How to Create a Portfolio: Develop an Effective Job Skills Portfolio

portfolio word on blackboard

Developing an effective job skills portfolio means adapting your presentation to the type of job you seek. If you are searching for employment in the graphic design field, you want a real show-and-tell portfolio. If you are looking for an office job, your portfolio will focus on your office skills and previous employment. Graphic designers have an outstanding opportunity to make an impression with an interviewer from the moment the interviewer sees you walk in with your showcase of samples.

Do you know how to create a portfolio?

Searching for Employment

When you are out searching for employment in the creative arts field or graphic design arena, you have a unique opportunity to shine because your work is art. The samples you show are instantly representative of your skills, so the content of your portfolio should only contain the very best examples. Here are a few things to remember as you meet with job interviewers:

  • Keep it Short and Sweet – many interviewers are on a tight schedule, with only a half hour or so to interview each applicant. This is good because, once you have fine-tuned your portfolio, it should contain only the best examples of your work. Creative writers and graphic artists have tangible work to show; office personnel will depend more on their list of office skills.
  • Be Attractive – the portfolio itself, how you have it organized, and the items inside are also representative of your work ethic and how you care for a project.
  • Always Have One - If you are applying for creative staffing jobs, such as those available through Artisan Talent, you still want to create an impressive portfolio, even if all your jobs are processed online. You should also create an online portfolio at your website; both types of portfolios are useful when job seeking.

What to Include

Narrow down to your most excellent projects or work. Use copies, not originals and have the portfolio neatly organized with dividers, a table of contents and other documents of interest to an interviewer, such as recommendations. The portfolio is basically a show-and-tell scrapbook that also is a personal sales representative for your skills. Include Examples – even a student will have concrete examples of their job abilities, whether it is artistic samples, written text or a resume of achievements and work-related activities.

  • Revise the contents to match the type of job you are applying for to best interest the interviewer and generate questions.
  • Protect contents with clear sheet covers, and include a short summary about each piece.
  • Keep all type fonts similar in size and style for a consistent look.
  • Include a traditional resume, and have one ready to leave behind with the interviewer.

You also should include a sheet that lists your computer and software proficiency. Indicate which programs you are skilled using, so they get a feel for your ability to be flexible and capable.

Update your portfolio on a regular basis. This will give you a boost in any in-person interview, and it is equally important for your online resume or portfolio. Need someone to check out your portfolio and offer advice? Meet with one of our talent representatives today.

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