I have written a number of books about careers, leisure, and service -- mostly in education markets and a few trade books. Recently, I completed a new work about using portfolios in a job search. This was based on the success I had enjoyed in writing a portfolio book for young people.
Since I could not find any research regarding job search portfolios for adults, I went on guts, my personal experience, and positive notes I received from experts. I finished the book and earned a glowing endorsement from Joyce Kennedy. I knew that new ideas need to be substantiated before presenting it to a doubting public. I decided to see if I could cull examples from people online about job search portfolio experiences. Posting a query on both America Online and the JobPlace Listserv I came up with 20 people in the course of 6 to 9 months.
They supplied me with the anecdotal evidence I needed. I collected stories about people using portfolios as their transition from military to civilian life, Canadians using portfolios to receive credit for prior learning, executives and headhunters using portfolios, various college people told about using portfolios in career classes and professional development. I heard from administrators, job seekers, and job counselors who used portfolios in their job search.
Later I used many of these initial contacts to secure endorsements and reviews. As a result I now have over 12 reviews and endorsements for this manuscript in Canada, Australia, and all over the US. All this before I even signed a final contract! I eventually found someone at Peterson's Publishing who wanted the book and then connected with an agent via online networking.
I never left my house, never went through the library tombs, and ended up
with the best data possible -- and a contract too.
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