Always a bridesmaid…

Before I came to AKHIA, I had five internships under my belt. I was always an intern, never an entry-level employee. One day I realized if I wanted to land a full-time position, I would have to step up my game. I would have to somehow remember my LinkedIn password. I would have to ask for advice…and actually take it.

A mentor suggested to me on several occasions (including the first time I met him – at my interview for my fourth internship) that I should consider building an online portfolio. That sounded pricey and frustrating as I’m the type of person who can only sort of use technology. For example, TVs at other people’s houses have and will always confound me.

Before this conversation, I had spent a lot of money at Hobby Lobby, Pat Catan’s, and Michael’s on hardcopy portfolios that I would fill with sample work I would lose to an HR rep. So I would not only lose the portfolio that I carefully put together, but there would be times when I’d lose the original copy of a project I had been working on. It definitely wasn’t ideal, and I can’t remember a time when handing over work like that actually landed me a job.

A few months later, that same mentor asked again if I had put together an online portfolio and I said no, sheepishly. Then he said that even in 2013, he doesn’t come across a lot of people who have online portfolios, and sometimes it’s what separates those candidates from everyone else.

Finally, a solution!

I did some digging and found a website that worked for me: Jobrary. Not only can you save PDFs of your work into a portfolio, but you can create a really nice looking resume and bio, too! I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent fighting Word to make what I would consider a “just all right” resume when Jobrary helps make a professional-looking resume.

For someone who dreams of being as organized as Real Simple believes I can be, making an online portfolio helped everything find its place. All the work I want to exhibit is saved!

I don’t have the proof to back it up (after I was hired I didn’t want to ask, “Hey, why did you do that?”), but I will say that organizing my samples in a way that didn’t look like a scrapbook made me feel more professional and confident. Well, that and a smart suit made me feel confident. Happy job hunting!

What tips do you have for new pros looking for an entry level position?