October 14, 2010

Portfolios – General Advice

Posted in Interviewing, Professional Success at 8:32 pm by melissaautumn

Note: This is the fourth in a series of posts on portfolios. You can search for “portfolios” in the handy search bar to your right to find the first three.

I thought I’d wrap up this series with some last pieces of advice that did not necessarily fit elsewhere.

  • Write for Non-Librarians: Hiring committees often include people who are not librarians. Avoid professional jargon and school-specific abbreviations they may not understand.
  • Be Succinct: Although a portfolio provides you additional space to elaborate on your skills, remember that potential employers have many resumes and portfolios to review – select your evidence carefully and write succinctly. Your portfolio should be easy to skim, not overwhelming.
  • Ask for Feedback: Have a mentor or friend review your portfolio; ask for honest advice about what works well and what you can do to make it even better.
  • Edit Carefully: Just like your resume, your portfolio needs to be error-free. Proof and proof again.
  • Maintain your Portfolio: Once you have a portfolio, you will need to maintain it by updating the content when appropriate and periodically checking links to be sure they are still working.
  • Start Simple: You don’t have to have an elaborate portfolio or a fancy site with all the latest plug-ins. Start simple – if you have the time and interest, you can grow it into something bigger. Or, you can just keep it simple.
  • Start Now: The time for job hunting may seem far away, but it really isn’t. And I know you are busy, but you won’t be any less busy then. If even a simple portfolio seems overwhelming, break the process into small steps. Start by getting your resume online, then add a simple introduction to yourself, then add a few pieces of evidence. Commit to spending a little time each week – once you get going and build momentum, it’ll be easier to keep going.

Good luck with your portfolios! You know I love to hear from former students, so send me a link to your portfolio when you’ve finished it.

And now, I think I’ll go get started on my own online portfolio!

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1 Comment »

  1. […] The digital library I’m working on will be online and, if turns out good, I could include it in an eventual portfolio. If it won’t, I will have to work on it, in order to be able to include it someday! Before coming to Ireland, I never thought that I could create my own portfolio: for me, it was something that just IT people would have had to do. As libraries are changing, I should start to create one, and right now, because “time for job hunting may seem far away, but it really isn’t” (Melissa Autumn, Portfolio – General Advices, 2010). […]


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