Amidst all of the noise about the "most difficult job market in memory," I see a bit of a plum: There's never been a better time to use technology to set your skills and experience apart.


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Despite a crowded marketplace, those who distinguish themselves online are finding work. Over the last few months, I've had conversations with many of these individuals, including Jamie Varon ("Twitter Should Hire Me"), David Heiser, and Kelly Giles (see new guest post on my blog, The Emerging Professional). I've watched these individuals present their interests with a clear voice, and then land recognition and opportunities. It's been fun.


Early in my career, I had success with a web-based portfolio that I created during my final year of graduate school at the University of Virginia. The website included my resume, work samples, and career resources (I was applying for career-related positions). I applied for a handful of positions, and landed interviews at two very different institutions, Colby-Sawyer College and the University of Pennsylvania. I received job offers from both, though the offer from the University of Pennsylvania came a year later with a call back (I came in second to a much more experienced candidate the first time around). Bottom line: For me, having a website that showcased my skills and interests helped me stand out as a job seeker.


I've continued to believe in web-based portfolios, especially since they are not widely used.  I think developing websites (often referred to as e-folios) are a perennial way that job seekers can showcase skills and experiences and differentiate themselves from the crowd. After all, a well-designed website shows that you are tech-savvy and demonstrates the depth of your knowledge as well as enthusiasm. It "shows" instead of "tells." Have you ever met a high school English teacher who doesn't tell you to do this in one form or another?


Best Fit Forward is pleased to announce a new partnership and collaboration with Meg Levine Designs. Together, Meg and I can offer you comprehensive support in developing a web-based portfolio that showcases your skills (see example #3 below). Meg and I will work side-by-side with you to ensure that your online web presence aligns with your career objectives, and strengthens your chances for new opportunities.


That being said, working with us is only one option. Here are three "best-in-class examples" of web-based portfolios:


1. David G. Heiser (Website & Guide to "Film and Food")

David's website is an example of a Do It Yourself (DIY) portfolio.

A 2009 graduate of the College of Charleston, David is currently an intern at Ketchum, a leading global public relations agency. His website content has changed now that he is employed, during his job search his resume, LinkedIn profile, and Twitter account access were prominently featured.


2.
Robert Hoppey (Visual CV)

Robert's website is hosted on Visual CV and is an example of a website where you can create your own web presence for free. Another site that provides a similar service is Optimal Resume (the "optimal" employment opportunity landed by @kellygiles)

Robert's job search techniques were recently featured by CBS in a piece on job hunting "do's and don'ts." A recent graduate of Elon College, Robert (also known as Bobby) is seeking employment in PR.

I have tried Visual CV and have found that it takes a great deal of tweaking to look as professional as Robert Hoppey's CV does. In addition, you'll note that both Robert and David have something in common: they are very tech-savvy and are also tuned into cutting edge PR techniques. If you'd like additional help, consider hiring a professional.


3. Laurence Rosenthal (Meg Levine Design)

This website was produced by graphic designer Meg Levine to showcase the diverse range of talents of writer, Laurence Rosenthal. This is an example of a personal "e-folio" you can develop to showcase your skills.

A skill writer and teacher with experience in film, tv, and publishing, Laurence's e-folio goes beyond the traditional resume to provide a sense of his previous client base as well as the high-level nature of some of his work. This is a great strategy for freelance and contract professionals, particularly as it allows the additional perspective of former client reviews.

If you are interested in having an e-folio of your own, please contact us to learn more about Meg's services as well as my resume writing, and personal branding services.