Building an ePortfolio is an excellent way for students to showcase their best work to prospective employers. Since ePortfolios are web-based, students can use them to easily present their talents and reach a broader range of employers. This format is especially helpful for students seeking employment in education, business administration, graphic design, or information technology.
What is an ePortfolio?
An ePortfolio, or web-based portfolio, consists of a student's accumulated work and achievements. This collection can be in the form of an online resume, blog, or website and should showcase the pertinent knowledge and skills students have attained up to this point in their career or educational journey. It also serves as a tool for managing learning experiences over a lifetime, allowing students to track their personal development and intellectual growth.
Digital portfolios help students broadcast their selling points and accomplishments to the world while going above and beyond the simple list of jobs and accomplishments typically included in resumes. For example, a web design student may have an ePortfolio web address displaying screenshots of their best work. A teaching major may create an ePortfolio with sample lesson plans, student teaching reflections, and recommendation letters.
Benefits of ePortfolios for the job search
A career ePortfolio can significantly improve a student's job search. Consider the benefits of using ePortfolios in the job search process:
Greater job and worker matching
Viewing a student's ePortfolio helps recruiters carefully evaluate the individual's work and skills, determining if they are a right fit for the company. For example, a graphic design company searching for a specific art style can choose the candidate that best matches that style. Students benefit from better position matching because it helps them enter workspaces where they will thrive and join companies that will value their work.
Students and recent graduates can make their accomplishments and work samples more visible to recruiters by posting an ePortfolio. Rather than compiling samples each time they apply for a job, students can create an ePortfolio for recruiters to find and view easily.
Skill improvement and competitive edge
Since ePortfolios help students track their development, they can also help students reflect on their current skills and identify potential growth needs. Comparing their work samples to other portfolios and company examples can help individuals decide how to improve their skills and compete with other candidates in the industry. Displaying their work samples also gives them a competitive edge over applicants who lack ePortfolios.
How to use an ePortfolio to highlight student skills
Showcases, comments, recommendations, skill tags, badges, academic networks, and collaboration are unique features of an ePortfolio. These features let students display their accomplishments, experiences, knowledge, and career and academic skills to prospective employers.
Building an ePortfolio
You can help students build an effective portfolio with these tips:
- Help students choose relevant and high-quality work samples: Students should build their portfolios using their best work. As they learn and sharpen their skills, they can continue adding higher-quality work that showcases their growth. Professors can recommend specific projects for students to add to their ePortfolios when they notice exceptional work.
- Remind students to polish work samples before posting them: Employers often notice small mistakes, so polishing each work sample and ensuring it's in top shape is essential. Showcasing flawless work shows a student is detail-oriented, and this quality attracts career recruiters.
- Utilize a Quality ePortfolio Program: Students may feel reluctant to build an ePortfolio if they are unsure how to approach it. You can track and analyze student performance using an accessible and convenient program, helping students build a portfolio with a streamlined process and supportive programming.
- Encourage students to design accessible ePortfolios: Encourage students to customize and design their portfolios with accessibility in mind. Employers and recruiters should be able to see and access their best work easily, so it's important to consider factors such as proper color contrast and work sample arrangement. Placing their highest-quality work samples at the top of a portfolio page is an excellent way to catch recruiters' attention quickly.
- Encourage variety and ongoing updates: Students should update their ePortfolios frequently and add variety. Encourage students to include additional activities they excel at, such as hobbies and extracurriculars. Whether they display leadership skills as the president of a club or communication skills through volunteer work, adding these qualities to an ePortfolio can help them attract potential employers.
Use of digital portfolios in employment recruiting
Students can use their ePortfolios effectively during a job search by:
- Placing a link to their ePortfolio in their email signature.
- Including a link to their ePortfolio in their cover letters and resumes.
- Connecting their ePortfolio to their social media pages so prospective employers can find them easily.
- Bringing their smartphone, tablet, or iPad to job interviews. This way, students can share pertinent sections of their portfolio during interviews.
- Referencing specific sections in follow-up correspondence or thank-you emails to employers following interviews. These extra efforts go a long way in reminding hiring managers why the student is the best candidate for the job.
Expanding the use of ePortfolios for students in your career center
You can help students succeed in the job market by adding ePortfolio solutions to your career center. Students may not always consider the benefits of ePortfolios independently, so you can increase awareness and help more individuals get started. Providing useful resources and educating students and alumni about an ePortfolio's advantages can kickstart more careers, which reflects positively on your institution.
Help your students access more career opportunities with Watermark Student Learning & Licensure
An ePortfolio can help students highlight the skills they learn in school with tangible evidence to back them up. More and more, employers are expanding their use of digital portfolios to get a feel for their candidates. These ePortfolios provide a body of evidence and aid in the recruitment process.
Watermark Student Learning & Licensure gives administrators and decision-makers at higher education institutions a full-range view of student learning by analyzing, tracking, and assessing learning from internships, clinicals, or coursework. The result is an ePortfolio students can use to fuel their future success.
Students and evaluators can interact with artifacts in one place, and faculty members can streamline their assessment and grading efforts. Request a customized demo with a sales team member to learn how we can help you support each student's career path.
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