Digital portfolios have gained popularity in recent years among professionals and students who want to showcase their skills and work online. These portfolios offer a convenient way to present one’s achievements, but they also have some significant limitations. In this article, we will examine the major drawback of digital portfolios and how to overcome it.
Digital portfolios can present a challenge due to the abundance of information that can be included. A vast amount of content can overwhelm viewers, making it difficult to navigate and digest everything. This can be a problem for employers or admissions officers with limited time and attention spans. It’s important to understand that creating a single digital portfolio and sharing it is not an effective strategy. Instead, effective portfolios, whether digital or physical, should be intentional, thoughtfully curated, targeted communications designed to showcase the capabilities that a specific audience or individual is looking for. To use digital portfolios effectively, you need to recognize that every opportunity is unique and that the best way to leverage a digital portfolio is to make it unique to the opportunity at hand.
Everyone knows that an ‘effective resume’ is tailored to the opportunity. There are a few reasons to do this, but the most important is to make the resume more relevant to the recruiter. By increasing the resume’s relevance, we increase its impact on the recruiter or hiring manager. What many overlook is why we need to increase the relevance of the resume. Why not include as much information about you as possible and let the recruiter pick out what is important to them? The answer is that we know recruiters have limited time to review resumes. They don’t have the time to comb through every little detail about you. In reality, they have so little time and so many candidates that they will typically only be scanning your resume, so you have to be ‘on point’ because they don’t have time to ‘look through the weeds.’
Savvy job seekers know they must tailor their resumes to fit the requirements of the job they’re applying for. However, it’s equally important for them to apply the same logic to their digital portfolios since they contain far more information. Your digital portfolio should complement your resume and support the relevant points listed in it. For instance, if your resume states that you’re a professional and enthusiastic accounting student, your digital portfolio should provide specific examples that back up these claims. Don’t overwhelm recruiters with a digital portfolio that contains too many irrelevant items. Instead, provide them with a focused portfolio that includes 3-5 of the most relevant items that they can easily peruse. This will help eliminate confusion and make you stand out.
Unfortunately, in practice, most people tend to use digital portfolios by simply creating a single collection of all their employment-related assets and then sharing the same link for every opportunity they come across. While this is better than doing nothing at all, it is the most ineffective way to utilize a digital portfolio. It’s worth noting that although LinkedIn is not specifically designed to be a digital portfolio, many people use their LinkedIn profile as their “digital portfolio.” However, a LinkedIn profile is too broad to be effective as a digital portfolio. While it’s an excellent resource for networking and finding opportunities, it’s not the most suitable platform for showcasing your talents and achievements.
Digital portfolios as a communication tool have to shift from being uninspired and nonstrategic to being more deliberate and intentional. At Acadiate, we recommend and promote the intentional approach to digital portfolios and call it a Showcase. The key to this approach is being intentional, which means having a defined purpose, role, and strategy for your portfolio. It’s vital to understand that your portfolio should serve as a tool to help you communicate why you are the best fit for an opportunity. You’ll need to showcase your unique strengths and skills, which will help you stand out among dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of other candidates.
A Showcase is a place where something is presented in a favourable manner. Similar to a physical Showcase, it’s not necessary to show the entire collection, but rather to intentionally select and display the most important and relevant items, giving them a prominent stage that enables the viewer to understand the value of what is being shown.
This approach has been integrated into Acadiate’s design, specifically in the Showcase feature, which allows you to easily curate your content based on the opportunity at hand. Once you’ve added your work examples, resumes, and other employment assets to the platform, you can create a brand-new Showcase in minutes and share it securely and privately anywhere using a link.
You can get three (3) Showcases on Acadiate completely free – no credit card needed and no ads on your Showcase. If you see the value and competitive advantage it provides, you can easily upgrade to unlimited Showcases for only $19.99/year. We have partnered with some schools to provide an upgraded Acadiate account for free, we also have partnerships with other who can upgrade at a special educational price – ask your career center.
To recap, while digital portfolios offer a convenient way to showcase one’s skills and work online, they also come with limitations. The abundance of information included in digital portfolios can overwhelm viewers and make it difficult for them to navigate and digest everything. It is crucial to recognize the need for intentional curation and tailoring of the portfolio to each opportunity. By creating focused portfolios that highlight the most relevant items, job seekers can eliminate confusion and make themselves stand out among the competition. Acadiate’s intentional approach to digital portfolios, known as Showcases, provides a platform for individuals to curate their content based on the opportunity at hand, presenting their work in a favourable and impactful manner. By leveraging this intentional approach, job seekers can effectively communicate their unique strengths and skills, increasing their chances of success in the competitive job market.