Foliotek Blog

Self-Reflection Tips

Whether it’s for a resume, an eportfolio, or a job interview, knowing how to present ourselves to an audience is hard. We’ve all stared at a blank computer screen for an extended period of time, not knowing where to start. How can we summarize our life story into one page? Where do you even start?

Self-Reflection Defined: “Self-Reflection is mediation and serious thoughts about one’s character, actions, or motives.”

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Before jumping to conclusions that Self-Reflection is just as hard as presenting to your audience, take a moment to consider these steps from Sandburg. It’s very similar to exercising. It sounds really hard at first, but once you get in the rhythm, it all starts making sense. You will be happy you got started!

“It is necessary … for man to go away by himself ... to sit on a rock ... and ask, ‘Who am I, where have I been, and where am I going?” – Carl Sandburg

Step 1: Who am I?

From a career standpoint, an individual can be good at something and not enjoy it. Let’s be honest, lacking motivation and heart for your career will eventually give. So for this first step, focus on writing down the things you both enjoy and are good at. For example, maybe you are good at solving problems and you enjoy helping people. Make note of these areas and look for consistencies. Write down all the things that fire you up and that you are naturally motivated to do. Ultimately, these intrinsic motivators are what shape who you are.

Step 2: Where have I been?

This is where the reflection on past experiences will take place. Really look at what career decisions you have made and whether they turned out well or not. Learn from your mistakes, but also learn from the work environments you have enjoyed. If you haven’t had a lot of job experiences yet, write down what type of courses you really enjoyed and the learning environments where you work best. Perhaps you really liked round-table discussions or hands-on experiences. Again, apply the motivation aspect, but now specifically to your past career experiences. If you have some work experience, what positions did you like and how did you excel? Which ones were a challenge? By answering these questions now, you will be ready to really present your true passions and gifts.

Step 3: Where am I going?

After the first two steps, you should start noticing some consistencies in what career paths are a good fit for you. Consider what you can already offer to an employer with the education and the training that you’ve already received. It’s alright if you don’t have all the answers, but having a better understanding of where your strengths and passions are is a huge step in itself. Knowing the career paths you don’t want to take is also a huge victory.

These questions can help you reflect on who you are and where you want to be in life. Reflecting on this information can help you while preparing your resume, piecing together important artifacts for a portfolio, and speaking intelligently about your experiences in an interview. Even if you aren't preparing for any of the above, these tips will help you appreciate the work you've put in to get where you are today.

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How to Write a Resume

Resume writing can seem monotonous and intimidating. How are you supposed to fit all of your awesome accomplishments onto just one page? What if you don’t have a lot of different experiences or awards to fill up an entire page? Look no further. This post will discuss the content that employers are looking for when they see your resume for the first time.

“It’s well documented that people only spend about six seconds looking at each resume they receive.” – Forbes.com

Not only do employers look quickly at your resume to determine if it’s worth the read, but they want to be able to sell you to the hiring managers based on your resume alone. If you only have six seconds to impress someone with your resume, you need to be sure that only the essentials are listed so your expertise gets across.
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Content

Personal Information:
No, I don’t mean that you’re wearing your lucky t-shirt as you compose your resume. Include your full name, phone number, email address, and ID Page URL. By including your Foliotek ID Page as a link on your resume, you give employers direct access to your work samples before they even meet you.

School Experience:
List your degree, school, and graduation year. If you received your degree more than ten years ago, leave off the year. If your work experience is more relevant to the job in which you’re applying, list that before school experience.

Work Experience:
Include the name of the company, your position, the years worked at the company, and your outstanding achievements while working there. By quantifying your impact in your job experience, you show future employers specific examples of what you’re capable of doing for their company.

Quick Hitter Tips from the Pros

  • A resume is a very selective body of content. It’s not meant to be comprehensive. If it doesn’t contribute to convincing the hiring manager to talk to you, then take it out says Heifetz.
  • Objectives are so last year. Instead, swap out objective with branding statement or career summary. Giving impressive statistics of your accomplishments and telling employers how your skills will meet their goals as a company is much more effective than stating that you want to be hired and a list of the skills you have.
  • "In a society where social media often blurs the lines between personal and professional life, it’s easy to forget the level of formality and importance your resume should hold, but it is a crucial fact to remember" says blogger and Certified Resume Writer Michele Lando
  • Check out this sample ID Page to see how incorporating your work samples into an online resume is a positive influence on your application.

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