Article: Create a Portfolio or Personal Website to Show Employers Your Best Work

Create a Portfolio or Personal Website
Show Employers Your Best Work

In a highly competitive job market, you need to find ways to stand out. Artists, writers, photographers and architects have long used portfolios to show their work to a potential employer, but today anyone can make use of this valuable tool to get a leg up on the competition.

Even if you’re not in a visual type of profession, you can bring a portfolio with you to an interview.

Another option is to create a personal website and simply provide a link to prospective employers.

A portfolio or personal website is a collection of items that are a visual demonstration of your abilities in a particular field. Consider it to be an extension of your resume, a dynamic profile that not only offers descriptions of your prior work but actual examples for the employer to review.

It serves as evidence of your accomplishments in the past and suggests you are likely to have comparable achievements in the future at your next job.

When creating a portfolio or website, you want to present your information in a manner that is well-organized, user friendly and aesthetically pleasing.

You don’t need to assemble everything at once. Look upon it as a work in progress. Take time to create a professional, polished presentation and then feel free to modify it as needed based on feedback from employers.

Among the items that your portfolio or personal website can contain are:

Letters of Recommendation – Letters or testimonials from previous employers, colleagues, clients, teachers or other notable professionals who know you or your abilities well.

Licenses – Photocopies of any professional certifications related to your field.

Certificates – Photocopies of any documents showing you’ve completed certain courses or training related to your profession.

Awards – Documentation of any honors you’ve received for your work.

Work Samples – Reports, charts, studies, brochures, photographs, drawings, artwork, business plans, PowerPoint presentations or any other item that showcases the quality of your work.

Case Studies – Description of a problem, the solution you proposed, and the result that you achieved. Include up to five case studies, each one demonstrating your ability to handle challenging situations.

Publicity – Any published articles or works that mention you by name.

Accomplishments – A detailed list highlighting your major career achievements to date.

Conferences – A list of any relevant conferences, seminars or workshops that you’ve participated in or attended.

Military Records, Awards and Badges – An account of your military service, if applicable.

Volunteer Work/Community Service A description of any community service activities, volunteer or pro bono work you’ve done, especially if related to your career. If possible, include photos of you “in action.”

References List – A list of three to five people (including their full name, title, e-mail address and phone number) who are willing to speak about your strengths, abilities and experience. At least one reference should be a former manager or employer.

Transcripts – If this is your first job out of school, you may want to include a copy of your transcripts to show the courses you’ve taken and the grades you received.

Want more ideas to help you succeed in your job search? Check out the book, Job Hunting in a Tough Economy. Learn more about the job hunting book here.

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