Why You Should Consider Putting Together a Work Portfolio

man-typingWhen it comes to applying for jobs, you want to do all you can to let your potential employers know you are the best.

More often than not, we think about revamping our resume, updating our social media profiles, writing an awesome cover letter or getting a really good recommendation.

But one thing that seems to get neglected all too often is the work portfolio.

Work portfolios can be a great asset when it comes to job-hunting. However, as with anything you want to show your future employer, a work portfolio requires more than just slapping together a few work samples and hoping for the best. So today, we are going to go over a few reasons why you should consider putting together a work portfolio, and then share some tips on how to create one. Take a look below:

Why You Should Put Together a Work Portfolio

  • They provide a more in depth look at your work. Cover letters and resumes are a great way to pique the interest of hiring managers and employers, but they rarely tell the whole story. Once you get your foot in the door, having a work portfolio to back up your claims in your resume or cover letter will help solidify your chances at getting a job. (Remember: You can’t rely solely on your work portfolio to get you the job, think of it as a tool to help improve your chances, but make sure you are still putting in the work everywhere else.)
  • They are eye-catching. Portfolios are more than just words on a piece of paper. More often than not your samples will include some sort of picture or image, as it’s a great way to give an employer some visuals to  help them picture the work you’ve done.

How to Put Together a Work Portfolio

  • Tell a story. While your resume and cover letters are brief, your work portfolio can have a little more room to tell the story you want. We’re not saying you should put together a novella, but take the time to get a little more in depth on your projects, how you assisted in them, and the specific outcomes of each piece of work. (That being said, you should not include every project you’ve ever worked on. Make sure you choose wisely and as always try to stick to specifics –you don’t want to bore them with fillers.)
  • Visuals, visuals, visuals. Your work portfolio doesn’t need to be a piece of art, but including some visuals is a great way to help tell the story you want the employer to hear. You’ve probably already mentioned the work you’ve done in your resume, so now make sure the employer can see them in your work portfolio.
  • Skip the paper and go digital. These days, portfolios don’t need to come in physical form, especially now since most of the hiring is done online. Take advantage of this by creating an online profile or a .pdf that you can attach to your resume. In turn, you won’t have to worry about wasting money by printing out a bunch of portfolios to give away or risk having it mistaken for junk mail that will just be thrown into a pile on the hiring managers desk.

A digital portfolio can also be seen as another sample of your work, especially if you are in the IT field. What better way to show your skills as a web developer than to send an employer your own website?

What do you think about having a work portfolio? Do they work or would you rather stick to the classic cover letter and resume? Let us know your thoughts by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!

photo credit: Typing via photopin (license)

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