Empower Your Job Search with a Portfolio

4 min read
man updating his job search portfolio

Action speaks louder than words.

This is actually a worn-out statement we hear over and over again. Workplace and offices never run out of this so as schools and academic institutions. Even in our day-to-day activities, we stumble every now and then with individuals who keep on reminding us that, indeed, our actions pay more than mere utterance of words.

What about in situations wherein we are required to do the “talking” and barely do the “moving?” Take a job interview as an example. How can this “action versus words” thing works in an actual interview process? Do you have to sell pieces of stuff in front of your interviewer just to convince him or her that you have the certain selling prowess? Or do you need to demonstrate your “customer service skills” by volunteering to answer some of his incoming phone calls?

While all of these things might seem ridiculous at first; nonetheless, the “action speaks louder than words” stuff is still applicable to job interviews. The “action” may not be the literal one that you expect but documenting that action will be enough to justify your claims. So how do you present these pieces of evidence? Simple. Use a portfolio during your job interview.

There are a lot of discussions and resources online and in libraries about this portable collection of materials. So what is this job search portfolio anyway?

A portfolio backs up the claims that you have made in your resume. In short, resumes are summaries, while portfolios are work compilations that exhibit your skills and other experiences. In any way, a portfolio speaks more than what you actually “feed” to your interviewer. Remember, that as humans, we tend to believe and focus more on “tangible” or visible items. By showing a hiring manager the results of your action, you are actually making yourself more memorable and credible for your claims. Thus, wiping off any doubts of exaggeration or falsification. Aside from being used during interviews, it can also be kept as an advanced tool that can be highly useful during annual evaluations and promotions.

Reaping Benefits from Having A Job Search Portfolio

woman flaunting her digital portfolio during interview

Aside from being a tangible show book or “brag book” during interviews, portfolios possess lots of perks than one could ever imagine. For one, more and more individuals are getting acquainted with the uses and purposes of having a portfolio. Artists, writers, and designers were the few individuals who took pride in their portfolios back then. Nowadays, pros in the human services, sciences, humanities, and business are starting to see its worth. They pay more attention to their feats and started to record them for future evaluations and promotions.

Moreover, portfolios also serve as a “marking” that exhibit how well suited an individual is for a certain job or promotion. Since one cannot create a commendable portfolio without a good grasp of the requirements of the position, a hiring manager can immediately note whether a job seeker is suitable or not for the position.

In addition, job search portfolios also help you prepare for your interview. By preparing, compiling, and organizing your portfolio, you’ll get to recall your participation in certain projects and review your past accomplishments. It also refreshes one’s memories of past situations and brings clarity to your career goals.

A portfolio doesn’t only exhibit one’s skills and proficiency, it also shows the applicant’s seriousness, enthusiasm, professionalism, and creativity. A presentable and commendable portfolio can certainly create a competitive edge against other applicants in the field.

Using A Portfolio during Interviews

woman hired because of her job search portfolio

After creating a well-made portfolio, you can now use it for job and promotion interviews. You can use your portfolio in two ways. One is up-front, wherein you show it at the start of the interview.

Another is the “wait and see” where you wait for a chance to refer to the portfolio. For instance, a hiring manager asks you to describe a lecture that you have provided during a certain occasion. While discussing the scope of your lecture, you can mention that you have brought a sample of the handouts that you have provided your audience.

While the second method can be a good way of keeping the conversation running, it is also a dangerous way of introducing your portfolio. Since you literally “wait”, there is a chance that your “opportunity” will slip off and that you will leave the interview without flaunting your work. With that, it is much better to show your portfolio up-front and know whether or not the employer is interested in seeing it or not.

Also, when going for interviews, always make sure that you have copies of your documents. There is a possibility that during interviews, employers may request you to leave your job search portfolio with them. Always remember “not to leave original copies” with the interviewer. Thus, having some high-quality copies is important. You can also leave a copy in a CD or give them a link to your online portfolio if you have any.

Always remember to keep your job search portfolio updated and polished. Take the time to do it. It really pays off especially if you’re able to secure the confidence and trust of your prospective employer.

For more interview and job search tips, feel free to browse our webpage.

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