Lindsay Brazell

Music Educator and Creative Professional

Gain A Competitive Edge with an Online Portfolio

While blogging is a professional hobby of mine, it’s a piece of online real estate that I care deeply about maintaining. It provides a public space for my work to “come to life,” rather than appear as a statement on a piece of paper. Several of my employment opportunities began with: “We saw your website and were very impressed. Would you like to meet for coffee?” Look at that, my blog is providing me coffee! 🙂

A print resume is always going to serve as an important document in the hiring process. But what if you could supplement it with an online portfolio that really shows your work and abilities in a real way?

As music educators, we essentially produce a product for our schools and our communities. Because that product takes time and preparation throughout the school year, it is hard to represent that in words on a paper document. What an online portfolio can do is show videos, images, and reviews of your previous work, in a way that says, “See, I really can do this, and I have had prior success!”

Or maybe you are a recent graduate seeking your first teaching job. While you may not have prior work-experience, an online portfolio is the perfect place for recital clips, teaching videos, and any writing samples that demonstrate your potential for success. These items say, “I’m ready to do this, because I put the work in during my degree program!”

Who knew these things could speak?! And even better, they can speak for you before you even meet your potential employer. Your online portfolio can provide instant conversation in your interview. Employers get a taste of your work, and you get to further explain those experiences and the preparation that went into those items.

I have written articles about the benefits of blogging for educators, specifically the aspect of reflection and providing a space for sharing ideas. Regardless if you are ready to start a blog, a blogging platform is the perfect place to build your online portfolio. As usual, I recommend WordPress, but you can use any: Wix, Squarespace, even Tumblr! Be sure to give it a professional title/web address, especially if you don’t purchase a domain name. “MrsJonesPortflio.wordpress.com” is better than “Teacherz4lyfe.wordpress.com” Just be normal!

Once you have your site looking the way you want, here are some pages you can consider adding:

  • About/Biography
  • Teaching videos
  • Recital/Performance clips
  • Compositions
  • Writing samples
  • Publications
  • Philosophy of Education

And of course, at the top of your resume after your contact information, be sure to put something like: Online Portfolio: www.youronlineportfolio.com.

Also, if you are a collegiate educator teaching future educators, why not make this online portfolio an ongoing project? By the time they graduate, they’ll have 4 years (or more if they linger!) worth of work to display for future employers! Students will naturally gripe as they are assigned this project, but they will thank you immensely when it gets them hired!

I’d love to help you in any way I can, and I’m sure there are some other great examples out there too! Leave a link to your online portfolio in the comments below, or on my Facebook page. Feel free to contact me for assistance!

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gbsk/

About Lindsay

I’m Lindsay, a choral music educator by day, a singer-songwriter by evening, and a writer when time allows. You can find my latest album, The Room I Found – Lindsay Morelli on iTunes.

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