Burning the resume and building the portfolio.

We talked about why the resume is failing and how the shotgun technique is killing your chances at getting what you want. 

Here's a link to last week's post: The Worst Way to Apply for Jobs.

Just imagine, twenty other people applying to the same job that you are.

Most of them have college degrees, are "hard workers and team players" and are "passionate" about so and so. It's an uphill battle for you, when an employer gets 20 of these similar looking applications. All of them are reasonably qualified, but no one really stands out as the guy (or gal).

When employers read the same things, they'll be sleeping like Steph Curry in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

When employers read the same things, they'll be sleeping like Steph Curry in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

Where do you differentiate past your resume?

Your online presence.

Job-Hunt.org writer Susan P. Joyce says that 80% of employers Google you prior to your interview:

The resume-submission-to-interview-invitation process typically runs through these four steps:

Step 1. Resumes are received and screened into two groups (“possibles” and “no”).

Step 2. Someone opens up a browser, and begins Googling the “possibles” which are then screened into three groups (“more likely” and “less likely” and “no”) based on what is discovered - or NOT discovered.

Step 3. The “more likelys” are compared. Phone interviews (a.k.a. “phone screens”) may be conducted.

Step 4. Invitations to interview are extended, and the real dance begins.

When nothing, or nothing good, is found about you, you end up in the “less likely” or “no” piles in step 2.

We don't want to end up in the "no" or "less likely" piles at all.

We have to reframe the whole way we approach the job search.

They don't make them like they used to.

They don't make them like they used to.

A college degree is not the trump card it once was back when your daddy was first applying for jobs. Now that the college degree has become so accessible (for better or for worse), your degree doesn't mean as much as it used to.

Secondly, the internet has nearly made the paper resume obsolete. There's a much wealthier and faster pot of information on candidates online than one page can provide.

This is good for you.

It gives you the power to influence an employer's opinion of you, giving you the edge before you even walk in through the front door. They want to see who you are before you even walk in.

You can give them a good impression by building an online portfolio.

This is a place where you show the work you've done for different companies, on your own, or as a free agent.

Because now, employers are far more likely (81% in fact) to look at your online portfolio as a way of assessing your work and the tangible results you can produce for them.

How should you go about building your online portfolio?

1. Make it as easy as possible for people to find you.

Create a LinkedIn and make it stand out as best you can. There are a lot of ways that LinkedIn lets you put your papers, videos, pictures, and presentations on it, so use it to your advantage. There are many guides online like this one, but take any advice you see and put your own spin on it.

We're in this game to stand out right?

You have to think about portfolio building as a showcase of your work, and NOT just a list of positions you've had.

That's what makes the portfolio-style of application so much more powerful:

  • It's more visually interesting
  • It's more credible as proof

(If you want to take it a step further, think about making your own website. Employers have complimented me on mine.)

2. Making it as easy as possible for people to understand you.

On your LinkedIn or website, what you want to portray to anyone who visits your page is to see:

  • Who you are.
  • What you've done.
  • What you can do.
  • What you want to do.

Potential employers will know if you're the right person for the job if these correlate with who they're looking for.

3. Just do work (sometimes for free).

Whether it's some project, internship, or free-lance thing you did for your dad's friend's cousin -- do it -- and record it in your portfolio. In the business of establishing yourself, you have to prove to people that you can do shit.

That's all there is to it: proving that you can do shit.

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There is so much more I'd like to say about this whole process.

But I don't want you to keep reading.

You already know the steps.

Start doing (and let me know how it goes).

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Thanks for reading! Contact me at evanduyLe@gmail.com if you want help getting started with any of this. I'm glad to help.