Your Personal Brand: 7 ways to build personal brand via a dynamite career portfolio

In my last post, I talked about why portfolios are one of your best tools to win career opportunities. The next part in this “portfolio series” covers how to make your portfolio remarkable. So, how can you build a portfolio that makes employers say, “Wow!”?

  1. Always tailor your portfolio to your audience. If you’re applying for two different jobs, make sure you’ve optimally organized and displayed your portfolio for each job opening. Tailoring your self-promotional materials is vitally important. A single version of your portfolio may not work for multiple different job openings. So make it specific to each new opportunity. Employers will immediately notice if something in your portfolio doesn’t apply to their job opening, and will conclude that you don’t care much about getting that position. Make their lives easier in choosing you for the opening. This small amount of work upfront will pay huge dividends later.
    1. Focus on specific skills you want to sell. Make sure your portfolio material is focused and includes relevant examples. If you’re trying to get a job as an accountant, don’t include your homemade music videos. Always ask yourself: Will this item help the person making hiring decisions choose me for this specific job? If it won’t, don’t include it. Viewing your portfolio should make it crystal clear to employers what you can do for them.
    2. Make sure it’s well-organized. Your portfolio isn’t just a collection of things you’ve done. It’s a representation of you as a person. It’s also a chance to show off strong communication skills. Employers will make all kinds of assumptions about you based on your portfolio. So make sure it’s attractive, clean, logically laid out, and contains no mistakes.
    3. Go through it with friends and family. Walk your friends and family through your portfolio. Having fresh pairs of eyes look over your material will inevitably catch a few mistakes that flew under your radar. As you show them, pretend that they’re interviewing you. Practice talking about each item until you can confidently, clearly and concisely hit every important point for each piece. You will feel 100 times more comfortable during the real interview, and present yourself much effectively when the time comes.
    4. Provide a one paragraph text description of each included item. Assume that potential employers know nothing about you or your work. It’s very helpful for those in hiring positions to have a brief bit of background on each of your pieces. Why did you do it? How did you do it? Who did you do it for? Why does it exemplify the kind of work you do? Sell your skills here!
    5. Put it online. Potential employers are going to Google you as a pre-screen, even before they call you in for an interview. If you don’t pass their web search pre-screen, you will miss opportunities that could lead to a fulfilling, rewarding career. Just think of your potential employers’ faces when they expect to find dirt on you, and end up at your professional web portfolio. That’s why personal branding online is so powerful – it builds visibility and credibility on the web, winning you opportunities that will positively impact you for the rest of your life. To start building your own web portfolio today, sign up for a free BrandYourself account. (We’re not just a blog!) Along with your own web space, you’ll get the tools and resources you need to create a compelling online representation of yourself and your skills, including easy file uploads so you can showcase your work. Just head over to our sign-up page now to get started building your online portfolio.
  1. Constantly add to it. A portfolio, like a resume, is a living, breathing document. It grows with you. Constantly ask yourself if the projects you’re working on would be good candidates for your portfolio. If you can turn a regular school project into a superb exemplification of your skills, then go the extra mile in that class and use the project in your career portfolio.

Remember: to potential employers, you ARE your projects. Always ask yourself if your current school projects will leave you something you can use in your portfolio. If they don’t, talk to your professor about molding it into something you’ll be proud to show employers.

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  1. 1
    Taylor 99

    Thanks for you seven tips, very helpful. You can upload work samples, history, drafts, photographs, presentations etc. It it might work better because you can give them a direct URL link before they chose to “Google” you. It definitely lets you create your personal brand in a organized and professional way.

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