So you’ve landed a job interview! This is it. The job of your dreams. Of course, you plan on
winning them over with your stellar personality, charming wit, and dazzling smile. But you can’t just walk in there empty-handed.
Your portfolio is going to be what truly sets you apart during your interview. In an earlier post, I wrote on how to make your resume stand out. The resume is great for getting an interview by showing a snapshot of your work. However, the portfolio gets you the job because it provides examples of your work and is a guide during your interview so you can speak on your accomplishments. This is great when the employee interviewing you asks a question such as, “Do you have any design experience?” And you can say yes, and then flip to some samples of your work.
With your portfolio, you need to realize that employers want to see varied but specific skills. It isn’t the who you’ve worked for, but what have you done how did they benefit. It’s all about results, results, results! If you have an evaluation from the overseer of the event, then you should include that (only if it is a positive one, of course).
It’s important that your portfolio is organized! One way to stay organized, is to use a 3-ring binder with dividers! Remember to include…
- Tailored cover letter
- Career summary and professional goals
- Samples of your work (writing, photography, graphic design, videography)
- Awards and honors
- Client feedback and letters of recommendation
- Transcripts (you don’t have to)
- Certifications, degrees, licenses
- Volunteering/community service
Being able to show your work IN PRINT is best. So try submitting your articles or press releases to local newspapers, and see if they print your submission! Another great idea, is to have an online portfolio. That way, if they ask for your work, you can give them the URL to your website. And remember, always bring copies of your work in case they ask to keep one!
Now get out there and make your portfolio! But seriously, do it. Like right now.