During the average week, I see probably 10-20 job applications come across my desk. If we’re hiring, that number might jump to 30-40. Either way, for an operation of 15 folks, and me only wearing the “HR” hat part of the time, it’s enough to make it so I can’t dedicate a lot of time to each application we get. That said, I do review every application we get and I always look for one thing: a portfolio site. And not just for designers and writers, but for account folks and others in the marketing field too. Here’s why…
We work in digital marketing
As you can tell from a few minutes surfing our site – we’re a digital marketing agency. So it’s important that all of our employees, from admin to developer, understand the sandbox in which we play. We expect all of our folks to be thoroughly versed in the world of digital marketing.
Five years ago, this was much simpler. It meant having a presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Today, in my opinion at least, it means having a web presence of your own. Whether that’s a beautifully designed yourname.com for a designer or developer or just a really well-written blog if you’re an account coordinator, writer or strategist, we want you to have a presence online.
Why? Well, it’s simple really. For one, we can see your work (more on that below). Second, it quickly communicates to me, the guy on the hiring side of the desk, that you’re doing what you can to stay current with digital trends. After all, we do work in digital marketing…
We want to see your work
If you’re a designer or writer, a portfolio site is a place to house examples of your creative work. If you’re not a designer or writer, well, it’s a place to house presentations, articles you’ve written, case studies you’ve been a part of, Excel docs you’ve built, your thoughts on trends in marketing, you name it!
Whatever your work product is, it’s important to display it for us to see. After all, how do you make a big buying decision? Do you go in cold and expect to make a big purchase? Or do you do your research online before making a move? Guess what – hiring is a big purchase for us. So we want to do our research. We want to see your work before we “buy.”
It’s now expected
It’s 2017. Everything is online. Good, bad, otherwise. A portfolio site? In my opinion, it’s “Resume 2.0.” So your work, well, it better be represented online in some capacity. After all, just like you, that’s where we, the people who are hiring, like to do our research.
Start a blog, build a Tumblr account, build a full-blown website. Whatever you decide to do, just make sure you’re doing it. As nothing is more disappointing than an application that comes through, and in the “Portfolio site URL” field” it reads – “I can send you samples upon request.”
That’s not acceptable. This is the request! The majority of the most talented folks all have portfolio sites now. A site, of some capacity, is expected.
“If you build it, they [just might] come”
Before you build your portfolio site, do yourself a favor and research basic SEO practices. I’m certainly not saying you’ll climb to the top of Google if you build your website just so, but if you consider best SEO practices when you do build your presence, and then commit to keeping up with blogging and content creation and keeping things fresh, who knows – maybe that next job offer will come to you.