By Dedra Perlmutter, Senior Career Coach and Human Resources Manager, JVS Career Services
Portfolios aren’t just for creative professionals—everyone should have one. Whether you are in an active or passive job search, there’s no better way to showcase yourself than with a portfolio. The benefits are endless, from having it to take with you to an interview, to using it as an organizational tool.
Interviews used to be about showing up and answering the questions appropriately. But these days, it’s all about standing out in a unique and professional way. What better way to answer the common interview question, “what are your strengths?” than to have a portfolio to showcase them. A professional portfolio is a tool that can help bring your stories to life, in a tangible way. By showing physical examples of your work and accomplishments, you’ll be better able to prove your skills and experiences. And, for those who can sometimes let nerves get the better of them during interviews, it’s also a great reminder of some talking points.
What should be included in a portfolio? Traditionally, contents of a portfolio should include your resume, a reference list, any degrees, certifications and licenses, transcripts, proof of training or professional development, assessment results, work samples, performance evaluations, letters of recommendation, accolades, a list of your community involvement, and any association memberships.
It’s important to keep in mind that a portfolio is a work in progress—it continues to evolve over time. I recommend keeping a file somewhere handy to collect additional portfolio materials. For example, you could simply print out emails that speak well about your work and toss them in the file. Then, go through the file every so often and incorporate the best of those emails into your portfolio.
- Including a copy of particular items from your portfolio, along with your job application, is a great way to get noticed!
- Your portfolio will need to be kept up to date
- Maintain an electronic copy of your portfolio
Want to learn more? Ready to get started?
Check the JVS Workshops to register for the next available Portfolio Development Workshop.
At this hands-on workshop, JVS Career Services consultants will be there to help you.
You’ll leave with the beginnings of your portfolio.
Dedra Perlmutter, CPRW, SHRM-CP, PHR, is a Senior Career Coach and Human Resources Manager at JVS Career Services. Dedra provides extensive knowledge to clients in the areas of job searching, interviewing, networking, personal branding, image and career strategies. With almost 20 years of HR experience, in a variety of industries, Dedra is well-versed in recruiting and employment, and brings with her “insider knowledge” of what employers are looking for in potential employees. By leading workshops and working with clients individually, Dedra is able to serve as a resource for those that are looking to make a career change or to enhance their current career path.
In addition to utilizing her past experiences, Dedra also works in conjunction with other HR industry professionals to remain up-to-date on current hiring and employment trends. Being able to share knowledge and experiences with clients has proven to be a huge success factor.
Dedra is known for her positive motivation and her upbeat approach to the job search process. She also has a sincere interest in getting to know her clients and helping discover their goals.
Dedra, a Cincinnati native, received her Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree with a concentration in Human Resources from Bowling Green State University. Dedra also holds a PHR, Professional Human Resources Certification, a SHRM-CP, Society for Human Resources Management Certified Professional, as well as a CPRW, Certified Professional Résumé Writer.