Foliotek Blog

Show Your Work!

If I had a nickel for every time my primary and secondary grade level math teacher said "Geoff, you need to show your work," I'm pretty sure that today, I'd still be living off the interest from the money I'd accumulated from 12+ years of education. These days, it’s not me hearing those words from my teacher, it's my kids who are hearing it (BAHAHAHA … evil laughter). Funny thing is, now that I am "older and wiser" (said while smirking), I am 100% on the side of the teacher. I suppose that the "older" me has learned there are tremendous benefits to being able to demonstrate your knowledge.
alt For example, recently I was reading an article in Forbes about the top 10 skills employers most want. They were things like "ability to work in a team structure" (number 1)" and "ability to make decisions and solve problems" (also number 1 … guess it was a tie). If these are the types of "skills" employers want to see from job candidates, how do you demonstrate those on a resume? Sure, you can write "lead an engineering team to develop web-based product X" but that's like giving the answer to a complex math problem without telling your teacher how you got there.

Teacher (Old lady, sounds fragile): "Geoffrey, what's the value of x in this equation: 2x + 4 = 8"

Geoffrey (Young and arrogant): "x = 2, Mrs. Ward"

Teacher (not so fragile sounding anymore): "Show your work!"

Geoffrey (fear and frustration): "AHHHH"

However, truth be told, that is exactly what employers want from job candidates. When a human resources hiring agent sits behind their big, intimidating desk and asks questions like: "Tell me about a time when you were a member of a team." They don't want to hear you say: "I was on a capstone project team in college," they want to hear the story around your team experience. They want you to "show your work."

So why not get a leg up on the interview before you even step foot into a hiring manager’s office? Why not "show your work" before you even "show up"? Wouldn't this drastically change the hiring manager’s ability to ask questions during the interview as well as allow them to see the entire picture of your skill set?

Foliotek is all about providing people with a way to "show their work." The emphasis is on helping people tell their stories around their learning experiences in a way that is visually appealing and easy for a hiring manager to consume.

Check out some of our samples below (or my own) and build your own authentic online brand; you will certainly have a head start over the competition.


First Impressions

Do first impressions matter? Sounds like a "duh" kind of question. I'm sure you have heard a hundred times how "You need to make a good first impression." But seriously, does it matter? Can't you fumble the ball a few times and then make up for it with a touchdown later (sports, go sports!)? What if you are in an interview for a job? Can't you sway their negative first impression by overwhelming the hiring manager with content that blows their mind? If that were the case, it would be the exception to the rule, not the norm.

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15 Seconds or Less

Research has shown time and time again just how important the first impression is . In one side study done on a research project conducted by Frank Bernier, his graduate student, Tricia Prickett, decided to look at the first 15 seconds of video footage from people being interviewed by hiring managers. Tricia wanted to know if you could determine from the first 15 seconds of video whether or not the interviewing candidate would be offered the job.

We are talking about a knock on the door, a handshake, and a hello.

After studying almost 100 videos, Tricia discovered that after watching 15 seconds of video, people could predict with almost 90% accuracy the outcome of the interview. That's crazy. 15 seconds … game over.

Now I suppose you can look at it two ways, it's either crazy good, or crazy bad. I'll take the glass half full approach and say crazy good. And here's why.

Virtual Impressions

Because our world is currently focused on exposing our lives through visual content on the internet, think about how much time can be spent crafting your "virtual" first impression. You have an opportunity to plan and implement your first impression far more today than ever before. You can tweak your social profiles and various online projects to showcase who you are before you ever knock on the door and squeeze someone's hand. Imagine the feeling of going into an interview where someone has already formed their "first impression" and is now working internally to confirm their own opinion of you (we call this self-fulfilling prophecy … that's another post) based on your professional online presence.

It's time the world wide web starts to work for you.

If you are job hunting, make certain you are taking valuable time to tweak every place on the web where people could form a first impression of you. At Foliotek, we suggest you make use of our tools to help you build your online brand. This helps ensure that you are in control of your first 15 seconds.