Today’s job market has paved the way for new methods of job searching. In this day and age, most people rely on networking and social media to find their next career.
Nowadays, many people have some type of experience in what they want to do — some may have been coding since they were 12 years old, and others might have known they were going to be doctors or artists since they were 5.
So how do you make yourself stand out in a pool of good candidates? Create a portfolio.
What is a portfolio?
A portfolio is a collection of what makes you, you. A professional portfolio will consist of a collection of materials that exemplify your experience and qualification.
You might include published articles you’ve written in the past on certain topics, artwork you’ve received recognition for, reference letters or samples of research you’ve conducted.
Your portfolio should embody who you are as a professional in your intended field of choice. Why are you qualified? Why should you be selected for this position in a pile of great portfolios? What makes you stand out?
Every field you construct a portfolio for should include specific materials and elements that cater to and align with your goals and values as a creator as well as the organization’s mission and purpose.
How to make a portfolio
First, make sure you are saving everything you create. You’re going to want to use these later when you’re creating a portfolio.
If you don’t have much to include, you should start working on pieces that would be beneficial in conveying your talent and qualifications.
So, if you’re applying for a graphic design job, get working on some graphics you would deem to be representative of your expertise. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in the medical field, start doing some research or jot down your experience in that field.
Once you’ve gathered all of your materials, you should sort them out. Which pieces do you think most accurately represent you, as the creator, and your skill?
A physical portfolio might include physical copies of the work you’ve done — typed up and printed reports, hard copies of published articles in a newspaper, flyers, etc. These physical copies can be bound together in a binder and sectioned by form or media type.
Keeping physical copies is not only useful for your portfolio but great to keep as memorabilia of your past work; you may also use these to establish the development of your skills over time.
You may also consider creating a digital portfolio. Websites such as Wix, SquareSpace, WordPress and Weebly are great to get you on track with establishing your online presence.
These websites allow you to upload various forms of your work on a website specifically designed for you. Copy and paste the link to your online portfolio in any resume or application that permits it.
Online, you may upload photographs, articles, graphic designs, animations, resumes, links to published and recognized work and more. Anything that can be digitally advertised should be included in your online portfolio.
Making folders on Google Drive might also be helpful in organizing the types and kinds of media you produce. This makes your work easily accessible for you to grab and submit when and where it is needed.
Creating a portfolio is essential in today’s job market. In order to stand out and make a strong impression, you should have a display of “proof” of what you can do and why you are the right person for the job.