Depending on what field and position you are applying for, the job market today is competitive. Even if your resume is outstanding and experience extensive, attending your interview with an interview portfolio as opposed to a sheet of paper can serve as just the signal potential employees need to see that you are serious about the job. It is also a great way to stay organized when giving the important presentation that is YOU. As you would prepare for any job pitch to a new client, so too must you focus your best work in showcasing yourself as a product worth investing in-that is where the interview portfolio is an advantage.
What is an interview portfolio?
A portfolio for a job interview is a folder or booklet that holds all your qualifications for a position, including your resume and references, but goes into more extensive detail about your abilities. It should also include examples of your work, wherever possible. This is particularly enticing if you are seeking to work in a creative field, such as graphic design or writing.
Why should you have an interview portfolio?
- Organization and preparation - By compiling this documentation all in one place, you are showing prospective employers that you are organized and prepared. More importantly, the act of gathering all the information together and placing it in the order you consider important effectively makes you more prepared for the interview. It can be very stressful meeting with people who can determine your employment future, and it’s not always easy to stay on task in the moment. Using your portfolio through out the process can keep you on track and assure that you don’t miss anything important.
- Shows your commitment to getting the job - It is easy enough to submit resumes to a variety of companies in various fields, but a portfolio like this case be tailored to be as specific as the company you are meeting with. It shows you have taken a little extra time and thought to acquiring THAT position instead of casting a wide net to get any old job.
- Gives examples of work and creativity - You should always include examples of your work. Not only does it give employers an exacting idea of what you bring to the table- including pictures, writing or even screen shots of computer programs you have worked on allows the job seeker to provide a more vivid memory for hiring personnel. Instead of answers to questions asked a hundred times to other prospects, bosses will remember that great article you wrote on climate change or that campaign you ran on getting people to eat more lycopene in their diets.
The interview portfolio is a tool you can use for every interview and adjust as needed before each new meeting. It can be as formal or technical as you want employers to see you, but it should be a neat, concise, and illuminating compilation of all the pertinent information a prospective employer should have to choose you above any other candidate they are meeting.