Provided by OptimalResume.com
Gain an Interview Advantage with a Portfolio
Most candidates even at the executive level have not created a professional portfolio, yet using one in an interview to
present and support qualifications may be the most impressive, effective and memorable thing you can do. Employers
look for tangible evidence so having a well organized visual presentation not only makes it easier to communicate your
background but helps to build personal interest and leaves a lasting impression.
Every professional should have a portfolio
Beyond making a great impression in an interview, portfolios can help with performance evaluations, to negotiate raises,
and even to get promotions. Some professions are more accustomed to having portfolios such as the visual arts,
marketing and software engineering. Today, portfolios play an important role in personal branding no matter what the
occupation or career level. Having hard copy in a folder or binder that could be left behind in an interview will generate a
significant advantage. The online portfolio or eFolio could use multimedia including graphics, videos, and things like
PowerPoint presentations to further the advantage before and after the face-to-face interview.
What goes into a portfolio?
A good way to start the portfolio is with a resume or curriculum vitae (amazingly, some people forget to bring multiple
copies of these to interviews). The portfolio could be organized in a similar manner as the resume, with supporting
information behind tabs that are named the same as the sections of the resume. Here is a listing of the types of items
that could be included:
Resume or C.V. Performance reviews
Diplomas, certificates Patents, prototypes
Transcripts, report cards Thesis, essays, possibly a dissertation
Awards, testimonials Letters of recommendation, commendations
Assessments, evaluations, test results Plans, designs, blueprints
Projects, presentations, research Reference list, reference excerpts
Work samples (writing, coding, spreadsheets, Multimedia presentations, reels, pictures
design, artwork, drawings, music etc.) Customer letters, appreciation letters
Articles, publications, citations Membership evidence
Evidence of volunteer work, co-op work Work authorization, visa, passport
Newspaper clippings, media clips Any evidence of what you have accomplished
Sometimes focusing on one key item is all that’s needed.
If you have something really special to show, highlighting that may be all you need to do. One design engineer brought a
handheld device he built to the interview and left it behind. A finance student left a picture of him shaking hands with
Warren Buffet, the third richest man in the world. A nurse brought a glowing thank you letter from a patient for helping
them through a life altering illness. Each of these made the difference and they ended up getting hired.
It’s never too early or too late to create a portfolio!
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