More and more employers are asking applicants if they have a website or other web presence that they can access easily. Managing your online image is crucial when almost all recruiters perform an online search of a candidate before setting up an interview. By creating a professional online portfolio (and ruthlessly editing your web presence), you can develop a rich alternative for employers who want to see beyond your one-page resume.
Your online presence should be a showcase demonstrating who you are and what you can do for future employers, clients, or careers. Just like you did with your resumes and cover letters, you will choose certain skills, values, artifacts, etc., based on the professional brand or image you want to create for yourself. Remember, when you post your resume online, you are creating a “digital tattoo” or impression of yourself. When creating an online identity, ask yourself the following question: How do you want potential employers or clients to see you?
Consider this assignment to be a final exam for the course – utilize all the rhetorical strategies that we have discussed so far, including strong attention to audience and purpose; clear, effective prose; sophisticated application of organizational patterns, design elements, accessibility, readability, typography and more.
There are two ways you can proceed with this assignment. Choose the one that is more appropriate for you and your field and purpose.
1) Create a simple, possibly single page website that illustrates your well-thought-out personal brand. Your social media outlets, which have been updated and optimized with your consistent and appropriate personal brand, will feature prominently.
2) Create a more in-depth portfolio-style website that places emphasis on your work, including well-designed pages of artifacts, projects, and/or writing samples.
In both cases your website will include links to fully optimized social media (at least LinkedIn – more is better) and your blogs.
Expect to fully utilize the electronic medium to create a fuller image of yourself for hiring and professional purposes. Make sure the overall impression is vibrant, substantial and worthy of notice. If you have questions about the scope of your assignment, please ask.
I will evaluate your social media profile according to these criteria:
Content: The profile presents a carefully-crafted, consistent and professional personal brand. The profile is well-designed and well-written. The profile is substantial and appropriate for the rhetorical situation(s). The profile establishes a sense of authorship and subject matter authority, including any relevant artifacts and links.
Effectiveness: The profile demonstrates creative and sophisticated use of the internet and electronic medium, including social media. The profile presents a full and professional image of the writer.
Application: The profile demonstrates that you understand and apply the many elements of professional communication discussed in the course. This includes, but is not limited to, cohesion, organization, accessibility, professional appearance, navigability, comprehensiveness, conciseness and correctness.
Design and Professionalism: The profile is attractive and accessible. The profile reflects the writer’s ability to apply design principles in a proficient way. The profile is easy to navigate.
Content Elements: A minimally effective profile will include the following:
- A website
- A professional photo
- A headline
- A bio
- Links to social media
- Links to your own blog entries/online articles/“web gemology” items.
Note: Quality will be more important than quantity.