Many have heard more than once that an impeccable portfolio is 50% of employment success. And indeed it is! After reviewing a high-quality and meaningful portfolio, which unambiguously reflects all the positive skills and abilities of its owner, the employer will not have a single reason to refuse a candidate for a position of interest.
But how to make your portfolio truly interesting and attractive? Can one text be better than ten? How to choose the right platform to upload your portfolio? Let’s try to figure it out!
What is a portfolio and what is its purpose?
Portfolio – a list of competently executed works of a specialist, clearly characterizing his competence and professionalism.
The main task of a portfolio is to visually declare oneself and demonstrate the most positive traits and qualities, knowledge and erudition, talent and even genius.
Today, a portfolio is welcomed almost everywhere, from school to get a job.
It doesn’t matter what you are doing – studying or just planning to enter, working or looking to get a job, investing or need investments yourself – a portfolio is an additional trump card up your sleeve, which will definitely help you achieve your goal.
Which format to choose from?
There are two main portfolio formats – “traditional” paper, which can be printed and taken with you wherever you go, and electronic, which can be posted on the Internet or sent by mail.
Many will object – the era of paper media is long over, the future belongs to digital documents!
Of course, it is, but …
Imagine a situation when you come to a face-to-face interview and declare that your portfolio is on a flash drive or uploaded to the cloud.
Agree, it’s an awkward situation because the boss will have to take a USB flash drive, insert it into the computer, search for a file, open and study it … Too many unnecessary actions.
The situation will be much more positive if you bring a neat and well-designed portfolio in a beautiful folder and immediately hand it over to the manager.
It’s another matter if you have not yet fully decided on the choice of work and submit your portfolio to several companies at the same time.
Here to help you with a digital portfolio! It will completely eliminate the need to rush from one end of the city to another in order to be in time for a meeting, but at the same time, it will transmit all the necessary information in absentia and present you in the best possible way.
So which portfolio format should you choose?
The answer suggests itself – prepare both printed and digital versions! Thus, you will always be fully armed, and this will become an important competitive advantage over others.
Which material to choose from?
There is no definite answer to this question because everything depends on the specifics of your activity. But one thing is for sure – you should not chase two birds with one stone and upload to your portfolio works that are completely unrelated to your specialty.
Many will say that the presence in the portfolio of works on different topics indicates the all-round development of the author and the multidirectional of his thoughts.
This is true, but in our case, it is a little different.
Agree, a portfolio of a specialist in the field of international relations, which entirely consists of works on developments in the field of genetic engineering, will look a little strange, won’t it?
With a probability of 99.9%, the manager will have suspicions and doubts about such a candidate for the position. Most likely, such a portfolio will be postponed “for later”.
Therefore, try to choose the best works, close ones to your specialty.
Do you doubt the quality of your work? Send it to your friends, colleagues, or better to check with the editorial office of some publisher.
The portfolio is not only textual material. Remember one very important thing – almost any text a priori is dry and bland.
Therefore, work in the portfolio must be accompanied by various pictures and graphs, diagrams and attachments, photographs and screenshots.
Whether your portfolio is digital or print, your personal photo should always be on the front page.
Choose the best photo. Ideally, this should be a photo in a flawless suit, with well-defined hair, perfect makeup (for girls), and a well-groomed beard or stubble (for men).
Seeing such a photo in the portfolio, the manager will definitely remember your image and understand that you are a serious person who will certainly take your responsibilities responsibly.
Due attention should be paid to the design of the portfolio and to give it an interesting design.
The first and most important thing in the design of any portfolio is the structure, which includes several important elements, namely:
- a well-designed title page with personal data (name, position, academic title, and degree, etc.) and your photo. Recommended photo size 10 x 15;
- a short autobiography. You should not write about yourself on 2-3 pages. Indicate the most important thing – who you are, what you do, what is your education;
- achievements and awards. Be sure to mention a few of your personal achievements. For example, a victory at an international scientific and practical conference or publication in well-known publications such as VAK or even Popular Science.
- a section with your best work.
If we talk about portfolio design, it is usually strict and without unnecessary “tinsel”.
We recommend that you do not reinvent the wheel, but simply present the material in a neat and structured manner without frills.
However, if you are a designer or just want to stand out, you can style your portfolio using your own design.
More is better?
Some individuals seriously think that a portfolio of ten works is worse than a portfolio of thirty articles. This will be true if thirty works are truly relevant, interesting and structured.
If this is just a set of texts copied from the Internet, or written “hastily” with negligible originality, then the situation changes radically.
One thing is important to understand – the person who studies the portfolio will look at the content, not the quantity.
Don’t strive to download as many articles at once as possible.
The portfolio is a project that needs to be developed. Today you will upload one quality work, a little later – another. And after a while, you will be able to collect really high-quality material, which you will not be ashamed to hand over to the head.
Some useful digital portfolio tips
- To make it easy for the manager to study your portfolio, upload it in several formats, for example, docx. and pdf. It will now be available on all mobile platforms and can be viewed from both laptops and smartphones.
- Recently, portfolios have been provided as a slide show presentation. The convenience of such a solution lies in the fact that to view the portfolio, you just need to press one button and study the provided material slide by slide. Make a portfolio in the form of a presentation – save your future leader from unnecessary actions. Also, after all, a plus.
- Never, remember, never use audio in your portfolio. Such a step can be assessed as a sign of extreme unprofessionalism. At least because the melody may simply not like it or even start to annoy.
- Do not upload poor quality images and photographs to your portfolio. It will be difficult for the reader to parse the information on such files, which means that there is simply no point in them.
- If you have uploaded your portfolio to the Internet, do not forget to include a link to the site in your business card (if available).
A couple of useful tips for a print portfolio
- If you are going for an interview and are preparing a printed portfolio, then do not forget to package it beautifully. No need for huge and heavy binders, designed for 200-300 pages. It will look strange at least. Buy a quality transparent folder from the store.
- Try to colorize the photos and images in the printed version of your portfolio. On the one hand, the reader will not have any difficulty in studying the information on charts and diagrams, but on the other hand, it will show that you have very responsibly and conscientiously approached the preparation of your portfolio.
- Use only one selected font. It is unlikely that you yourself will like an article where the first page is written in one font, and the second is a completely different one. This will immediately catch your eye and the reader may quickly develop a dislike for such text.
- It is not recommended to overfill the text with “water”.