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Resume Surgeon > Blog > What Should You Put in a Career Portfolio?


career portfolio tips

Career portfolios can be a really effective way of supporting your resume and work experience when you apply for a job opening.

Originally considered an effort to take to an interview (as traditionally a career portfolio is a big folder full of stats and facts) career portfolios are becoming more popular and can be a vital job interview addition.

With so many candidates and employers using the internet, more and more candidates are choosing to host their career portfolio online in the form of a blog or website. But whether you are writing a traditional career portfolio and presenting your previous work in a folder or you plan to post this content online, there are a few content guidelines you should follow.

Check below for the key information you should be including in your career portfolio, whether it’s online or offline, and some tips on how to create an effective career portfolio:

Work Achievements

The most crucial part of a career portfolio is the previous work achievements you list in it. After all, this is the main purpose of a career portfolio – it’s designed to showcase your previous work and your achievements and to show an employer what you are capable of in the workplace. This can be incredibly powerful in a job interview too.

If you tell an employer the impact you could have on their company and the work you have achieved in the past, then it will impress them. But if you want to go the extra mile and actually show them this work, then a career portfolio is a fantastic tool to do that. By showing an employer your past achievements by producing examples of previous work, you are supporting your resume content and it can also help the employer to visualise the kind of impact you could have within their company.

Regardless of the industry you have worked in you should try to print out examples of your previous work or include it in a separate section on your blog or website if you are hosting your career portfolio online. This could be in the shape of emails to clients, press cuttings, event coverage, design sketches…it totally depends on the job role you are applying to. Ensure whatever you include is relevant to the industry you want to work in and the job you want to secure.

Pictures

Employers will find it difficult to read through pages and pages of text so one way to make your career portfolio more interesting to read is to include photos. Photos not only make a portfolio more interesting to read but they can have more of an impact on an employer. Imagine yourself in an employer’s shoes; if a candidate tells you that they put on a big company event then you might be impressed, but wouldn’t you be more impressed to see photos of that event including how many people attended? Pictures can definitely help an employer to visualise what you are saying and can help them to visualise your possible impact if you were to join their team.

If you have a portfolio online consider creating a section for photos and upload any images that demonstrate your work. If you are taking a portfolio with you to an interview then print out photos ahead of your job interview and secure them in the relevant section within your portfolio.

When you are choosing images to include in your portfolio try to be creative. You need to include photos that demonstrate your key skills and expertise so whether it’s an image of a product you have designed or an image of a networking event you organised – include it in your portfolio. Be sure to include the date and subject of the image in a small description box so when it comes to explaining the photo to an employer you’ll have a prompt sheet to work from.

Statistics

Statistics can support both your resume content and career portfolio. Statistics of your achievements give a real insight into your achievements and what you are capable of professionally. You can include statistics in a number of ways – by using basic statistics like numbers and percentages or you can lay them out in graph form. It totally depends on you! But when you include statistics just make sure they are stats the employer is going to want to know about! So, for example, if you are applying for a sales job some statistics to include that could benefit your job application include total turnover you made for your last company, total sales per month, your biggest sale, your OTE or the amount of new customers you were able to secure for the company.

References

Your references will already be on your resume but why not include these on your career portfolio too? Resume references can add credibility to your application and, if you include them in your career portfolio, they can also support what you say on your resume. When writing your career portfolio you could consider including snippets of information from your references throughout it – including quotes on your work ethic and performance.


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