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lesson objectives

lesson overview
Now that you have an online resume and portfolio, you need a place to use it. This week you will explore the possibilities found on the Web and go through at least the beginning steps to 'register' your site on a Job-Board (if you are pursuing a job) or Directory (if you plan to do Freelance work).

IF YOU ARE NOT READY TO 'go live' with your Portfolio site, DON'T actually register with a Job Board or Directory.

The purpose of this week's exercise is to familiarize yourself with the registration process, so that when you are ready, you'll be able to do it easily

You will also research and report on information you find about a company you target as a possible employer. Freelancers will research contracts they could use with clients.

To display the results of your efforts, this week you will create 2 Web pages and add a link to these pages on your "homework page". I encourage you to learn from your classmates by reading each other's job board and corporate reviews.

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review job boards

Online job boards are cropping up everywhere. Companies are using their corporate sites to advertise job listings as well. You need to evaluate which job boards would work for you.

Become an informed job board consumer—Learn to view job boards with a discriminating eye.
  —How many jobs do they have?
  —How recent is the information at the site?
  —What services do they offer beyond job postings?

In addition you need to evaluate where you will be listing your portfolio and posting your resume. While the number of visitors to a job board isn't the only criterion you should apply when deciding where to post your resume and portfolio, it's a big factor.

Here are some top sites that you can start with:

Top Web Sites for Job Hunters Business & Careers Channel

I recommend you choose 3-4 and get to know how they work. Then select one. Explore the site in depth. Then write your report about that one.

As with the WWW Resumes and Portfolios you critiqued in Week 2, if you don't find anything helpful or useful at a particular Job Board or Directory, or if you decide after examining it that you'll never use it—DON'T report on that one, CHOOSE another.

Resources for Freelancers

Freelancers can, of course, use any and all of the job boards listed above. You might, for example, seek part-time employment, or you might register yourself as a Freelancer, available for hire on contract.

Additionally, there are Directories and services which cater specifically to Freelancers. These can be very useful for self-promotion. Whether we call them 'Job-Boards' or 'Directories', these services share a similar function: they provide a mechanism by which prospective workers and clients can link-up.

You will use the same format as Employment-track students, but your report will focus on the Freelancer resources. Choose 3-4 and get to know how they work. Then select one. Explore the site in depth. Then write your report about that site.

As with the WWW Resumes and Portfolios you critiqued in Week 2, if you don't find anything helpful or useful at a particular Job Board or Directory, or if you decide after examining it that you'll never use it—DON'T report on that one, CHOOSE another.

Freelancers Directories





Association of Freelance Internet Designers

List of Referral Services at DMOZ, Open Directory project

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research companies

Who's your Target?

Would you use the same items in a portfolio for a position at Microsoft that you would for Apple? How about if your target is an environmentally-conscious social action organization? Or a large publisher? Or an investment brokerage? Or the Junior College?

The answer is "no". Not ideally. Not if/when you have more experience and more 'pieces' to select from.

Eventually, if not yet, your portfolio will include a wide assortment of pieces. Then, as you target a particular employer, you will pick and choose from those pieces and show only the 'jewels' which are most appropriate to the prospective employer. Freelancers would do the same regarding a particular client. However, the assumption behind this approach is that you know something about the target. You're going to get to know something about a prospective employer or client this week.

You can do a tremendous amount of research about a company using Internet resources.

  • What is the company's 'mission'? How do it present itself to the world?
  • Does that start-up company you're so excited about have a shot at success?
  • Do you really have a chance of landing a job with that 'dream company' you've been drooling over?
  • What can you learn about companies by viewing their websites?
  • What are the benefits of working for a large company verses a small family run business?
  • Does working for a 'non-profit' mean you have to commit to poverty?
  • If you want to do an internship somewhere, what are they looking for?

First see if the company you are interested in working for has a website. That will be a primary source of information. Next review some of the articles and links listed in the resources section. In addition, many large companies will be written up in online Business Journals and Investment Reports.

If you don't know the URL of the Web site, let search engines and/or online Yellow Pages help you find it.

A description of what the company is about, what it produces, might be found in a formal Mission Statement, or in a section called About Us. Look for areas, or links like these.

If you know someone who already works there, gather 'informal' information from her or him, about the company, its products, what it is like to work there, management/employee relations, competency of middle managers, employee benefits if they are notable -- generous, or non-existent, salaries, etc.

The Human Resources department is probably a logical target if you decide to phone, email, or visit. Make notes of any relevant info you learn from conversations with HR people, or from printed brochures and other material, that could be included on your Company Research page.

If you decide to make direct contact, you will have better success if you can get the name and contact info (phone and/or email) of a specific person to speak with. If you get a name, make sure to include it in your review, along with how to contact her/him, who this person is and why you have the name, and any specific relevant info that you gained from your conversation ... or what you would like to ask this person when you do make contact.

Locate the best possible resources and find out what you can from those sources. Then follow the guidelines on the homework detail on the Homework page to report your results.


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refine your portfolio

When you have completed the assignments above, you may decide to fine-tune your Portfolio.

Also, after receiving the feedback about your work last week, you might want to implement some of the suggestions. you complete the other assignments this week, be thinking and making notes about the changes you want to make, and be on the lookout for ideas and/or examples which may shortcut your updating.

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