Since my May 29th post that included my mom’s low-tech portfolio idea, I’ve been thinking more about portfolios.

Beth Kanter keeps her portfolio on a wiki that she links to right at the top of her blog.   She told me she uses a wiki notsomuch for collaboration purposes, but because wikis are such quick and simple websites to edit.

Google Docs are another option out there.  I like that you can create a shared word processing document that bridges to paper very easily.  The formatting would not be as flexible or quite as web-friendly as a wiki though.  It also seems fun to create a presentation-style portfolio, though its usefulness is a little less clear to me.

Speaking of fun portfolios, Minnesota has a great initiative called eFolio Minnesota.  Its tagline is “Your Electronic Showcase.”  It has modules for students, educators, and careers.  I like that it’s not just a form to fill out – it seems to have been thoughtfully created and offers advice about reflection, goals, and content.

What else is out there?

EDIT: Beth suggested I check out Michelle Martin’s blog “The Bamboo Project.” It’s amazing what you don’t know till somebody tells you!  This non-traditional résumé Michelle posted about was too pertinent to not share.  I’m looking forward to catching up with Michelle’s work in the weeks to come!  Thanks Beth!

CNN’s How To Sabotage Your Job Search… So You Don’t

Great article on CNN.com lists easy ways to derail your job search so that you know what not to do.  Very awesome.

A lot of it is common sense (#2 – don’t burn bridges; #7 – typos make you look like a fool; #19 – be nice to the person at the front desk), but it’s good reinforcement all the same.

Point #1 spoke to me in particular because my mother showed me a quick way to create a working portfolio.  Get a binder and some page protectors.  Pop important papers in as you receive them – letters of promotion, job acceptance, completion certificates, the end product of a big project, etc.  Simple.  Easy to add to.  And always there for you when you’re putting in for a promotion, a new job, or for bragging to your mother.

Transparency and “Good” Applicants

Many thanks to Lifehacker.com for starting a discussion on the apparently heated debate of résumé length.  I was surprised at how many different (and vehement!) opinions were out there.  Great points were brought up about the number of applicants and experience level.

My initial thought: employers should state what they’re looking for.  They post jobs and qualifications, why not post expectations?  It doesn’t seem difficult.  And why limit this to résumé length?  Wouldn’t HR’s job be easier if every company had a page of their website called, “How to be a good applicant” or some such?  Kind of like a twitter landing-page that Beth Kanter blogged about a couple of weeks ago, or email etiquette pages like ThanksNo.com (thanks again, Lifehacker!) you can refer people to.  

What would we call it – an applicant splash page?  Why be so secretive about the basics of our organizational cultures?  Do the benefits of such passive-aggression outweigh the potential benefits of increased transparency?  Would it help or hurt efficiency?  Would applicants like this or be irked by it?  Do some organizations already use one, and if so how is it working?

Preparing for the Future

I joined LinkedIn yesterday, and to me it seems very old-school.  I can see what the Free Range Librarian meant about when she called it “spectral.”  I think the only thing I’d add to her amazingly apt description would be “limiting.”  Even though there’s a lot more room to talk about what you do at work than there is on Facebook, something about LinkedIn makes me feel boxed-in.  I don’t know, maybe it was just the ghostly interface, or that it was new to me.  

Ok, you caught me, I was just saying that to appear more open-minded than I’m really feeling.

Still, I did let it search my gmail address book for contacts and sent requests to 13 people who already have profiles, so I feel that I did my duty for my future-self who may someday wish for a solid career network.

Organizing all of my groundwork for the future is becoming a challenge.  I dabble in maintaining my contacts, keeping up my résumé and work portfolio, and exploring different grad programs to find My Path.  It’s hard to know what I’ve already done and to stay focused enough to build upon it instead of starting over again every few months.  One online solution I’m trying out is del.icio.us, but it’s not quite what I was envisioning.  What else is out there?