A work portfolio is a collection of work samples or previous projects you’ve worked on to showcase your skills to a potential employer. A portfolio can be anything from a hard copy, soft copy document or both.
Portfolios are typical with creatives such as web designers, software developers, graphic designers, and photo and videographers but adapting them as an individual gives a good point of reference to your prospective employers.
A portfolio basically provides tangible evidence to potential employers of your accomplishments, skills and abilities.
A LinkedIn showcase by Fearless Co-Founder Tom Scott said, “a portfolio should define who you are, what you can do and what part of the industry you specialize in”
He added You should always have a page about yourself, who you are, why you do what you do, what is your mission in life and any interesting facts about your life or career.”
How do you build a work portfolio?
We’ve talked about what a portfolio is, so let’s dive into building one. We will look at four simple ways to build a portfolio that will make you stand out in the next pitch.
1. Collect your materials
Materials here include your resume, a list of your skills, your certificates and biographical information.
You may also include letters of recommendation or references or testimonials from previous clients that would demonstrate your professional qualities.
Lastly, you will also need previous work samples to build up your portfolio depending on your profession. These samples will show potential employers your skills and abilities. These include ready media files of your work, press releases or even specific materials you have designed previously.
2. Organize your materials
Building a portfolio might require a lot of paperwork especially if you’ve been in the field for quite some time. You can create a website to showcase your online work or use a third-party site like LinkedIn to build one for you.
3. Make it visually appealing
The role of a portfolio is to make you stand out from the rest of the job seekers. It should be able to show visual demonstrations of your work. It doesn’t have to be necessarily in a specific order but keep it as neat and organized as possible.
Career advise blog, indeed.com notes that you should organize your portfolio in a consistent way that displays your aesthetic, personality and work style.
You might also consider adding a solution section to showcase what you plan to solve at your next job. They might be having a bogus website, this is your chance to let them know you can fix it when they hire you.
4 Customize your portfolio
You definitely can never have a one fits all portfolio. Just like your cover letter, customize your portfolio for specific job applications and interviews depending on the requirements given by the employers.
There are employers who want you to highlight specific achievements of a project you handled before. Select the relevant sources needed for the specific interview.
Lastly, update your portfolio periodically. You change your clothes every now and then if not daily. Make it a routine to also update it as often as possible.