In recent ePortfolio community news (via Batson Blog), an AAC&U study found the followng:
"In addition to a résumé and college transcript, a large majority of employers say an electronic portfolio demonstrating a student’s work and key skill and knowledge areas would be useful in evaluating potential candidates for hire. Four in five (83%) employers say an electronic portfolio of student accomplishments would be very (43%) or fairly (40%) useful to them in ensuring applicants have the skills and knowledge to succeed in their company or organization. Just 17% say the portfolio would be only somewhat useful or less." -- by Hart Research Associates: It Takes More Than A Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success, page 4.
On April 26, 2013 the Notre Dame ePortfolio Engagement Program (nDEEP) offered a presentation for the ND Career Center Employer Advisory Board, consisting of 11 recruiters from companies such as AT&T, Accenture, Boeing, General Mills, General Electric, Johnson and Johnson, P&G, and Stryker. Campus ePortfolio initiatives and trends with student examples were discussed. The ND Employer Advisory Board was interviewed and surveyed as a focus group to confirm these recent AAC&U findings (above) and explore how students can best share their ePortfolios with potential employers. Here is what we found about how students could best share their ePortfolios, in order of preference:
*91% (10/11) of recruiters said if a student followed up with them via email with a link to a relevant part of their ePortfolio they would visit it.
*73% (8/11) of recruiters said if a student offered to show them a relevant part of their ePortfolio during a job fair via tablet (iPad) they would be interested.
*64% (7/11) of recruiters said if a student put a link to their ePortfolio on the top of their resume they would visit it.
*55% (6/11) of recruiters said if a student offered to show them a relevant part of their ePortfolio during a job interview via tablet (iPad) they would be interested.
*36% (4/11) of recruiters said if a student had a link to their ePortfolio on their email signature or referenced in their cover letter that they would visit it.
From discussion, interviews, and write-in comments, the majority of recruiters prefaced their answers with the fact that students, first and foremost, need to be impressive and interesting. Before and after the interview seemed to be the best time to email a follow up with relevant parts to the ePortfolio. In addition, most agreed that they wouldn't mind the ePortfolio being shared in person via tablet during a job fair/interview only if it didn't replace the face-to-face interaction/pitch and didn't carry on too long or become a distraction. Taken together, these comments and survey responses provide useful information on how educators can best coach students to use their ePortfolios in professional contexts.
Other interesting trends included:
*72% (8/11) of recruiters strongly agreed (4/11) or agreed (4/11) that the ePortfolio would be a valuable tool for their company's recruiting.
*63% (7/11) of recruiters strongly agreed (2/11) or agreed (5/11) that the ePortfolio would be a valuable tool for their company's leadership & talent development.
*36% (4/11) of recruiters do (3/11) or sometimes (1/11) Google their recruits to examine their digital foot print.
During our demo, we also received a lot of postive feedback on our directory as a useful tool for recruiters to search for relevant ePortfolios. They requested better search features which could be solved by having a better University ePortfolio tagging policy and directory. The most useful tags to recruiters would be graduation date and program of study.