By Nicole Henneman
The Internet experience continues to become more and more visual, making it easier to create a professional-quality portfolio of all of your digital artistic efforts. Loading times for Web pages keep getting faster, and efficient video streaming makes for a better viewing experience. Monitors, laptop screens and tablet faces feature better and better resolution, resulting in better visual quality.
Photos, graphics and videos are now a key component of the online experience, making Web surfing more rich and enjoyable. From social media to search engine results, the visual component of browsing the Internet makes it both visceral and personal. This visual appeal is spilling over into every area of the Web experience, and it looks like the world of online job resumes could be next.
Going Beyond the Traditional Resume
The resume is generally regarded as the most-important tool in a job applicant’s toolbox. Up until now, the resume has been fairly straightforward in both function and style. It is a reliable yet cookie-cutter staple to help job seekers present themselves to prospective employers in an accepted and predictable way. In recent years, the refinement of word processing and a wider variety of font styles has allowed job seekers to be somewhat more creative and expressive with their resumes.
Enter the visual portfolio, and the resume now seems poised to make a quantum leap. What was once exclusive to Web-design and computer-programming majors can now be executed by a job seeker with any background. Never before have job seekers had the opportunity to paint such a complete and creative picture of themselves. Visual portfolios allow the opportunity to make highly personal statements within one’s resume, and both users and employers are finding it a refreshing departure from the world of the plain-vanilla, traditional resume.
One of the emerging leaders in the field of the online visual portfolio is Pathbrite. This tool allows users to set themselves apart from their peers by showing potential recruiters what is unique about them. Users can include photos and videos of themselves, as well as favorite Web pages, articles and personal writing. They can even include pieces of code and design projects. The result is a rich, nuanced and multi-media presentation of a job applicant. Pathbrite also strives to keep its interface very user-friendly, so that, in their words, “it’s impossible to make a portfolio that looks bad.”
Another online portfolio option is About.me. Like Pathbrite, its focus is to enable users to create a personal profile page that points viewers to their content around the Web. However, About.me also helps users to understand how many people have viewed their profile and how they’re browsing it. The website allows users to effectively pull together all of their social media profiles into one cohesive online identity.
LinkedIn has been around for awhile and has been considered a straightforward virtual-networking tool. Basically, it’s a way to circulate your business card online. However, LinkedIn now offers users the ability to create an online visual portfolio, which has enhanced the networking process exponentially. LinkedIn now combines their name recognition and trusted brand with the capacity to create a dynamic, creative online portfolio.
An appealing feature of the online visual portfolio is that it is customizable and easy to change, which allows it to evolve in tandem with the user. People are able to show many different dimensions of themselves, taking expression via the resume to a whole new level. The net result will likely be better hiring matches in the workplace — a win-win for both parties.
About the author: Fairly new to the world of social media, Nicole was a web designer who became fascinated with the world of Twitter and sharing media. Her blog articles focus on how social media can leverage a site’s page rank.
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