Electronic Portfolio?

Discussion in 'Job Hunting & Interviews' started by sharona38, Jul 28, 2006.

  1. sharona38

    sharona38 Rookie

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    Jul 28, 2006

    Hi there! I'm new her although I've visited many times. I've been looking for a teaching job since last May. I subbed last year in 3 different districts including 2 long term positions in the same school. I really thought that would be a foot in the door but no luck. I've sent out approximately 75 resumes to various districts whether they were looking or not. I check several papers and websites regularly as well.
    All that being said - I've had one interview all summer. The principal told me she was greatly impressed by me but they went with someone else. I know it can be very political out there and have lost several jobs already because of that.
    I was just wondering if anyone has used an electronic portfolio or created their own website and if that has proved helpful. I scanned all of my documents and photos yesterday but I'm having a hard time with the next step. I'm not extremely computer savvy!
    Any advice would be helpful.
    Thanks!
     
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  3. awaxler

    awaxler Comrade

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    Jul 28, 2006

    Hi,

    Please don't take this the wrong way, but I believe you are "putting the cart before the horse".

    What I mean is you are focusing on an electronic portfolio when what you need to be concentrating on is getting interviews.

    Don't get me wrong, an electronic portfolio is great, but I believ it is something to bring up in your interview.

    You say you sent out 75 resumes, but only 1 interview. You live in an area that is very competetive and you need to separate yourself somehow from the crowd.

    Maybe you need to go back over your cover letter/resume. I made a post the other day where I offered a free report on how to write cover letters. Some of the tips in that report may help you stand out. Here is the link to download the report: http://www.teacherinterviewtips.com/worlds_greatest_cover_letter.pdf

    Also, networking is the best way to get your resume "flagged". Make as many contacts as you can. If you have any connection to the principal at the school have that connection mention your name and that you are looking for a job etc.

    Good luck and stay positive,
    Adam Waxler
     
  4. sharona38

    sharona38 Rookie

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    Thanks so much Adam. I'm going to use some of those tips - especially the follow-up cover letter and the PS.
    I was actually intending on using the electronic portfolio or webpage as a method for standing out. I figured I've already papered the state maybe I should email everyone as well. In addition to emailing a cover and resume I could say something like "Visit my webpage at ..." or attach a Power Point of my portfolio (abbreviated).
    Any thoughts on that idea?
     
  5. Mrsstarz

    Mrsstarz Rookie

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    Jul 28, 2006

    I graduated last December and did a permanent position in the same district. I got myself involved in everything, took pictures, and put everything in my portfolio. I too thought it would be a foot in the door, but they laid off 16+ teachers and have only called back 13 to date. I did what you did--hand out my resume everywhere including email and online. I received 2 calls for interviews. I was asked about technology and told them I knew lots, but I had nothing to show them. So I started created my online portfolio / website and then they called me and 3 others to present a lesson. After the lesson I mentioned that I had started an online portfolio and gave them the web address. They called me an hour later and let me know that I had the job.

    I definitely believe they wanted someone who could use technology and that is what set me apart from other interviewees. I also figured if I had to continue looking for a job that I would plug my online portfolio in my cover letter. I figured they would visit it out of curiosity, giving me the opportunity to let them see my portfolio before they met me.
     
  6. awaxler

    awaxler Comrade

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    Jul 28, 2006

    Glad you liked those cover letter tips.

    I also think your other ideas to stand out are great.

    Good luck,
    Adam
     
  7. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Jul 28, 2006

    Hi Sharon.
    Let me know how the online portfolio works for you. I been thinking about doing the same thing. I have 105 applications out in the state of Maine and after Monday will have been had interviews for 13 positions (9 interviews).
     
  8. WITeach

    WITeach Cohort

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    Jul 28, 2006

    Sharona,

    I think creating a website/electronic portfolio is a GREAT way to stand out and to get interviews. I did that very same thing, but burned it to a CD. I sent the CD with my applications and resumes. I had people call to ask me to interview who said that CD was what made me stand out.

    I used front page for my portfolio. I think it's pretty easy to use. I have found a few online tutorials for it, as well.
     
  9. ITeach4Him

    ITeach4Him Comrade

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    I did the electronic portfolio also as a way of GETTING interviews. It worked for me. I put my portfolio on CD using PowerPoint and sent it along with my resume. I had over 10 interviews so that says something. Each of them mentioned how great the CD was. Of course I didn't get the job each time, but at least I was getting interview experience.
     
  10. JustWondering

    JustWondering Companion

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    My personal opinion:

    Technology is creeping its way into classrooms in some areas and flooding its way in others but either way it is necessary to be able to use it, utilize it, and teach with it while sharing your knowledge of it. By showing that you can make and use technology may put you ahead of some other people who do not or can not. It all depends on what you want to do using the technology. Be careful with webpages. Some (free sites) will have ads that may not look professional or be appropriate since you cannot control them. These days you can save word docs as web pages for easy web page making and there are several simple web makers available out there. Search engines are the best way to find things you don't know. It may take a few days of research to figure out how to do what you want but it is out there. Everything I know about making web pages I found on a website somewhere.
     
  11. Mrs_Barrett

    Mrs_Barrett Cohort

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    Jul 29, 2006

    Do you bring a portfolio to your interviews? I really don't think that putting it electronic will be an extra foot in the door....I believe having that item during your interview is the way to go. They can see it and read and borrow it if they want.

    I brought a portfolio with me to all my interviews. Some of them wanted to look at it and others didn't. I was told that they were really impressed with it.

    So if you don't have a hard copy portfolio, that would be what I would be working on....When you get your job, then do an electronic one.
     
  12. ITeach4Him

    ITeach4Him Comrade

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    I did have a hard copy portfolio in a nice leather binder. It was a requirement of one of my university courses. I did take that to my interviews and only one asked to see it, the last one and the one that hired me!

    The CD portfolio I sent out with resumes had essentially the same information with a lot of pictures of my time student teaching, etc. It got me the interviews and I know this because they told me while being interviewed.
     
  13. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Jul 29, 2006

    Having interviewed a lot of folks in another field, I would say including your portfolio on a CD is a good idea. Most of the CDs you send out will probably get trashed and never viewed. So your cover letter and resume have to be strong enough to carry the day. But if you are on the bubble and a principal views it to get a better idea about your qualifications, a CD might be the difference between an interview and no interview.

    I would organize an electronic portfolio just like web pages so it can be navigated easily, hypertext, jpegs, mpegs, pdfs. etc. The last think I would want to do when considering candidates is wade through a long power point presentation.

    I don't think online web pages are a good idea in this case. Trouble entering the URL correctly, or network or server problems, might be enough to discourage someone from looking at it.

    By all means take a hard copy of your portfolio with you to interviews.
     
  14. astewart

    astewart Rookie

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    I love the idea of doing an electronic portfolio on a CD-ROM! It can show a little more personality than your resume and cover letter.

    How do you guys put together the electronic portfolios? Do you do it as a PowerPoint as someone else mentioned, or are there other good programs to use to help your documents flow well?

    My school didn't require a portfolio (although I certainly have a hard copy), so I'm not sure how other people do their e-portfolios! Thanks!!!
     
  15. WITeach

    WITeach Cohort

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    I used FrontPage. It sets it up just like a webpage where you have hyperlinks that can be clicked on to go to a different page. I would probably not use PowerPoint as a slideshow. That would mean the viewer would have to sit and watch the whole thing, rather than choosing pages that they are interested in viewing.
     
  16. astewart

    astewart Rookie

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    Ooh, that's interesting... I've never used that program. Do you need Frontpage to read Frontpage files?
     
  17. ITeach4Him

    ITeach4Him Comrade

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    You CAN use PowerPoint and create links or "click buttons" with a hyperlink to another file, etc. When I used PowerPoint, I attached files of my resume, teacher certificate, student teaching evaluations, even lesson plans I'd done, etc. all by saving them to the cd as a .PDF file. Then I had a slide in my PowerPoint presentation that was a Table of Contents. Each section on my table of contents was hyperlinked to these files so the person viewing could skip everything except what they wanted to see simply by clicking on the area of the table of contents they wanted to view.

    I also saved it as a .PPS (power point show) with the PowerPoint viewer on the CD so that it would automatically PLAY when opened up.
     
  18. WITeach

    WITeach Cohort

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    It opens up like a webpage. So, the person viewing it would not need front page, just the person creating it. :)
     
  19. WITeach

    WITeach Cohort

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    Yep! What I meant was...I wouldn't suggest using Powerpoint to make a slideshow that runs all the way through from beginning to end. (Without hyperlinks). If I were to use it, I would definitely put in hyperlinks. Otherwise it would be awfully hard to navigate through it.
     
  20. sharona38

    sharona38 Rookie

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    Jul 31, 2006

    Thanks for all the feedback! Ironically my computer decided to get a virus this weekend. Maybe it sensed all the work I was going to make it do.
    My plan is to use PowerPoint and make some CDs. I will also attach it to emails I will send out. Hopefully that will make me stand out a bit. I may attempt Front Page as well but I have more PP knowledge.
    I will keep you posted on my progress!
     

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