Tuesday, May 21, 2024

How To Create A Professional Portfolio For An Interview

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Job Interview – Creating a Portfolio

La Beubar / portfolio

Think youre done once youve hit publish on your portfolio page? If so, go back to #8. You want to stay current, so set a schedule to review your portfolio every six months.

Add any new projects and delete anything thats looking dated or tired.

Super Eight Studio / portfolio

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.

Keep Your Portfolio Up To Date

Creating a portfolio is an ongoing process. Get into the habit of documenting and collecting work youre proud of once its completed. If you have a regular performance review with your employer, that would also be a good time to update your portfolio and master resumé.

As you update your achievements, youll review the skills youre building. Youll also be ready for a lastminute interview or any other opportunity where you want to show your skills or accomplishments.

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What To Say About Each Project

Start with a brief summary of what the creative brief was. . Explain your role on the project, and if relevant, who the other key players were. Then explain what youre looking at on the screen, advancing to the next screen as you walk through it.

Before you present each piece, state why youre showing it. This is my favorite campaign because the client was so much fun and encouraged us to try things we had never done before. or This next campaign is for the same target audience that your client is selling to.

How Do I Create An Online Portfolio For My Next Interview

Tips and Guidelines for Creating and Organizing a Strong Effective ...

If you have work samples scattered all over, it is time to put them all together into an online portfolio to secure your chance at an interview.

A portfolio holds samples of your past work, which can range from reports and proposals to writing and design projects. These can be submitted as part of your resume.

They may also be requested at the interview phase. In the past, a typical face-to-face interview would see a candidate carry into the room a physical file of such documents.

Today, the advent of the internet has given candidates a useful platform to design and organise their portfolio like online resumes with a kind of flexibility like never before.

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What Are Some Resources For Creating An Online Portfolio

Dont recreate the wheel by trying to build your own website from scratch . We want viewers to see your skills and work, and not get sidetracked by a poorly designed and constructed site. There are many free and intuitive resources out there to choose from. Weebly and Wix are good drop-and-drag resources with templates for creating websites. Carbonmade and Behance are great for design/branding/photography/fashion portfolios. Of course if you are a financial analyst or an accountant, LinkedIn may be all that you need.

How To Organize Your Portfolio For Your Job Interview

Depending on the job interview you are attending, you may be expected to bring with you your portfolio of work samples. This is usually the case for creative positions or jobs that involve sales, as candidates are often required to provide evidence of their work achievements, sales figures, creative work samples and so on, to prove to the interviewer that they are as talented as they say. A well-developed professional portfolio can also show if the candidates work can convey the companys voice and represent their image correctly.

Knowing how to compile a work portfolio is essential if you are interviewing for a creative job. You need to know how to pull together the most relevant, impressive and detailed documents in order to highlight your skills in the best possible light.

Here is a step by step list to help you organise your portfolio during an interview.

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Creating A Paper Portfolio

When you start putting together your portfolio, youre going to want somewhere to keep all of your documents. In order to look as professional as possible, youre going to want to consider black, dark brown, or navy as the color for your portfolio. Some people use thin three-ring binders, and others use leather bound binders.

Work Portfolio One Of Twenty Applicants Will Bring It

Professional Interview using a portfolio presentation

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.

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Start With An Introduction

Think of the introduction to your portfolio as the opening for your personal brand. In one or two sentences, describe your top relevant skills, unique credentials and other qualifications that make you the ideal candidate for the specific job. This helps hiring managers learn more about who you are and the contents they’re about to review in your portfolio.

What A Portfolio Is And How It Can Help You

A portfolio showcases your talents and skills. Typically, a portfolio includes items such as certificates, transcripts, samples of past work, and letters of recommendation. You can use one to make a positive impression when youre looking for work, applying to a post-secondary school, or planning your career.

Teachers, designers, engineers, journalists, and many other professionals often show off their work this way.

Even if a portfolio isnt required for your job interviews, you should consider putting one together. Doing so can help you in a few different ways:

  • A portfolio can be a powerful work search tool. Gathering documents and information for your portfolio reminds you of the great things youve done and the skills youve learned. This helps you understand the work youre qualified for and the work youd like to be doing.
  • You can pull information from your portfolio every time you update or tailor your resumé for a specific job.
  • Use your portfolio to prepare for an interview or to show that you should be considered for a raise or promotion.

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Tools & Resources To Build This Simple Resume

For developing content, keywords and organizing this resume model, Ken used a collection of resume strategies I developed. He also didnt rush it. He took his time and went through each part thoroughly.

As a part of the toolkit, Ken discovered hundreds of templates at Canva. He used a combination of the pre-designed templates. The service and templates are free.

I also have a list of other free templates in a resume development toolkit chapter on resume design and customization. I list lots of options there!

So the question that many of you are probably asking is:

How did he fit 20+ years of experience on a one-page resume?

He didnt and you dont need to either. Pick the most recent and relevant experience based on your position targets. Ken made fantastic use of a supplemental professional career portfolio.

Heres how he did it and why you should do it too.

Displays Your Organisational Abilities

How To Create a Stand Out School Counselor Portfolio for Job Interview ...

Having your highlighted previous projects displayed neatly and comprehensively in a portfolio is an effective way to show hiring managers that you’re organised and responsible. Impressive portfolios also allow employers to easily locate past projects you completed that are similar to the ones they expect you to work on during their role.

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How To Develop A Portfolio For A Professional Business Manager


Throughout your career, you might have work opportunities that require you to provide more than just a one-page resume. For a variety of reasons, its a good idea to have a CV and a work portfolio you can show prospective employers, clients, investors or business partners. Reviewing what a business portfolio is and how to create one will help you keep your credentials and work samples up to date and ready to share.

Does This Really Work

Yes, but dont just take it from me. There are many people who have been doing this type of preparation for years.

Take Kelly Stamerra, a senior hospital pharmaceutical sales representative, for example, who says, It started out as just a way to look and sound more credible when I was just starting out, but after a while I realized not only was it keeping me on track, but it directed the conversation. I felt so comfortable discussing the information I had put in there because I had taken the time to think about it, so I never went down a rabbit hole.

The result?

I call it my lucky presentation, Stamerra explains. Hands down I would not have gotten the jobs I did without it. As I continued to apply for promotional positions, it made me sound polished and professional and I quickly moved into specialty positions. It is my security blanket. Honestly, I would feel naked going into an interview without it!

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How To Use Your Portfolio In A Job Interview

Whether or not you use a portfolio depends on the type of position youre interviewing for.

If youre not sure whether to bring your portfolio to an interview, ask the employer. For an entry-level position or one that requires few technical skills, you probably wont need to bring your portfolio. But if you think your portfolio can convince the employer that youre qualified for the job, it doesnt hurt to ask if theyd be willing to see it.

  • Be sure to tailor your portfolio to showcase the specific skills the employer is looking for.
  • If your master portfolio is in hard copy, make copies of the items that apply to your interview and put them into a smaller binder to create a tailored mini portfolio.
  • If you plan to leave your portfolio with the employer after an interview, be sure the binder you leave doesnt include any original versions of your work.
  • If your master portfolio is digital, save your original, then make a copy of it and delete from the copy anything that isnt relevant to the position.

How To Present Your Portfolio If You Havent Had Much Work

Tips For Making a Professional Portfolio | Flipsnack.com

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.

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Showcase The Design Process

Pinegate Road / Portfolio

Maybe your client didnt select the logo you really loved. So can you include it in your portfolio? Sure! The best way to do this is to show your top five picks and the creative development that took place.

Showcase your creativity and diversity. Creative directors will appreciate the glimpse into your creative process.

Here you can see Kelsey Cronkhites thought and design process throughout the entire project. Her site includes even more behind the scenes looks. The Hanger agency also includes sketches that show the beginning of the design process.

Hangar agency / portfolio

What Does A Digital Portfolio Look Like

Its also important to consider the format of your portfolio. Right now, a mobile tablet presentation is the favored format. A laptop format is also acceptable, but somehow it is not quite as sexy as a presentation on the tablet.

Putting together a PDF specifically for the company that youre meeting with is ideal for catering to their needs. If you dont know exactly what theyre looking for, then do a PDF of your online work. Do not assume that there will be wifi available to get to your online portfolio during your interview.

I know that seems a little old school, but if youre meeting with an old-school HR person, they will appreciate this.

Have additional pieces of your work available that you could easily pull if requested or if it seems appropriate. The keyword here is easily because nobody wants to sit there while you look for something and you dont want to get flustered as you look.

If youre interviewing for something print or packaging related, bring in a few physical examples to show. Its always nice to see the real thing. But do this only if its potentially relevant for the job.

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What Is A Portfolio

A portfolio is a collection of your top, completed work projects, which demonstrates how you’ve applied your relevant skills, education, training, experience and accomplishments. You can choose to present your portfolio as a website, presentation or selection of printed documents.

For example, people working in creative jobs such as writers and designers may include samples of their published articles or designs. On the other hand, a bank manager may create a portfolio that includes successfully developed and implemented annual reports that highlight how they contributed to achieving these results.


The Documents To Include In Your Portfolio

How to Make a Teacher Portfolio That Gets You the Job!

Included inside your portfolio should be professional documents, education and training youve received, activities and volunteer work youve done in the community, and any personal interests that might be relevant to the position youre applying for. Each area of documents is detailed below.

  • Professional Documents

These particular documents should include anything work-related. Your cover letter and resume should be the first two documents in your portfolio, and you should have extra copies just in case the employer requests a copy. Include thank you notes or letters of recommendation, testimonials from connections on LinkedIn, lists of professional references , any supervisor reviews you might have, and any work samples from your current and previous jobs.

You dont need to have every item on the list, and there are some of you that likely dont have all of these. The key is that any document you do include is complete and professional-looking. Your resume is useless if it looks like a child wrote it. Learn how to create an excellent professional resume so that you shine on interview day.

  • Education and Training Received

You should have copies of any degrees, certifications, and licenses you have earned. Awards, academic honors, internships, and even copies of transcripts are also great items to have in this area. If a possible employer is interested in you, theyre going to want to see a summary of what you completed while in school. This is your chance to show them.

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Collect Examples Of Your Work

Creating a professional portfolio begins by collecting examples of your work. These examples may include evaluations, reports, surveys, specific materials you have designed for a college course or previous employer, graphs, press releases, artwork, examples of spreadsheets, etc., that you designed to complete certain projects or to improve the flow of the work.

If you are currently completing an internship, be sure to include some of the work you are doing right now. The information you collect to include in your portfolio primarily depends on the type of job you are looking to get. If you are interested in graphic design or art, your portfolio should be put together with specific examples of your artistic work.

Teachers can put together exceptional portfolios by highlighting projects they introduced in the classroom as well as the lesson plans they created for the class. Portfolios are a great chance to show your creativity and the nice thing is that no two portfolios are alike.

Get The Most Out Of Your Professional Portfolio

Just because you worked somewhere doesnt mean you were great at your job. When employers are trying to figure out who to hire, portfolios can serve as a vivid demonstration of your abilities. Theyre scarcely harder to construct than a resume and can provide employers the confidence they need to go forward with a hiring decision in your favor. Hopefully this introduction on how to make a portfolio for your next job interview will give you the right tools to get started!

Looking for other ways to land your next job? Check out MyPaths Career Planning Tools.

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Collection Of Your Best Works

The crucial part of the work portfolio is a collection of the samples of your best works, and achievements. For example:

  • If you are working as a chef and applying for a job of a chef, you can include recipes of your specialties, recommendations from the restaurants where you have worked before, training certificates and inspection reports. You can include also your chef certificates, and anything other that demonstrates your cooking skills.
  • If you are construction worker, you can include of the buildings you have worked on during construction and close ups of your construction techniques, a list of projects you have worked on, records that illustrate your ability to meet deadlines and maintain high levels of safety, as well as your training certificates, diplomas, etc.
  • If you are a web designer, you can include pictures of the websites you designed, describing the key functionality and a goal you had in mind while designing each particular website. Of course you should choose your best works only.

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