Should You have a Portfolio?

The portfolio – a collection of your previous work – has been a common practice for artist and writers for some time. The portfolio is a way to prove yourself – rather than simply tell a prospective employer what you have done (or can do) you show them what you have done. So, or an artist, a graphic designer, or a writer – this is pretty straightforward, but what about you?

I thought that portfolios were only for artists until a friend of mine recently told me about his portfolio. He is an IT Project Manager – about as far from begin as an artist as you can get. His portfolio has samples of his work – the tools he uses to track projects, the memos he writes to update his customer, the PERT and GANTT charts he uses to look for critical issues. Not art, but very helpful when goes to an interview.

That conversation got me thinking. What could I put in a portfolio? As an HR professional, could I show a well-written policy? How about a new salary structure? A Job Description? An Open Enrollment announcement or implementation schedule? The more I thought about it the more ideas I had from my history.

I know many people that look at their job a kind of ordinary or humdrum. Accountants make journal entries and reconcile accounts. Recruiters interview candidates. Purchasing folks buy stuff. What is there to show someone? Plenty!

As you think about your portfolio, remember that the people you will be showing it to understand what you do. While an Accountant sharing an example of a difficult reconciliation might not be fun for most of us, it will interest another accountant – especially one who’s trying to evaluate the level of work.

Find those examples of what you’ve done well, and feel free two show them off. Use that portfolio to tell your story with more than just words and you’ll increase your interview success.

For more help with your job search read: I’m Fired?!? A Business Fable about the Challenges of Losing One Job and Finding Another. Click here to learn how to get your copy.

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