Strong career portfolio replaces boring resume

With the nation’s current economic and political state, the job market is not expanding as many predicted years ago.

“The national unemployment rate is at 6.1 percent as of Aug. 2003, which is the highest in eight years,” said Ed Wiley III, a Black Entertainment staff writer.

It is more important now, more than ever, to really stand out from the rest of the crowd.

For many graduating students, the feeling of leaving college is almost as scary as the feeling when they first walked on the campus. The college experience is filled with constantly changing faces. Just when you think that you have found your place in this world, it hits you like a ton of bricks- you must now enter the real world. With so many people competing for jobs, some with college degrees and others with trade school certificates, a simple resume is as unreliable as your shield. To have a better chance at nailing a job or an internship, upgrade to a career portfolio.

A portfolio is a collection of papers and/or artifacts presented in a variety of formats. Simply, it’s all the outstanding work you have done compiled into one file. With your strong attributes readily available, presenting yourself to a representative of the company you’re interested in will become a walk in the park.

Instead of including the original documents in your portfolio, make copies. Avoid typing in fonts that are not professional.

It is never too early to start creating a portfolio. In fact, there is at least one reason to start.

The Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center will host a Career Expo on Sept. 15 beginning at 7 p.m. The Expo will play host to over 150 of America’s top companies like Proctor & Gamble, Aventis Pharmaceuticals, The Kimberly-Clark Corporation and NASA.

Your portfolio should be creative, organized and easy to read, and it should describe your work skills, your strengths and your work ethic. Most importantly, it should contain a professionally outlined resume.

Because resumes help you network, never leave home with just one.

“When attending a career fair or anything of its magnitude you should have at least 50 copies of your resume with you,” said Delores Dean, director of the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center.

The expo is not limited to graduating seniors. All students, from freshmen to transfers, are welcome to network with the representatives and recruiters from some of the largest companies in the nation.

“It is important for it to be known that freshmen and sophomores are welcome to come out because it gives them a chance to network and possibly set up summer internships or summer employment,” Dean said.

The Expo is also open to the community and anyone else looking for employment.

There will also be a reception held on Sept. 14 at the Civic Center starting at 7 p.m., which also is open to the community. The shuttles will run every hour from the Set. If you are planning to drive, please stop by the Career Center to pick up your free parking decal. For more information on the Career Expo, call (850) 599-3700

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