To make it in today’s competitive job market, you need more than just a shiny resume or somebody who knows somebody—both of which only get you so far. You need a clear track record of what you’ve accomplished and how you can use those accomplishments to help others, be it a new manager or an organization as whole.
When we think about going a step further to display work history, we typically think about a portfolio, right? After all, they’re not for designers anymore. They’re for any professional who wants to portray what they’ve done and how they got there. However, apart from an “about.me” page or a list of awards you’ve won, there’s so much more to a portfolio. It has the potential to be something remarkable—and make you look remarkable in the process.
So, here’s what you didn’t know you needed in a work portfolio—and how you can make sure you get there:
When we picture a work portfolio, we sometimes imagine something pretty extravagant along the lines of a professional interior designer. However, as we noted, you don’t have to be in design to be visual. Your work portfolio can literally be a visually storyboard of what you’ve done and what you plan to do.
Think of your portfolio as the story of your professional brand, but with an added visual touch. You can display who’s endorsed you, goals you’re working on, completed objectives, reports, as well as any comments your audience may have. Plus, when you have a visual storyboard of your work, it makes it much more interesting to someone on the outside, which may be half the battle in today’s competitive job market.
Ability to socially share your work
We live in a social world, so why not show off your stuff? Displaying what you’ve done isn’t just for yourself. It’s for a potential manager, a co-worker, a CEO, or anyone else who could potentially be interested in what you’ve done. With portfolios, you can even share what goals you’re currently working on, as well as your progress towards them. This helps someone see what you’ve accomplished, as well as other objectives that are on the horizon.
What better way to share what you’ve done than keeping everyone in the loop at all times? When your portfolio includes real-time reports that track your progress on a goal, people can see not only what you’re working on, but also the length of time it takes for you to get there.
Let’s face it, many employers want things accomplished in a certain timeframe. So, if you were in advertising and it typically takes you a week to design a mockup ad, you can actually show how long it took to complete little components within the goal, which lets someone on the outside see how you’d fit with their own objectives.
Sometimes, we all need a little help with our goals. Did you know portfolios can also serve as a way to capture feedback from your network? Sure, it sounds a little out there for a portfolio, but it actually makes total sense.
Let’s say you were a developer and you were working on some new code for a program. You put up your work progress on your web portfolio and someone in your network notices what a great job you’ve done. They also relay that they weren’t aware of this particular way of doing things and that it will make things easier. So, just by capturing feedback, you suddenly look pretty educated on the goal, as well as the industry in general. Win-win, right?
Your professional reputation
Your reputation is important, particularly your professional one. Although it’s not as tangible as real-time reports or feedback capture, the ability to build your professional reputation can be just a valuable. Think about it: would you hire a candidate who says they are amazing or a candidate who proves that they are by way of a portfolio? Probably the latter. A portfolio is an easy way to build your reputation because it makes displaying your accomplishments, as well as the positive thoughts of others, easy—all of which contribute to the brand of you.
What do you think? What are some other things you need in a work portfolio?