April 22, 2019

Career Prep: Developing a Professional Portfolio for Job Interviews

By B&SC Career Services Team

Career Prep: Developing a Professional Portfolio for Job Interviews

Anyone will tell you that you need to have a well-polished resume in order to score a job interview. But while most candidates will spend the time it takes to build a solid resume, many fail to prepare for the interview itself. A resume only gets your foot in the door. An employer will meet with several candidates in order to find the right person for the job, and it’s important to set yourself apart from the competition.

How do you stand out?

In order to stand out, a job candidate needs to be prepared to communicate what value they will bring to an organization. In addition to having the technical skills to do the job, an individual needs to demonstrate their skills in communication, teamwork, critical thinking and problem solving. These “soft” skills are just as important as the technical skills you learn in a degree program.

How do you display these skills and qualities during a job interview? One of the best ways to prove your abilities to a potential employer is to create a professional portfolio. Pulling together examples of your past work and experience is a great way to show, not just tell, an employer that you are fit for a job at their company.

What should you include in a portfolio?

Building a portfolio for a job interview on your own may seem like a daunting task. That is why it is helpful to find a degree program that incorporates professional development into the curriculum. At Bryant & Stratton College, online degree programs include instruction on how to build your professional portfolio, as well as how to use it to your advantage in an interview. Knowing how to call out the skills and qualities that differentiate you from other candidates is just as important as having the portfolio itself. Bryant & Stratton College students are also required to have their portfolio reviewed by an outside professional who works in their industry of interest as part of their graduation requirements.

The items you choose to include in your portfolio will vary depending on the industry in which you are pursuing a job. Still, here are a few common elements you will find in a good portfolio:

  • Education history – Provide copies of your transcripts, diploma and documentation for any internships or apprenticeships you completed during your college career.
  • Work samples – This section of your portfolio may include writing samples, presentations, and projects you worked on for school, an internship or a past job.
  • Volunteer and Extra-curricular activities – Be sure to highlight any activities that may be relevant to the job for which you’re applying.

In most cases, employers will not require candidates to submit a portfolio. This is exactly why you should bring one to an interview. Doing so will make you stand out from the other candidates, show the interviewer that you go above and beyond what is asked of you, and serve as a valuable tool for displaying your skills and qualifications.

If you are looking to pursue a degree, consider Bryant & Stratton College. Bryant & Stratton College offers a wide array of associate and bachelor degree programs. To learn more, call 1.800.895.1738 to speak with an admissions representative.

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