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Of Course You Should Have A Portfolio At The Interview
Its conventional wisdom that you should have a portfolio to show off at interviews. Portfolios give visual credence to what you say you can do and make you memorable among the jumble of candidates.
This could be something like a binder with pages, or a presentation on a tablet or website where you can lead the interviewers through your content.
Of course, you should have one at your interview, yes? Actually, yes and no.
You want that content, for sure. It supports what you say you can do by showing proof. These dont necessarily have to be your best work. In fact, its better if they are a match for what the company is looking for, as described in the job posting. If theres no posting, and this is a company you sorely want to work for, match your portfolio examples to their culture.
Some samples with narratives that tie them to the role might be:
Reports that show numbers youve generated representing an increase in sales or a decrease in costs.
An industry journal article about how youve impacted the company or started a trend.
A video snippet of you making a presentation at a conference to your peers.
A description of an invention that earned you a patent .
A photo of you and your team celebrating a quarterly goal youve all achieved.
This translates into:
Your networking handout should have a lot of that content in it, plus links to more content online.
How To Prepare Your Portfolio For A Job Interview
With the job market becoming increasingly competitive, jobseekers can stand out by properly preparing a great portfolio. Gone are the days where you walk into a job interview with just an extra copy of your resume. Your portfolio is a great way to show the employer your skills, experience and previous projects.
Preparing your portfolio prior to your interview will make you stand out from those who simply walk into an interview empty-handed, or with a resume that the employer has already looked over, hence the interview.
Here are nine documents that should be displayed in your portfolio:
1. Cover page
Your cover page should be simple but inviting. Stick to a neutral color, and label it Portfolio with your name underneath. Make the font large enough to read, but not overpowering. You can decide which fonts to use, but make it looks as professional as possible.
2. Table of contents
A table of contents will direct the employer to the areas of interest. Keep in mind, you will need to update your table of contents depending on what and how many documents you choose to include, per interview. For example: One interview you may include all nine key documents, as well as additional ones, but eliminate the additional documents for another interview. By eliminating documents, your page numbers will change. To avoid confusion, you could eliminate the page numbers, and just include the titles in order of appearance.
3. Personal Profile
5. Cover letter
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Do You Need A Physical Portfolio
Most designers are using online portfolios these days. But for in-person interviews especially if youre a print designer you should think about creating a physical one.
This one above designed by Abra Design, has a magazine quality about it thats will always be timely.
Learn how to design a magazine from scratch with our how-to article.
Alex Fowkes / printed portfolio
Or you can get really creative like Alex Fowkes and create an elaborate piece thats a work of art itself.
What Is A Professional Portfolio
A professional portfolio is a collection of your work and information about you as a professional. While a resume tells prospective employers about who you worked for and what you did, a portfolio gives examples.
The easiest example to consider is that of an artist or writer. They pull together published works and works of art and show them to potential employers.
If you dont work in the arts, you can still use examples of your work to showcase your skill. A can put together analytic reports that convey the success of their campaigns. An accountants portfolio can feature Excel spreadsheets and formulas theyve created to streamline an audit.
In the past, a portfolio was usually kept in an art folio case or a bound book and brought to interviews. Today, you can reach your target even earlier in the process by creating an online portfolio or your own website.
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Work Portfolio One Of Twenty Applicants Will Bring It
Only a few people think about creating a portfolio, or about bringing it to the interview with them. Statistics I collected while running a recruitment agency reveal that less than five percent of job seekers did actually bring the portfolio to the interview. A mistake? A chance missed?
Before we think about it together, let me explain what a portfolio is:
- Portfolio is more in-depth than a resume, and it explains your education, skills and abilities, working experience and achievements, in a simple to understand yet attractive and professional way. For creatives, it often stands for a collection of their best works.
Include Photos Of Yourself Working
Including photos of yourself working on specific academic projects or in previous internships or community service work will help the employer to see you in action. Sometimes these visual pictures can say a thousand words and dont often need any explanation. If you are currently completing an internship or volunteering for a company, be sure to take some photos to keep your portfolio current and to show employers what you’re doing right now.
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How To Create A Marketing Portfolio: A Step
Creating a marketing portfolio takes considerable time and hands-on work, but its a smart investment in yourself and your career. If you take a digital marketing certification program or course, youll likely get help with building your portfolio. Otherwise, the following steps will walk you through how to build a marketing portfolio for the first time.
Choose A Hosting Platform
First, youll need to decide where to host your marketing portfolio website. While some marketers have the skills to develop a custom website, most starting out will look for a hosting platform with design templates to get started. Here is an overview of four popular content management systems for portfolios:
- WordPress. WordPress powers 39.5% of all sites in the world as the webs most flexible, open-source content management system. You canstart with a free self-hosted website and choose from portfolio themes and a large number of plug-ins to customize your site, with upgrade options available.
- Wix. Wix is an easy-to-use, affordable content management system that offers drag-and-drop templates, analytics, and plugins. It has a number oftemplates created for marketing or CV portfolios.
- Squarespace. Squarespace offers very similar functionality to Wix withtemplates, themes, and plugins. Unlike Wixs website builder, where users will need to create a desktop and a mobile version, all Squarespace templates are responsivemeaning that a single version of the site adapts to mobile and desktop formats.
- Google Sites. Google offers a free, template-based website builder that has a low learning curve and is quick to build, though with fewer customization options. As a Google product, it integrates well with Googles suite of web products including Analytics, Ads, and more.
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How To Present Your Portfolio If You Havent Had Much Work
A common problem is how to present your portfolio if you dont have much work yet. Actually, the most experienced interviewer will know very quickly if they think youre a good fit for the position.
Likely theyll already have an idea of your talent after the first 3-4 projects and many will even stop reviewing the portfolio at that point.
The worst thing to do is stuff your portfolio with sub-par work. Every recruiter would much rather a shorter, high-caliber presentation than 40 pages of sub-par work.
If you dont have enough client work, create your own creative brief, and complete the project or use student work to show off your abilities. If you want real client work to beef up your portfolio, ask family and friends, similarly, non-profits are often happy to have free help.
Close Your Tabs Bookmarks And Windows
Letâsbe honest: when someone shares their screen, our eyes get drawn to their opentabs and open windows. Itâs human nature. So, before your presentation starts,close your tabs and sort out bookmarks! They slow down your computer, and youcan get lost in them in front of your potential employer. Such a situation canbe very frustrating, and it can lead to you losing momentum. Donât forget aboutyour windows and notifications either!
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Make Sure It’s Accessible
Keep your portfolio in an accessible place or format. Make sure its easily accessible from a social networking site or an easy web address to enter into a search engine. Youre more likely to keep an online portfolio up to date, rather than putting a paper-based format in a cupboard and forgetting about it. You can manage and update your information and add good examples as and when they occur.
Ok Youve Convinced Me What Next
A key element to your portfolio is that it should be visually engaging. Think infographic-like in appearance. It should be an easy-to-skim, impressive outline of your accomplishments. The easiest way to create an interview portfolio is to create it in PowerPointbut more on that later. For now, lets talk a little bit about each section.
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How To Present Your Digital Portfolio: Advice From A Creative Recruiter
Im a designer and Im not sure how to present a digital portfolio! It is the biggest make-or-break factor in a hiring decision. However, I spend weeks preparing my portfolio and reading best practices online but how to handle the actual moment of presentation: What do I say? Am I talking too much? How should it change based on the scenario?
This post may have affiliate links, meaning we earn a small commission on purchases through the links . This does not change our opinion but does help support the site. Thank you!
Whether your craft is in writing, art, graphic design, interior design, fashion, photography or journalism, you will need a digital portfolio to highlight your skills and present your work.
Presenting yourself and your work to a prospective employer will take practice to make your presentation flow easily, but its also important to stay flexible, as everyone will have a different way of reviewing your work.
A presentation used to be a physical portfolio that you either dropped off with an employer or brought with you to present in person during an interview.
Now that portfolios are online, we need to learn how to present a digital portfolio. here are some new things to consider, depending on how youre meeting with the person. Lets look at 3 different scenarios: in person, on the phone and on video chat.
Include Info About Prestigious And Successful Companies You’ve Worked With
If you have previously worked for prestigious and successful companies, be sure to include information about them such as new products, annual reports, brochures, press releases, and newsletters to further impress the employer by them just knowing that you played a part in helping the company achieve success.
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How To Build A Great Student Portfolio For Your First Interview
Many students dread putting together their portfolios, especially just after graduating. They feel that their lack of work experience is a roadblock. However, you do not need years worth of experience and hundreds of projects under your belt to create a great portfolio as a student!
In fact, you probably already have everything you need at your fingertips. In this article, we will show you what you should be looking out for, some general pitfalls, and how you can successfully build up your portfolio as a student to land you an interview, university position, or even that new job.
And I Should Have One Because
Creating an interview portfolio does three things for you that can skyrocket you past other candidates. First, it shows that youre serious, that you do your homework before an interview, and that you dont take the process lightly. Youre in it to win it. That goes a long way with both HR recruiters and hiring managers because they want to not only see that you want a job, but also that you want this job. The portfolio demonstrates enthusiasm for the position. Because employee turnovers costly, the powers that be want to get it right the first timemeeting with someone who is obviously excited for the opportunity can make all the difference.
Along with demonstrating your enthusiasm, a portfolio prepares you for the interview better than any other method out there. Heres the thing: To a recruiter, it looks like a wonderful showcase of your skills and accomplishments, but for youits a cheat sheet! Getting nervous and forgetting to say something impressive, or worse, saying something that doesnt sound as good out loud as it did in your head is normal. Taking time to write out some examples of your brilliance ahead of time will aid you in having a successful interview.
On top of all that, this physical packet serves as a tangible reminder of your talents. Youre giving yourself an edge because now the hiring manager can quickly reference your skills and accomplishments.
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Boost Your Job Search
A professional portfolio can improve your chances of getting noticed, and you can double-down on your exposure by having a presence on Monster. Want to know how to get started? Join Monster for free today. As a member, you can upload up to five versions of your resumeeach tailored to the types of jobs that interest you. Recruiters search Monster every day looking to fill top jobs with qualified candidates, just like you. Additionally, you can get job alerts sent directly to your inbox to cut down on time spent looking through ads. After all, your portfolio won’t do much good unless people see it. Monster can help you achieve that visibility.
Makes You Feel More Prepared
Bringing a portfolio with you to an interview can also help make it easier for you to remember specific project details and better describe your skills and experiences. When the hiring manager asks questions about your qualifications, you can always refer to your portfolio. This is also beneficial because it enables you to provide examples of your skill and experience. Feeling more prepared for the interview can help boost your confidence and performance.
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Choose A Format For Your Portfolio
Your portfolio can take many forms:
- Stored digitally
- Your own website
- Hard copy, such as pages in a binder, or a volume that you get professionally bound
If youre planning to give a copy of your digital portfolio to an employer, use a USB flash drive or a link to your website. Whatever form your portfolio takes, it should offer concrete examples that show the abilities and skills youve acquired in your career and life so far.
Pay close attention to the medium you choose, especially if the job you want requires you to be skilled in a specific medium. For example, if youre a web designer, you should build your portfolio online to show your skills. If the position involves public speaking, you could include a video or a link to a YouTube copy of a presentation you have given.
Every time you present yourself to an employer, you have a chance to show your skills. You want to convince them that hiring you will make their organization more effective. Make sure your portfolio makes the most of the opportunity.
Stand Out From The Competition Your Portfolio Will:
- Show samples of your work to the employer. If you are a new graduate, this is of further value in demonstrating hands-on abilities gained from coursework and projects.
- Help you visually add to your interview answers a major bonus if you are nervous or concerned about your ability to communicate your value effectively in the interview process.
- Provide an impressive method of showcasing your accomplishments, training, and experiences.
- Do the talking for you!
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Understand How Theyd Prefer To View Your Portfolio
Before you begin, ask the interviewer if theyve seen your work and if they would like you to present it to them. Sometimes interviewers will want to flip through your work on their own, which I never understood because having someone present their portfolio tells me so much about the person.
If they want you to present your whole portfolio, the two biggest variables are timing and how in depth you go on each project. In presenting the first project, you can get a sense of both of these.
What Is A Career Portfolio
The career portfolio is one of the most important steps towards securing a job. Its not a resume where you only list your skill set, work experience, and achievements. Its not a cover letter either, where you write a few lines about yourself, your qualifications, and why an employer should hire you.
A career portfolio is a professional collection unique to youthat includes things such as skills, work experience, and qualifications. Your portfolio highlights concrete examples and demonstrates the validity of the things you say about yourself .
Whether you create a career portfolio for a specific job application or to apply to several workplaces is up to you. Previously, portfolios were mainly used in creative fields like art and graphic design, to showcase their work samples.
However, they are now considered advantageous for everyone. Why, you ask? A professional portfolio has several benefits, including:
- It makes any intangible personal information tangible.
- It enhances your credibility and boosts your confidence.
- It keeps track of your professional development.
- It draws the attention of a recruiter to any key information.
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