It used to be that the only thing you needed to show up with to a job interview was a copy of your resume. These days, it helps to go the extra mile and bring one extra item: A visual presentation of your previous work in the form of a job portfolio.
Most people think of portfolios as useful only for job seekers looking for work in a visual or creative field, such as graphic designers or writers. While they are definitely most helpful for these career paths, they can be just as handy for any job candidate. In no way should they replace the standard resume or cover letter, but portfolios are a great way to bring your career to life for hiring managers.
Here are the three biggest benefits to creating a career portfolio:
- People Love Pictures: There’s a reason why sites like Pinterest are so popular these days. Pictures have a way of drawing people into your experiences in ways that words simply can’t. Whether you did volunteer work or marketing, visual representations of what you accomplished can have a big impact in the mind of a hiring manager.
- You Can Tell A Story: Rod Stewart once sang that “every picture tells a story” and while that is true, words are still needed. Write a short explanation below each picture explaining what it represents. Make sure you focus on how you benefited the organization and made a difference. All you need are a few short sentences, as your resume will fill in the rest of the details.
- You Can Highlight Your Strengths: Whereas resumes force you to give all of your jobs equal weighting, portfolios allow you to highlight the areas of your career that are most strong.