Job-Seeker-as-Artist: Portfolio Content for Interviewing

Communicating only with words during an interview limits the job seeker.  Being prepared with tools and visuals to show your talents can be extremely helpful as a method of persuasion as well as a means of ‘giving evidence’ that you are who you are.

Take a look in your files and this article for ideas of materials you may want to include in your portfolio.


  • ‘Art’ work
  • Awards and Honors
  • Certificates of Training / Educational Attainment
  • Copy of Your Resume
  • Courses / Training You’ve Led
  • Designs and Diagrams
  • Diplomas
  • Flashdrive of Documents
  • Letters of Appreciation / Recommendation / Commendation
  • List of Publications (popular, academic, professional)
  • Photographs of Work You’ve Completed
  • PPT How You Would Approach the Job
  • PPT of Your Accomplishments (hardcopy and/or on flashdrive)
  • Research Documentation on the Employer
  • Transcripts
  • Volunteer Work / Community Service
  • Work Samples
  • Writing Samples
  • Your Network Listed and/or Visualized
  • Your Website URL / Homepage

This is just a ‘starter’ list of the types of materials, “evidence” that you should collect and organize for your portfolio. The portfolio becomes something like a brag-book you take with you to interviews, using it as a visual to “show-and-tell” what your talents are, giving you combined and more impactful auditory and visual communication methods. It also serves to backup what you are telling the interviewers about yourself.

Minimally, I recommend that you purchase a professional-looking three-ring binder and protective plastic sleeves for the documents, much like a salesperson’s presentation binder. Carry it in a simple briefcase much like an artist or salesperson would do as they brought their artwork with them to show their work to a ‘prospective buyer’—because that is part of what you are trying to do at a job interview—sell the prospective employer on purchasing your services. For some, actually having this information on a laptop, netbook, iPad computer or even a website can be an alternative to a physical portfolio.

-Ken Soper, MA, MDiv, NCDA-recognized Master Career Counselor