Professional Portfolios: An Important Tool for Differentiating Yourself in a Competitive Job Market

by | December 7, 2009

Given the dreary state of the job market in the United States right now, anyone contemplating a job search probably has some trepidation about their ability to land their next job. This is understandable, given that the labor supply currently outstrips demand by the widest gap in recent memory, resulting in a job market that is saturated with job seekers.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t jobs to be had, or that people aren’t finding employment. It does mean that job searches are taking longer and require much more time and effort that they did in the past. More job seekers vying for the attention of hiring managers also means that candidates absolutely must differentiate themselves in order to land a job. Professional portfolios can be an effective differentiation strategy for job seekers in nearly every field.

A portfolio is a compilation of work samples and professional documentation that reside in a folder or binder and can be brought to an interview. A portfolio is a tool you can use to show employers your past accomplishments, and demonstrate the type of performance they can expect of you if they hire you. Employers hear lots of “words” from job applicants, but rarely are shown examples of an applicant’s work. The applicant who brings “proof” stands a strong chance of making a lasting impression on an employer.

The Career Center has developed resources to help job seekers understand how to create and use a portfolio in their job search. In our free webinar “Professional Portfolios: Differentiate yourself in the job search,” we discuss the elements of an effective portfolio and help you develop strategies for presenting your portfolio to employers during job interviews and during networking interactions. To sign up for this webinar or view other webinar offerings, click here.

The section on portfolios on the Career Center website piggybacks on the content of the webinar by showing you photos of an actual portfolio and providing a portfolio checklist you can use as you develop your own portfolio.

Get started on your portfolio today!

For additional career-related information and resources, visit the Capella Career Center.

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