Portfolios – Not just for Creative Types

A Recruiter's Perspective

Opened Binder
Portfolios – Not just for Creative Types

About the Author

Laura Machan

Laura Machan

Laura Machan is a Partner, Talent Acquisition Group at Knightsbridge Human Capital Solutions based in Toronto, Ontario. Although she has been recruiting for quite a few years, she still gets a big thrill from calling someone to set up an interview and an even bigger thrill when she hears a happy dance as she tells them when their new job starts. Laura lives with her family in Oakville, where she has lived for over 25 years, and is a significant contributor to the Canadian Federation of University Women - Oakville and Women in Nuclear, Golden Horseshoe Chapter.

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It is pretty common for creative types to bring a portfolio of work samples to an interview. Little known fact: it can be very useful for any type of position.

All that stuff that you have been saving in a file folder in your desk or inbox now has a use. Organize it into a nice zippered binder with those neat plastic page protectors and some dividers. It does not have to be any fancier than that.

Things to include:

  1. Resume
  2. Degrees, certificates
  3. Awards, accolades, thank you cards
  4. Course curricula
  5. Presentations
  6. Community recognition
  7. Complimentary emails/letters
  8. Newsletters/articles that mention you/your product or service
  9. Performance reviews

Just the act of putting together a portfolio can be very constructive. Think about making a scrapbook of your career and how useful it would be, especially if you are in transition or think you would like to be in transition.

Your career portfolio will serve two purposes:

  1. when your work feels frustrating, it will remind you of your successes
  2. when you go to an interview and the hiring manager says “Tell me about yourself”, you can open it up and give a concrete illustration of your successes to date. You will also look very organized and confident.

There is one more added benefit. You now have a place to store future “career souvenirs” – your portfolio. When someone next invites you to come and explore a new opportunity, you just add the new material and you will be fresh and ready for a successful career conversation.

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