It’s spring, a time when high school students start looking for summer jobs or internships—and that requires some attention to their resumes and portfolios. While some prospective employers may be fine with traditional documents, the companies where I’d like to see my students land a position favor digital portfolios. Assembling an online personal showcase can be accomplished with a number of freely available tools. The following recommended sites and apps are also worth a visit by teachers and librarians looking to retool their own resumes.
About.me is a free tool for creating a one-page display (pictured) of your best work, highlighting examples of select blog posts, video creations, and more. You can also link to your social network profiles on About.me. Most prospective employers are going to seek these out anyway, so do them a favor by linking directly to your Twitter or Tumblr account, for example—a time-saver for an employer that also indicates that you don’t have anything in your digital footprint to hide.
Another option, Visual CV, lets you apply the traditional one-page resume approach to building your digital portfolio. In the main column of your Visual CV page, add all of the typical elements of a resume, such as “objective,” “experience,” and “education.” In the side columns, you can include links to your blog and social network profiles and embed video or audio clips. Your Visual CV is assigned its own URL, and via several available widgets, you can embed the file on your blog or website. Need a hard copy of your resume? Download your Visual CV as a PDF and print it minus the multimedia elements.
If you’re thinking to yourself, “I don’t have a blog or website or any multimedia to display,” now is a good time to start creating those materials. The technical aspect of starting a blog is the easy part. Blogger and Edublogs offer great tutorials that can get you up and running with your first blog in under 30 minutes. The real work of blogging comes after you’ve chosen your URL and your blog design. Committing to a regular schedule of posting can be difficult. A weekly reflection about your teaching practice, including your successes and failures, might be a good start. Write more frequently if you like, but write consistently. Over time, you’ll have a nice journal of your experiences. And when someone asks you to share your philosophy of education, you won’t have to develop one on the fly because you’ll be able to pull your best ideas from all of your blog posts.
Writing isn’t for everyone, and, thankfully, blogging isn’t restricted to composing prose. Try posting in the form of a video clip or audio message. SoundCloud makes it easy to create audio files to share on a blog. Use the SoundCloud website or mobile apps (available for Android and iOS devices) to make brief recordings about your latest library project, for example, or share your thoughts on the flipped classroom concept. Ready for your close-up? Create a video message to post on your blog with YouTube apps for Android and iOS devices. Or give YouTube’s native recorder a try in your Web browser.