Let’s face it: the old way of job searching is a thing of the past. Answering a job ad won’t get us a solid career anymore. We must go to networking events, shape our professional brand, and prove that we’re the sort of candidate to watch.
In addition to all of these tactics though, all job seekers should have an updated work portfolio in their arsenal. Work portfolios tell the story of you, including where you came from and what you want to achieve. However, apart from the obvious benefits, work portfolios are starting to become the norm and it’s advisable for every job seeker to build one in order to paint the whole picture. Here’s why:
1. Standard resumes and cover letters don’t cut it
Resumes (as well as cover letters) won’t get someone the job on their own. Of course, job seekers need them, but the bullet points and the few paragraphs can’t tell your entire work story. On the other hand, work portfolios allow job seekers to add more to their case, such as previous career wins, specials skills and how they were used, endorsements, etc. Resumes and cover letters can only do so much, so think of work portfolios as picking up where they leave off.
2. The HR department has limited time
If you weren’t aware already, human resource representatives may receive between 200 to 300 resumes per job. Who has time to go through hundreds of lines, dated objective statements, and cover letters that may or may not tell the right story? Not many.
Instead, a work portfolio not only sets job seekers apart from the competition, it does a better job of relaying why you may be right for the job by providing solid evidence as to opposed to beating around the bush about it. After all, you can say you accomplished something, but if you can show it, you’ll be in a better position to land the job.
3. Visuals catch the eye
We live in a world where images, videos, and graphics relay information better than script. Plus, with stacks of resumes on their desks, HR reps and recruiters would probably appreciate something that stands out from the norm.
For instance, if you were part of a successful advertising campaign, showing the copy, images, numbers, reports, etc., would do a better job at presenting your accomplishments than just saying you part of something that worked out in your favor.
4. Sharing current goals and progress is important
Sometimes, it’s all about what you’re working on now. Work portfolios have the ability to share current goals, as well as the progress you’ve made. This sort of real-time sharing also clues your audience in on your current projects, opens up the door for conversation, and shows how you perform on a day-to-day basis, which can tell the HR rep or recruiter a lot about what kind of candidate you are.
5. A work story means something
Your personal work story means something. It shapes who you are as a candidate and shouldn’t be an overlooked factor when applying for a job. Think of it this way: how much of “you” comes off when you send a cover letter or resume? Does it say how you work with others? Can it show what your specialities are to the T? Does it relay if you’ll fit in with the current company culture? Probably not.
A work portfolio can do all of those things since it enhances who you are as a candidate by providing the backstory your audience needs, which not only sets you apart, but also puts you at the head of the line when it comes to getting the job.
What do you think? What are some other reasons job seekers should have a work portfolio?
Morgan Norman is the Founder and CEO of WorkSimple — the Social Performance platform that works the way you do. Designed for individuals, teams, and large organizations, WorkSimple is a better way to share goals, collaborate, get feedback, and get your work endorsed. Connect with him and WorkSimple on Twitter.