Students Go Digital To Show Off Portfolios

Courtney Garloff, Print Editor

A work portfolio may be a necessity of the modern-day job interview, but the rising popularity of online portfolios might soon make hard copies obsolete.

“I see online portfolios being used more and more and so I think it can be a really good asset for a job seeker,” said Bernadette Rushmer, director of the Insalaco Center for Career Development.

“It’s an online record of what you have done in the past. You would usually bring in hard copies of what you have done,” said assistant communications professor Dan Kimbrough.

Kimbrough said portfolios showcase students’ best work to potential employers.

“When looking for a job, your GPA doesn’t matter. It’s all about what you can do,” said Kimbrough.

Traditionally, a portfolio consists of physical pieces of work, such as publications, projects or design artifacts, and each one will differ depending upon the job seeker’s background and career path.

“For example, a teacher may have lesson plans in [his or her portfolio],” said Bernie Rushmer, Director of the Insalaco Center for Career Development.

“In the past, you would usually bring hard copies [to job interviews]. If you were a journalist, you would bring in actual copies of the newspaper and if you were an artist you would bring in your big easel with all of these things,” said Kimbrough.

Online portfolios generally require students to purchase domain names and a host, which is what senior communications major Mary Bove did for her online portfolio that she uses to showcase her digital photography.

“I use it to post galleries of my photos as well as an ‘about me’ page,” said Bove.

Bove purchased her domain name from godaddy.com and used creativemotiondesign.com to create her website. Bove said job seekers with digital portfolios can send links to an unlimited number of potential employers and hard copy portfolios must be sent one at a time.

“When I apply for an internship, I send [the prospective site supervisor] a link to my website because it shows all that I have done,” said Bove.

Rushmer said digital copies have their advantages.

“The advantages are the low cost and that there is no printing cost. Also, you have more than one copy to give to employers,” said Rushmer.

“I think there are no disadvantages. You can put [online] a lot of stuff and share more,” said Kimbrough.

There is a variety of options when it comes to choosing how to create an online portfolio.

Rushmer suggests using College Central Network, a resource provided to students by the university with no fee.

“Its available free of charge. All you have to do if you don’t have one is create a free account,” said Rushmer.

She said students can log on to collegecentralnetwork.com, go to the Student Central link and click “Create an account.”This site offers sample portfolio templates and it allows students to design their own. There are also ready-made templates for many majors, including music and communications.

“It works for any major,” said Rushmer.

College Central Network can also be used to create a resume and as a search engine to help students find jobs and internships.

Kimbrough has an alternative method to creating an online portfolio. He suggests buying your name on the Internet and using it as your personal website to post your best works.

“Owning your own domain name and hosting account and control-

ling your name should be a mandatory thing,” said Kimbrough.

Kimbrough cautions students to be aware of what they post online and to control their names on the Internet. Negative online reputations may hinder one’s chances of landing a job.

“If there is someone else with your name in the same field, that may hurt you in the long run,” said Kimbrough.

Bove warns that creating your own website is rewarding but is not as quick and easy as you would think it would be.

“It looks easy but it is not.”

The process of creating her online portfolio took Bove over two months to complete. Between taking photos and deciding what pictures to put on the site.

“It takes awhile to refine everything and takes awhile to pick out what you want to show to the world,” said Bove.

If someone chooses to make a website, Bove suggests using a view counter to see how many people are viewing the website and where they are from.

Another way to create a portfolio online is to link a Tumblr page to an Internet domain.

This can be used for pictures or to post a resume.

Kimbrough also suggested having professional Facebook and Twitter pages that are used to post blurbs about specific career fields.

“Separate yourself from everything else,” said Kimbrough.

Other websites that can be used to create online portfolios are squarespace.com, wix.com, carbonmade.com and behance.net.

For more information about how to create an online portfolio or for more information about College Central Network, contact the Insalaco Center for Career Development.

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