A portfolio is a collection of documents and/or samples of work (pictures, videos, writing…) that you assemble together to show your future employer that you have the experience, skills, competencies and talent needed to do the job. A portfolio is meant to give the extra push your resume did not have the power to do alone. It is what will differentiate you from other candidates. It gives you an unexpected edge in interviews and lets the interviewer get a much clearer idea of what you can bring to the company.
- Adds value to your application
- Provides tangible proof of your skills
- It differentiates you from other candidates
- It allows you to show your personality
Make sure you mention, at the beginning of the interview, that you brought your portfolio with you. Then let the interviewer let you know when he/she is ready to see it.
How can you make sure your portfolio increases your chances of getting hired?
Keep it organized
A portfolio needs to be focused on a certain type of work. You might have multiple passions and more than one portfolio but it is important that you make sure each portfolio presents one field of expertise or separate them in sections. This will allow your recruiter to find exactly what he needs, when he needs it without having to go through multiple other things. Use categories. When you’ve got a lot of work to show off, placing everything on one page can be overwhelming.
Present your own projects
Employers like to see that you can go after what you want/need. Having personal experience besides your degree has the power to strongly impress your future employer and show that you have character. Find projects in your field that will benefit you and your portfolio. Contact clients, tell people about your services, start a blog about something you are passionate about. Portfolio documents could be items like: newsletter or blog articles you have written.
Make sure you update your portfolio regularly
A portfolio is like a resume. The more experience you acquire, the more your portfolio will change. Make sure you portray your newest work so that your portfolio can match the current demand and trends on the market. It is ok if at first, your portfolio does not have much to show. The most important thing is to start right so you can get off the ground.
Present your work in an original way, with boldness and confidence. Find ways to make it attractive and different. Never underestimate the power of visuals. Make sure you present something that will be easy to remember. If you are looking for ways to impress recruiters and employers with your career portfolio, it is important to incorporate your personal brand.
Make your portfolio digital
As technology continues to evolve, it’s crucial for job seekers to provide a digital copy of their portfolio. Online portfolios can be created with WordPress or you can publish your portfolio as PDF file. A digital version of your portfolio will make it easier to share!
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Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints