How To Make A Work Portfolio To Share With Potential Employers
August 16, 2021
The importance of making a work portfolio cannot be understated.
Across various industries and sectors, having a personal work portfolio is vitally important and in many cases, it plays an important role in landing you a job. For many job postings, employers ask to see a portfolio of work that is relevant to the responsibilities of the role.
Why make a personal portfolio?
The main reason behind employers wanting to see your work portfolio is to assess whether you already have an experience that is similar to the responsibilities outlined in the job description and/or role. If your portfolio is impressive, it can seriously increase your chances at receiving a job or interview offer.
What’s more, it gives you a chance to solidify your name and reputation as someone who is serious about your chosen career field, with it being clear that you already have the prerequisite experience that you’ll be needing for the job.
How to go about creating a work portfolio
Firstly you must consider what work you want to showcase. It is common for many fresh graduates and students to include work that was produced during a degree, so feel free to include your student work!
When considering the work you want to include, you might want to firstly make a list distinguishing the content you’re most proud of and the ones that are lower down that list. This can help in choosing which work you’d like to show off, and it’s very much worth keeping in mind that less really is more!
If the job you’re applying for is a practical skills-based job such as engineering for example, it is worth including pictures of yourself at work in your portfolio too. This adds a sense of professionalism and seriousness to your application.
For writers, there are many different ways of keeping a portfolio, with most opting for a digital portfolio on websites such as MuckRack, Clippings.me, or Journo Portfolio. For non-writing industries, there are Behance, Dribbble, Portfoliobox, among many others. These are very easy and straightforward to use; MuckRack for example, actually stores articles that you have published and makes a page displaying your published work without you even having an account with them. If you’d like to have your own personal website, many opt to go for website builders such as SquareSpace, or Wordpress. There are many others out there too!
For graphic artists, or other creative professions, personal websites are very popular as they allow you to present your work in a very accessible and impressive format. There are also design tools such as Canva that can really assist in making a portfolio and it actually has suggestions on what to include in one.
Physical portfolios are also very popular, and they might be needed for some in-person interviews. The fields that tend to require physical portfolios are engineering, chartered surveying, and accountancy. Opting for a physical portfolio as opposed to a digital one can be a great opportunity to make something that has a professional magazine finish.
Keep your portfolio short - i.e keep it to one page, anything more might not be given a proper look at by interviewers/employers.
You want a portfolio that is visually arresting (especially if you’re applying for work in the creative sector) while simultaneously sticking to the point. You want impressive visuals that add to, rather than take away from the substance of the work that you’re trying to show off.
You’ll want to reflect the brand you’ve built and maintained already through your online presence, notably your LinkedIn. It is possible to highlight some of your personal stories through your portfolio, to give your potential future employer a clearer and better idea of who you are. Make sure not to go too off-script though!
All in all, a work portfolio is an integral part of the application process. Having one might get you hired, and in many cases, it is very much an expectation among employers that you would have one at the ready, especially in creative industries.
Written by Marco Marcelline
Marco is a freelance journalist who has written for the likes of Dazed and VICE UK. He also co-edits Kalu Mala, a zine that seeks to platform the creative talents of the Sri Lankan diaspora
Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash