Starting a new career can be exciting and challenging at the same time. Exciting because you get new opportunities to evolve, to share your skills and finally to make your professional ideas real. And challenging, due to still missing competences and knowledge. How to stand out? What to show to recruiters or clients? If you are a fresh profile, you probably got those doubts. Maybe this is even how you came across our article. Well, if that is the case, you are in the good place! As a company supporting new talents, Abhyaz decided to launch a new blog series “Build Your portfolio”. Indeed, we believe in the value of practical skills. We aim to help not only while building competences, but also through explaining how to present it.
In today’s blog you will understand the fundamentals of the portfolio. What is this? Why is it relevant? What are the best practices to follow? According to our expertise, several people always hesitate about it.
However, if you are looking for some specific examples, stay tuned and follow the last section of this page. We are aware that each career path is different. So, sharing global advice is not effective for all candidates and fields. Some jobs are less described, and consequently less obvious to approach. For this reason, we will enrich the portfolio blog step by step. You will progressively discover portfolios for all fields that we teach through Abhyaz internships.
So, as everything is clear, let’s start with the basics.
What is a portfolio?
A portfolio is a content that helps you in demonstrating your skills. Actually, it can be a work that you produced in your past experiences, or alone in your private space. Work tasks, university projects, volunteering missions and all types of activities can be described here. The unique rule is just to showcase what you can do. And then to demonstrate the accomplishments and competences that you can share with potential employers.
Why do it?
Why do it?
These days, portfolios are primarily viewed as creative works. You have certainly seen some graphic designers who gather their visuals on a website, for instance.
But in reality, it can be used in much more ways. Imagine that you are a company looking for a human resources employee. What would be more attractive for you? A text summarising skill? Or a complete document presenting a HR strategy from A to Z? Of course, the second option is much more convincing. You can better demonstrate your talents, with concrete tasks. As examples, if you are a marketer you can explain your branding plans, if you are an accountant you can produce analysis based on financial data, and so on. On the other hand, it can highlight your uniqueness. Experiences in a few sentences can seem similar. Nevertheless, if you share your complete working process and outcomes, you will more clearly illustrate how you will work at a position. Analytical mindset, precision, creativity and many other characteristics can be exploited.
Why is it so beneficial? As you probably know, more and more people are getting degrees. And technology connects candidates from all over the world. As a consequence, you compete with a growing group of skilled persons and profiles from different countries. Recruiters dive in piles of pdf CV. And by applying new solutions, you will stand out from the crowd. Website, interactive document ... There are several creative tools poorly explored. Have you tried it yet?
How to do it?
How to do it?
As already mentioned, the structure and the content of your portfolio will depend on your professional plan. But you have still to keep in mind some essential tips.
•Define your objective
•Define your objective
The first questions you should ask yourself are how and where you want to work. Do you have any preferences for some specific tasks? Are you interested in particular firms? Obviously, each working environment has its own norms, tools and visions. While creating your portfolio, you can adapt projects to your points of interest, and then to get easier what you are passionate about.
What if you do not have a clear idea yet? In this situation, we highly recommend you to be proactive. Create sample proposals on your own. Dive in different brands of your specialisation and find out where you have the most ease. Search for internships, volunteer jobs, freelance platforms. The best teacher is practical experience. And that is how you can understand what is currently happening in the current labour market and what you can expect from it.
•Define your techniques
•Define your techniques
Now, as your plan is clear, you have to think about how you will share your projects. Again, you know traditional pdf documents for sure. But maybe it is worth it to spice with more innovative ideas? Here are some tips:
- Personal Website: If you have already written a resume, you probably got some difficulties to deal with the length. How to summarise the whole career path on one page? Which information to include? And if we told you that you do not have to choose? Try to create your own website and combine both elements. Sum up clearly your background and mention detail about each experience. You can also optimise your page with convenient functions: “view more” buttons, appointment calendar, gallery. Once again, apply your plan and create a space that matches your goals.
- Outside sources: One of the best methods to show your competences is to reveal what is still working, thanks to you. Connect your productions to your CV and promote you through your ever-active projects. Is this idea still unclear? Well, you can link your websites, software, analytical reports. The examples are endless. In case of intangible works, you can still give contacts that will confirm and glorify your actions However, note that those solutions have to respect the professional secret. Build it gradually and introduce your third parties in a fair way.
- Personalised projects: We know this is similar to the previous point. But here, we suggest you work by directly considering the firm where you apply. In other words, the objective is to develop a sample project directly on its potential needs. Why this idea? According to our expertise, this is the technique that appeals the most. You express not only your interest in the discussed company but construct applicable solutions too. And now, you can think "What a long process!". It is true that understanding a business can take time. But anyway, it is necessary to read about them before the interview. “Why does our firm appeal to you?”, “What do you know about our services?”, those questions sound certainly familiar to you. So, why not go deeper and detect some potential improvement aspects by the same token? To make this job more effective, you can naturally write some templates. It could be the ground for a specific task that will be later projected on different establishments. Do not work hard, think smart!
- Format and design spice: Do you want to know other tricks? Actually, there are even more content formats on the market, such as videos or interactive pdf. Even if you are not yet an experienced profile, those outstanding elements will certainly hit in the eye. Visuals are not only for designers. All readers appreciate light and aesthetic content. So, just be curious and play with varied programs and designs. Have fun!
Now, it is time to put into practice all tips. It can look scary, due to all information to introduce. Being clear, appealing, different, competent, what a mix! Regardless your profession, we advise you to apply one principal logic: treat your audience as customers. How does it exactly work? Wherever you will operate, we can say that you will respond to needs, right? For example, as a web developer you can create websites to build a remote presence and to allow online selling. So, it is advantageous to use the sales communication style. You wake up the need in the reader and therefore give the solution. “Who will see my document and which problem I will resolve?”. Those are questions that you have to answer. To put it into action, you can proceed as follows: describe the goals of your projects and show how you respond to it. If you already have some experience, it could be also beneficial to present some results or positive opinions.