Take a Cue from the Artists – Create a Portfolio
Depending on the profession that you’re in, it may be difficult to demonstrate your skills, especially if you’re relatively new in your field (less than 5 years experience). In the technology field, there’s the infamous “technical interview” where the person often asks obscure questions on topics that you rarely if ever have a chance to do, or the candidate can easily bluff by studying guides on frequently asked questions. The technical interviews may demonstrate that you know the concept, but it doesn’t demonstrate to the employer that you know how to apply concepts and that you know how to learn new concepts.
So what can you use to demonstrate that you can do the job? It’s time to take a cue from artists. People in the arts use portfolios to show their body of work. Portfolios helps demonstrate to a potential employer or client on what you can do and what you have done.
What are some of the advantages of a portfolio?
- It helps separate you from the other candidates because the employer or client can see what you can do and what you know.
- It helps build your skill set if you’re using new tools to create your portfolio.
What are some ideas for building a portfolio?
- Reference blogs and vlogs that you’ve done on a topic that’s relevant to your career.
- Reference published research papers that you’ve worked on.
- If you’ve published articles that are relevant to your career in magazines, reference them.
- Get testimonials and reference letters from clients that you’ve worked with in the past. If your work experience is limited to volunteer opportunities or classwork, get letters from the officers in the volunteer organization or professors.
- Have copies of certifications that you’ve earned that help solidify your knowledge.
- If you’ve developed and designed different web sites, have references to the sites that you’ve developed. I also strongly recommend to include any design notes and sketches to further demonstrates the extent of your involvement, which helps sell what you can do. I’ve seen potential candidates claim that they were involved in developing a particular site, but the only extent that the candidates have had was just content management and NOT design and development.
Do you have any other ideas? I’d love to hear them! Leave your idea in the comments.