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.
“THINK OF YOURSELF AS AN ARTIST”: PORTFOLIO CONTENT FOR INTERVIEWING
- ‘Art’ work
- Awards and Honors
- Certificates of Training / Educational Attainment
- Copy of Your Resume
- Courses / Training You’ve Led
- Designs and Diagrams
- 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
- 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