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

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 January 21, 2020

        How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

        How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

        We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

        So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

        While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

        Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

        What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

        How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

        But what does being productive actually entail?

        Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

        Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

        It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

        Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

        9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

        1. Avoid Multitasking

        Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

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        Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

        If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

        2. Turn off Notifications

        According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

        Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

        The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

        Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

        3. Manage Interruptions

        There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

        Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

        If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

        By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

        4. Eat the Frog

        Mark Twain once famously said that:

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        “if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

        What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

        We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

        Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

        5. Cut Down on Meetings

        Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

        You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

        The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

        But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

        If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

        6. Utilize Tools

        Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

        If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

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        And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

        Some examples of tools that could be used:

        Communication
        • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
        • Samepage for video conference software.
        • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
        Task Management
        • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
        • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
        • Wekan for an open source option.
        Database Management
        Time Tracking
        • Clockify for a free tracker.
        • TMetric for workspace integrations.
        • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

        You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

        7. Declutter and Organize

        Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

        Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

        Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

        Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

        8. Take Breaks

        Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

        As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

        Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

        Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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        9. Drink Water

        Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

        Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

        Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

        A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

        If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

        You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

        The Bottom Line

        The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

        After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

        In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

        A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

        Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

        More About Boosting Productivity

        Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

        Reference

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