
I drive people to my site by including the link to my page on my resume and cover letter. In addition, in my thank you emails and correspondence with the prospective employer, I always include a sentence inviting them to take a look at my online portfolio.
Seems like another step in an already long process, but it is worth it…I promise. I have had my online portfolio come up in my last three job interviews, jobs in which I was a finalist to become one of the youngest football SIDs in the country and offered the other two, including my current job at Michigan State University.
I’ve been lucky enough to sit on both sides of the table in a job hunting situation, and the more professional you can look, the better your experiences seem to a prospective employer. Online portfolios give you a medium to outline in the best possible detail what you have accomplished in your career…and it’s free! Using sites such as wix.com, anyone can setup a professional looking website in the manner of minutes. So give it a try. It will only help you moving forward in your professional career.