3 Tips To Brand Yourself Using Your Digital Portfolio
Thousands of students graduate each year from the universities, polytechnics and secondary schools.
Pause and ask yourself this question – what is your X factor that makes you unique from the rest of the graduates? Are you just another certificate holder or do you have something interesting to share that the rest do not?
To put it bluntly – the degree, diploma, ITE or secondary school certificate you have in your hands is just a piece of paper. And everyone else around you has the same piece of paper.
Ultimately, like it or not, it all boils down to personal branding.
Are you starting to brand yourself?
As social media becomes increasingly popular in recent years, I view this as the best time to ride the digital wave.
In short, you have to start branding yourself online. And the easiest and more effective tool is to create your own digital portfolio.
Some of you may ask why create a digital portfolio when you already have your resume?
Yes, your resume is essential. However, there is a finite number of resumes you can send out either via email or snail mail.
Conversely, if you have a digital portfolio, it can be viewed by anyone in any part of the world (as long as you give them your URL). This gives you a wider reach and exposes your brand to the global audience.
Do not get me wrong. I’m not saying you should do away with the resume. Instead, the resume must stay. Instead, you supplement it with a digital portfolio as it enhances your personal brand.
As millennials, we have to leverage on technology to make it work to our advantage.
Here are 3 proven ways to enhance your digital portfolio after you have created one.
Tip #1: Curate Your Story
Just like how a museum curator is responsible for acquiring works of art, cataloguing them and displaying them in a manner that appeals to the public under a themed exhibition, you too must learn how to curate your digital portfolio.
Always think – how do you want to present your story?
Having unlimited space in a digital portfolio can be both a boon and bane.
If you curate your story well, your digital portfolio can be the perfect representation of the story you would like to present and it receives raving reviews.
If you don’t curate it well, then it will be the start of your worst nightmare.
Here’s how you should curate your digital portfolio.
• Make It Clean. Think lots of space in between each section and paragraph. This makes it easy on the eye to read.
• Separate The Different Parts. Use sections or dividers (consider using colours as well) to differentiate the different segments so your readers are clear about what you are presenting in each.
• Use Different Modalities. Just having rows of endless text is going to bore everyone. Add different modalities such as photos, videos and slides. This not only helps break the monotony of the text but also helps spice up your digital portfolio.
It’s all about offering your readers a wonderful ‘customer’ experience after having viewed your digital portfolio.
Tip #2: Be Selective In Your Achievements
Here’s an interesting discovery I’ve made from the numerous student interactions I have had over the years.
Students can be divided into the two types – the first group will tell me they have too many achievements while the second group will tell me they have no achievements.
Achievements can come in different forms. They can be your community involvement projects, internships, academic grades or sporting accolades.
Ok, let’s talk about the first group of students.
Group Type 1: “I Have Too Many Achievements”
If you have a laundry list of accomplishments, let me first congratulate you. This shows you have been very active which is a plus point. However, you do not have to list down all your achievements.
What you should do it to rank your achievements. Choose your strongest achievements and highlight them. Leave the smaller ones out.
Now let’s talk about the second group of students.
Group Type 2: “I Have No Achievements”
Do not say you have no achievements. This is impossible.
Just choose the achievements that you really feel you are proud of. Remember, at the end of the day, what matters more are the skills and attributes you have gained from these experiences. Share those lessons you have gleaned from each episode.
Highlight only your best.
Tip #3: Update It Regularly
First impressions matter.
You don’t want to create a digital portfolio and just leave it.
A digital portfolio should be current and updated. It should highlight the recent milestones of your life journey.
The last thing you want someone to do when reading your digital portfolio is to shake his head and say “why isn’t this updated?”
Your digital portfolio should be representative of your personal brand. After all, no one knows what you have done or how great you are. You have to tell others about it. This is about branding. And it starts with you. And if you want to gain a quantum leap over the others, you know the digital portfolio is the tool you should use.