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Blog post

How an Online Portfolio Captivates Your Potential Employers

May 27, 2021
By GradProSkills

Source: GradProSkills

Vanessa Mardirossian is a INDI PhD Student and designer

Online portfolios are not just for artists. Regardless of your area of expertise, you can benefit from having your professional and academic work in one place to be shared with potential employers or collaborators. Here we show how an online portfolio, or eportfolio, is the perfect tool to help you stand out from the crowd. 

We talked to Maya Hey - PhD Candidate in the Communications Department - and GradProSkills workshop leader for "Building your ePortfolio with WordPress" to understand the advantages of having your work highlighted on one website. 

What is an eportfolio?

An eportfolio is a personal website where you showcase all your work in a fun and exciting manner that can be easily shared with prospective clients, collaborators and hiring managers. It allows you to provide concrete examples of your work that illustrate your skills. A graduate student eportfolio most commonly shows papers presented in conferences, scholarly and non-academic publications, class projects, volunteer experience and relevant awards.  You can even get creative. Grab people's attention by adding videos with your latest research progress, write a blog, or take photographs of your work in the lab. Just remember to keep it professional. 

What are the benefits of having an eportfolio?

An eportfolio is flexible in terms of content you can add, so showcase work samples that are difficult to include in your resume. Websites allow a wide variety of content, such as slides, videos, photos, virtual reality and audio files, so design an eportfolio that brings to life what is unique about your professional work. If you delivered an impactful project, share the results through photos and testimonials from the people who benefited from your expertise. There are many creative ways your ePortfolio can showcase your skills and distinguish you from other candidates during a hiring process.

Another advantage of an ePortfolio is it helps you gain visibility and increase your networking - as collaborators often search for potential partners online. Start by brainstorming a unique angle about your research and professional experience so you can incorporate this into your design and text. Ensure your site is easily findable by choosing and using keywords carefully. There is plenty of content available though your Concordia Udemy account if you would like to learn more about search engine optimization. 

An eportfolio is dynamic, allowing you to continuously add projects and skills developed in your career or graduate school. Being proactive in keeping your eportfolio up-to-date also optimizes your searchability. 

What is unique about GradProSkills' eportfolio workshop? 

For four weeks, grad students are expected to develop two skill sets: use WordPress and create an ePortfolio. Building an eportfolio happens incrementally over one month. By the end of the course, students will have accomplished: creating a domain, designing a site map, building a basic WordPress website, learning themes and tools to customize eportfolios. Additionally, Maya will share best practices to promote work online, and she holds weekly office hours for Q&A and bounce ideas about website design and content. 

How much time do you need to invest in the eportfolio workshop?

There are four hours of synchronous online classes and about eight hours of self-directed learning through a curated selection of videos on Udemy. The amount of time spent building your eportfolio is your choice, so the more hours you put into the design and construction, the more you will learn and develop your website.

You will be instructed to design three essential parts of an eportfolio: a biography, a contact page, and a projects page. Firstly, a bio page will explain who you are and what is unique about you in 50 to 100 words. Secondly, the contact page is an easy way for people interested in your work to reach you out. Finally, the projects page can include several categories of work produced during your academic or professional trajectories.


Curious about what an eportfolio looks like?

Check out this graduate student's eportfolio 

to get inspired by what you could do!

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