Portfolio Tips

A portfolio is a great way to set yourself apart from the competition during an interview.  In fact, one of my clients told me that the reason he was hired was because of his portfolio. It wasn’t just the fact that he brought one with him to the interview (and that he was the only candidate who did so); it was the fact that he had laid out his skills and achievements in such a clear, organized, and impactful manner, it totally wowed the interview panel.

Even if you are not in a job search, it is a good idea gather all of your awards, achievements, etc. into one place, so that if the time ever comes when you need a portfolio, all of the information will be there. Here are some ideas for sections:

  1. Resume — Begin your portfolio by having your resume in the first section.
  2. Education/Trainings — Include copies of your diploma, certificates, etc.
  3. Recommendation Letters — Include copies of recommendation letters. You can also create a page and title it “LinkedIn Recommendations” and then copy and paste your LinkedIn recommendations on a page.
  4. Awards — This section should only include copies of related awards.
  5. Accomplishments — What do you feel proud about accomplishing in your career? Were you promoted in a relatively short time? Did you slash expenses? Boost revenue? Streamline procedures? Create a page entitled “Accomplishments.” and list the achievements. (Hint: charts and bar graphs can produce an even stronger impact. For example, if your sales have continually increased in the past year, a chart/graph is a great visual tool to showcase this progression.)
  6. Thank Yous — Have you received thank yous or congratulatory emails over the years? Create another section of thank yous.
  7. Projects/Examples — This section will vary depending on your occupation, but here are some ideas: List projects with short descriptions. If you’ve created forms, newsletters, etc., add these to your portfolio. Maybe you are a writer. Include copies of your writings, blog, etc.
  8. Volunteer Activities / Community Involvement — Did you receive a certificate of appreciation? If so, include it. If not, create your own page by listing the organization, your volunteer activity, date, and your duties.
  9. Presentations / Public Speaking — What groups have you presented to? What was the topic/title? What dates were these public speaking events.

While these are just some ideas that can be included in a portfolio, the important thing to remember is that each career professional has a unique background. Think about what a hiring manager would be interested in seeing, and then, go ahead and create a portfolio that will “wow” them!

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