On the verge of springtime, we had a back to school day yesterday. We were conducting a research study at the University of Maryland with performing arts students, and at the same time, our placement team was recruiting creative and development students at George Mason University.
As we were comparing notes today about the students getting ready to enter the workforce – whether it be for internships or full time jobs – we were surprised that only a small sampling had online portfolios. At GMU, we met some very talented interactive students! However, we were surprised to see that most of them had resumes where they listed classes, student projects and their skills, but only two people showed up with an actual portfolio. And only a few had their websites listed on their resume. Many didn’t have any at all! Over at UMD, our focus groups revealed that the students desired a place to upload their student projects to share with other students, professors, and prospective employers. Having the ability to gather their work in one University-sponsored online gallery was seen as a huge benefit for both current students and recent alumni.
To be clear, we are not talking about a full blown website. We are just talking about a place were you can go to show your work. And please, remember the URL! When prospective interns or candidates have shown up here for an interview, its been pretty hit or miss whether they have been able to quickly pull up their online work. We know it’s because they are nervous and forget the URL or Twitter feed, so make your online presence easy to remember, even the free portfolio sites let you choose your own URL or partial URL.
There are tons of free portfolio sites out there including:
And with the ease of other free tools out there like Flickr, wordpress, tumblr, blogger, wix, etc., we really hope you take advantage of the abundance of (mostly) free technology right at your finger tips.
So, as you are looking for work, put up your stuff! Show us what you’ve got! Show us what you’re passionate about! Particularly in the case of students working in visual and performing arts, don’t just tell us, SHOW US!