If you’re going to start the job hunt, a resume and a professional portfolio are two things you MUST have. Here on Career Addict, you can find dozens of articles on how to make an awesome resume--like this one here--but in this article we’re going to look at how to put together a professional portfolio.
A portfolio provides physical proof of your experience. A resume may say, "I went to photography school for 4 years", but a portfolio says, "Here are the pictures I took thanks to the skills I learned in photography school".
What should you include in your portfolio?
- Samples of Your Work -- No matter what profession you have chosen, there is always something you can show to prove that you are a highly-skilled professional. Whether it’s a highly organized accounting spreadsheet, a high school lesson plan you created, or printouts of websites you designed and are particularly proud of, you should include samples of your work in your portfolio. Seeing is believing!
- Short Job History -- Your resume is going to give details on who you are and what you do, but your portfolio should have a quick summary of your job history in your chosen field. Many hiring managers glance at resumes, but they’ll pay more attention when flipping through your portfolio.
- References/Testimonials -- If you want to prove that you are good at what you do, use someone else’s words to back you up. Either include references in your portfolio for the hiring manager to call, or include testimonials or feedback from particularly satisfied customers.
- Letters of Recommendation -- Have you been commended for your work in the past? Has a previous boss endorsed your skills and aptitude? All letters of recommendation belong in your portfolio, as they are a testament to your professionalism. Hiring managers place high value on letters of recommendation.
- Evaluations -- In some industries, professionals are subject to formal evaluations. If you have been given a glowing evaluation in your profession, it’s worth adding that into your portfolio. It’s just one more piece of evidence to lend credence to your belief that you are the right candidate for the job.
- Awards -- Have you won any awards for your hard work or creativity in your profession? If so, they belong in your professional portfolio. Unless it’s an award that’s handed out to EVERYONE, it proves that you are excellent at what you do--making you the ideal candidate for the position for which you are applying.
- Certifications -- Your certifications and licenses should be at the back of your professional portfolio, but they should be there. They prove that you have the experience you claim to have on your resume.
When putting together your portfolio, don’t be stuck on the classic ring binder presentation. You can create a web-based portfolio, a website dedicated to your professional achievements, a PowerPoint presentation showcasing your best work, or even a printed book you prepared. The format of the portfolio isn’t what matters most; what matters is that your portfolio showcases your skills to the best of your abilities.
Sourced Image: Portfolio Wallpaper