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Here Are The Top 7 Rules To Create An Excellent Portfolio No Matter Which Industry You’re In

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Here Are The Top 7 Rules To Create An Excellent Portfolio No Matter Which Industry You’re In

Whether you’re a graphic designer or a construction worker, you’ll need a portfolio which describes your work vividly. Whether you want to attract new customers, show your potential employer what you’re capable of doing, or make yourself visible online, creating an excellent portfolio that shows off who you are professionally is definitely a great investment into your career in general.

However, most people overdo it when it comes to making a portfolio. It’s quite important to know how not to cross that thin line and fulfill your portfolio with irrelevant nuisance, but still manage to throw in enough details which will make you stand out. Following through the next rules will help you achieve that, for sure!

1. Be Selective about What Projects You Include

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    When a potential customer, employer or your interviewer visits your portfolio online or checks out its physical version, you can be confident that they don’t want to read your full bio. Including absolutely everything there’s to know about you into your portfolio will make it hard to read, and each of these three groups of people that can make a significant change in your career won’t even get past the first third. So, make a list of your most successful projects, make a variety of small and big ones so you don’t create a pattern by accident, and pick out one of them for which you’re capable of reconstructing the creative process standing behind it. That should do it!

    2. Count in Your Representative Skills

    Listing out your projects isn’t enough – the next step is speaking (in this case, writing) about what you can do. Your previous experience, no matter if you have just got off college or you want to change your job, is quite important. However, you mustn’t allow yourself to do this part by bragging about what you can do. It’s quite relevant to format your sentences properly – the first part should be about the duties you had, and the second part should be about the skills you had developed. This way, you’ll be able to mention everything important without looking like you’re feeling overconfident about your skills. Also, make a short list of all the accomplishments and goals you have managed to complete – this will show how determined you are.

    3. The Reasons Why You’d Contribute

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      If you’re applying for a certain position at a company you’d like to work for, you need to find a way to convince them why they should find you necessary. Doing research about any type of company is a lot easier today – all you really need to do is some browsing online. Therefore, don’t be lazy, dig into their history and learn everything there’s to know about the way they do business. This way, you’ll be able to tell your interviewer exactly why you’d be the perfect person for the job, and this is just another thing that will make you stand out in the crowd.

      4. Less Is More

      Try to apply this rule to absolutely everything regarding your new portfolio. For example, your sentences shouldn’t be longer than ten to twelve words, and don’t avoid using bullet points and numbering, because these two options will definitely make your text look neater. Furthermore, you should avoid using big words for no reason whatsoever, especially if you don’t really know their true meaning. Use your own language, be professional throughout and you’ll be just fine.

      If you’re inserting, pictures or different kind of sketches into your portfolio, you should be equally selective about them like you were with your projects. Also, don’t forget to add a short description to each of them – by having only one type of visual content, you risk making your overall portfolio appearance dull.

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      5. Give It a Personal Touch

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        It’s personalization time! By adding a personal part to your portfolio, you’re actually allowing it to reflect your personality, so start thinking about the appropriate short story which will explain why you’re in this particular business and how you intend to improve it. If you had any personal project, you should definitely include those, because they’ll show that your main motivation isn’t money, but passion towards your profession. Likewise, you should add in several distinctive elements, like some awards that your projects won – this will show you’re willing to work hard in order to be acknowledged.

        6. Create Two Versions

        Having a physical and an online version of your portfolio is a quite smart thing to do for yourself. Sure, it’ll take a bit more of your time, but you can count on the fact it’ll pay off. Being prepared for several different situations in advance is a quality your potential customers or employers will definitely appreciate. Building an online version makes you widely available, and by inserting a couple of social media buttons, you’ll make sharing easy (which shouldn’t be underestimated). The fact is that 90% of the human brain responds to something visual and tangible, so it makes a huge difference if you show up to your interview with a physical representation of your work.

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        7. Work on the Presentation Itself

        You need to know how to sell yourself; your work, skills and a desire to improve and perfect in general. No matter how great you are in what you do, no one will hire you if you can’t speak about it properly. Most people decide to turn to various tutorials on how to prepare for an interview, but following those tutorials through might just be the thing that makes you feel anxious during the actual interview, because you’re probably trying not to leave any of the steps out. However, if you try out a different approach, and focus on developing your presentation skills in general, because that’s exactly what any interview is all about – presenting your work in the right light.

        That’s it really. Once you make a portfolio like this, you won’t have to redo it ever again, you’ll just have to fill it in with additional accomplishments as you complete them. It might be a lot to take in right now, but if you take enough time and really devote yourself to this project, I’m sure it’ll turn out great!

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        Last Updated on August 25, 2021

        Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

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        Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

        As a recruiter, I have met and interviewed hundreds of candidates who have no idea who they are.

        Without a personal brand, candidates struggle to answer the question: “tell me about yourself—who are you?” They have no idea about who they are, what their strengths are, and how they can add value to the company. They present their CV’s believing that their CV is the key to their career success. In some ways, your CV still has its use. However, in today’s job market, you need more than a CV to stand out in a crowd.

        According to Celinne Da Costa:[1]

        “Personal brand is essentially your golden ticket to networking with the right people, getting hired for a dream job, or building an influential business.” She believes that “a strong personal brand allows you to stand out in an oversaturated marketplace by exposing desired audiences to your vision, skillset, and personality in a way that is strategically aligned with your career goals.”

        A personal brand opens up your world to so many more career opportunities that you would never have been exposed to with just your CV.

        What Is Your Personal Brand?

        “Personal branding is how you distinctively market your uniqueness.” —Bernard Kelvin Clive

        Today, the job market is very competitive and tough. Having a great CV will only let you go so far because everyone has a CV, but no one else has your distinct personal brand! It is your personal brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buy—you.

        Your personal brand is your mark on the world. It is how people you interact with and the world see you. It is your legacy—it is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.

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        I have coached people who have very successful careers, and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that would them to their next role. They are having what I call a “career meltdown,” all because they have no personal brand.

        A personal brand helps you become conscious of your differences and your uniqueness. It allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.

        Don’t get me wrong, having a great CV and a great LinkedIn profile is important. However, there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market, and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.

        Building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you. Knowing who you are and the value you bring to the table enables you to be more informed, agile, and adaptable to the changing dynamic world of work. This is how you can avoid having a series of career meltdowns.

        Your Personal Brand Is Essential for Your Career Success

        In her article, Why Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever, Caroline Castrillon outlines key reasons why a personal brand is essential for career success.

        According to Castrillon,[2]

        “One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”

        The first thing I do as a recruiter when I want to check out a candidate or coaching client is to look them up on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your digital footprint is the window that highlights to the world who you are. When you have no control over how you want to be seen, you are making a big mistake because you are leaving it up to someone else to make a judgment for you as to who you are.

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        As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

        In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about the importance of having a personal brand and her journey to defining her personal brand. She wrote that:

        “if you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

        When you have a personal brand, you are in control. You know exactly what people will say about you when you leave the room.

        The magic of a personal brand is that gives you control over how you want to be seen in the world. Your confidence and self-belief enable you to leverage opportunities and make informed decisions about your career and your future. You no longer experience the frustrations of a career meltdown or being at a crossroads not knowing what to do next with your career or your life. With a personal brand, you have focus, clarity, and a strategy to move forward toward future success.

        Creating your personal brand does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. You will be expected to step outside of your comfort zone not once, but many times.

        The good news is that the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more you will like being there. Being outside of your comfort zone is where you can test the viability of and fine-tune your personal brand.

        5 Key Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

        These five steps will help you create a personal brand that will deliver you the results you desire with your career and in life.

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        1. Set Your Personal Goals

        What is it that you want to do in the next five years? What will your future self be doing in the next five to ten years? What is important to you? If you can answer these questions, then you are on the right path. If not, then you have to start thinking about them.

        2. Create Your Unique Value Proposition

        Create your unique value proposition by asking yourself these four questions:

        1. What are your personality features? What benefit do you offer people?
        2. Who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
        3. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them? How do you solve their problems?
        4. What makes you different from others like you?

        The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your professional story, which is the key step to creating your personal brand.

        3. Write Your Professional Story

        Knowing who you are, what you want, and the unique value you offer is essential to you creating your professional story. People remember stories. Your personal story incorporates your value proposition and tells people who you are and what makes you unique. This is what people will remember about you.

        4. Determine Which Platforms Will Support Your Personal Brand

        Decide which social media accounts and online platforms will best represent your brand and allow you to share your voice. In a professional capacity, having a LinkedIn profile and a CV that reflects your brand is key to your positioning in relation to role opportunities. People will be connecting with you because they will like the story you are telling.

        5. Become Recognized for Sharing Your Knowledge and Expertise

        A great way for you to promote yourself is by sharing knowledge and helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and you gain exposure for doing so. You can do this through social media, writing, commenting, video, joining professional groups, networking, etc. Find your own style and uniqueness and use it to attract clients, the opportunities, or the jobs you desire.

        The importance of having a personal brand is not going to go away. In fact, it is the only way where you can stand out and be unique in a complex changing world of work. If you don’t have a personal brand, someone will do it for you. If you let this happen, you have no control and you may not like the story they create.

        Standing out from others takes time and investment. Most people cannot make the change by themselves, and this is where engaging a personal brand coach is a viable option to consider.

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        As a personal brand coach, working with my clients to create their personal brand is my passion. I love the fact that we can work together to create a personal story that defines exactly what people will say when you leave the room.

        Other People’s Stories

        Listening to other people’s stories is a great way to learn. In his article, 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding, Rafael Dos Santos presents the best Ted Talks where speakers share their stories about the “why,” “what,” and “how” of personal branding.((GuidedPR: 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding))

        Take some time out to listen to these speakers sharing their stories and thoughts about personal branding. You will definitely learn so much about how you can start your journey of defining yourself and taking control of your professional and personal life.

        Your personal brand, without a doubt, is your secret weapon to your career success. As Michelle Obama said,

        “your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

        So, go own your story. Go on the journey to create your personal brand that defines who you are, highlights your uniqueness, and the value you offer to the world.

        Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

        Reference

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