We’ve all heard the expression, “One in a Million”. Now picture a mountain of resumes piled on a recruiter’s desk. Does yours stand out? How do you get noticed? Will you be remembered?
Today, there are many ways to be noticed beyond the standard resume by using social media and technology. A LinkedIn profile can be customized, personal webpages are becoming standard fare. Twitter accounts, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube are all tools at one’s fingertips depending on how far one wishes to expand one’s footprint in cyberspace.
There are non-techy ways as well, to stand out and be remembered too. Creative industries have long relied on an applicant’s portfolio of past work to judge potential in job candidates. This method is now being used in pursuit of more traditional positions. For example, if you are a teacher, a portfolio can be a great interview tool. Having reference materials of your best ideas at your fingertips during an interview will not only bolster your confidence, it will also provide visual proof that you are organized and well-prepared. Remember how elated you were in elementary school for Show & Tell. This same excitement will come across in your presentation.
Regardless of the industry, I have found that building a portfolio lays the groundwork for you to compose your resume. It calls to mind the accomplishments you are most proud of and provides a professional way to display your skills.
A portfolio can also be quite helpful for those wishing to change careers as a means to connect the dots for the interviewer. Maybe you are the teacher who created the most engaging parent newsletters for your class and now you aspire to be a Property Manager. You can demonstrate your ability to produce a community-building newsletter for residents, write engaging content; are organized and can deliver superior customer service.
Bringing a portfolio to your interview makes life easier for the interviewer too. He doesn’t have to search out your website or sift through an array of online content. Your portfolio will put your best work right in front of him with no effort required on his part. After all, his goal is hiring someone to make his life easier in the long run. You are delivering on that goal during your first meeting. THAT will be remembered. You can also create a short “leave behind” brochure that summarizes your contact information, photos of your best work, credentials, and your references. The interviewer can attach that to your resume for future reference when considering who to call back.
For ideas of what to include in your portfolio, please feel free to reach out. I will happily offer you some notes to get you started.