By Jon Waldman
One of the greatest challenges for job applicants is to find a way to properly show their work before they get to an interview.
Sure, upon securing an interview, you may ask a prospective employer if a portfolio or work samples should be provided (so as not to overload them with your initial application), but the question traces back to how you can showcase your talents before you are engaged as a candidate for a job.
This is where the Net comes into play. Thanks to social media platforms, both traditional and those you may not have thought of, there are multiple avenues for you to use in displaying your talents long before your recruiter asks for your portfolio.
Perhaps the most underrated of all the social networks for portfolios, YouTube has become the destination for demo reels for aspiring actors and broadcasters, but video isn’t limiting in this regard.
One of the ultimate goals of an interview, of course, is to provide the recruiter with enough ammo to go into a decision-making process. They need to feel like they have enough information to essentially lessen the “blind faith” impact of an interview.
If you’re going for an executive assistant role, for example, consider filming yourself proving your words-per-minute speed, or show off your artistic touch.
Video is also helpful in providing testimonials for your work. Cutting down a busy recruiter or HR rep’s time helps immeasurably to accelerate you in the candidate queue, and also shows your ingenuity.
Photosharing platforms are the perfect display operation for sharing out your great designs, and for my money (okay not money since it’s a free service), I’d choose Flickr.
Now I know what you’re thinking – why Flickr when Instagram and Pinterest are the more popular photo platforms? Simple – Flickr is robust enough, offering a full terabyte of space, for you to upload just about anything at any size. The visuals are also stunning, offering nice wide photography on first glance.
All roads, perhaps not surprisingly, lead back to the premier business platform – LinkedIn.
It’s a natural fit – the spot where you host your online resume also gives you the opportunity to showcase your work in PDFs, photos and videos. These can be built as part of an ongoing portfolio or as one-off projects that populate your past jobs’ credentials.
Of all the platforms I’m discussing, this is probably the one you haven’t heard of, but it is a very valuable tool.
Often used by webinar hosts or digital media companies for presentation notes, SlideShare is your portal for presenting a slideshow to the world. That’s right – you can post a PowerPoint where you can show off your real work stats in an easy-to-view format that just about any employer would kill to see.
Put your sales stats, your Google search, or clippings of you showcasing your skills and your industry expertise in a self-branded slideshow and put it out to as many – or as few – recruiters as you want.
Google’s cross-platform capabilities have given it great standing in document sharing, far and away more popular than Microsoft’s SkyDrive.
With a strong capacity and the retention of being able to host most document types (including Word, Excel and others), Google Drive is easy for storing your resume in an easy-to-download format that gives you the opportunity to either open each file individually for public or private viewing.
These, of course, are but a few of the platforms to use. The most important factor, whatever you do, is to ensure that you are giving your portfolio the best look possible. Take advantage of the services available to you and make yourself stand out from your competition.
Jon Waldman is a marketing strategist at Hep Communications.