Career portfolios serve as a great way for job seekers to tell a story about their work experience and illustrate their personal brand. From your internships in college to your most recent job, a career portfolio displays your accomplishments and what makes you a sought-after candidate.
When you create your portfolio, it’s important to highlight your accomplishments, work experience, and incorporate your personal brand. If you are looking for ways to impress recruiters and employers with your career portfolio, here are some ways to help it stand out:
1. Have a consistent theme. It’s important to have a professional theme that is consistent throughout your entire portfolio. You can start your theme by designing a logo and choosing a professional color scheme that represents your personality. From your resume and cover letter, to your examples of work; make sure to choose a theme that represents your personal brand throughout your entire portfolio.
2. Highlight accomplishments. When organizing your portfolio, make sure to include your strongest pieces of work. Employers want to see specific accomplishments that relate to their company. Be sure to also include pieces of collateral from special projects and examples of your writing. You can also include explanations with each example of how they contributed to your career success.
3. Include numbers with your results. If you can describe your accomplishments through numbers, it will help employers visualize your ability to guarantee results from your work. For example, if you are in public relations, include the amount of earned media you garnered for your client or the percentages of their social media engagement. This will help employers gain perspective of your job performance.
4. Design an infographic. An infographic can be a creative addition to any portfolio. You can use infographics to display your career as a professional timeline. If you have some background in graphic design, create an infographic to tell your story from the beginning of your career to your current experience. (If you’re not a designer, check out services like Vizify!) When applicable, use statistics and percentages to enhance your accomplishments. This type of visual aid will help recruiters get a better glimpse at your experience and personality.
5. Make your portfolio digital. As technology continues to take over the way we communicate and apply for jobs, it’s crucial for job seekers to provide a digital copy of their portfolio. Even if you aren’t tech-savvy, an online portfolio is simple to create. Whether you create a site with WordPress or publish your portfolio as PDF file, a digital version of your portfolio will make it easier to share.
6. Be social with your portfolio. Once you have a digital copy of your portfolio, share it with your social networks. Many recruiters and employers are finding top talent through platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. If you can link your digital portfolio to different social platforms, recruiters can learn about your experience before the interview.
Remember, your portfolio is an essential tool for your career. It’s a great way to showcase examples of your work experience to employers and recruiters. By creating a portfolio which displays personality, results, and collateral — you will have an excellent marketing tool to help you stand out amongst the competition!
What elements do you think job seekers should include in their portfolio?
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.