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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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        Published on March 20, 2019

        How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

        How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

        Have you ever felt lost in the minutia of your job?

        As a business owner, I can relate to getting bogged down in the day to day operations of my business. Things like inventory, payroll, scheduling, purchasing and employee management take up the bulk of my day.

        While these things are important and need to get done, focusing too much on the details can make you lose sight of the big picture. This is why having a good mission statement comes in handy.

        What is a Mission Statement?

        Put simply, a mission statement is an internal document that provides a clear purpose for the organization. It provides a common reference point for everyone in the organization to start from.

        In other words, after reading your company’s mission statement, managers and employees should be able to answer the question “What are company’s main objectives?” For example, Southwest Airlines mission statement reads:[1]

        “Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.”

        In this single statement, Southwest conveys the company’s goals of providing the highest level of customer service as well as providing a good working environment for their employees.

        Mission Statement VS. Vision Statement

        While the mission and vision statements are related, there are subtle but distinct differences the you should be aware of.

        First of all, a mission statement is designed primarily as an internal company document. It provides clarity and direction for managers and employees.

        While there’s nothing wrong with sharing your company’s mission statement with the outside world, its intended audience is within the company.

        While a mission statement provides a general framework for the organization, the vision statement is usually a more inspirational statement designed to motivate employees and inspire customers. Going back to Southwest Airlines, their vision statement reads:[2]

        “To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.”

        This statement inspires good feeling from the customer while motivating the employees to achieve that vision.

        What Does a Good Mission Statement Look Like?

        When coming up with a mission statement, it’s important to take your time and do it right. Too often, people (especially entrepreneurs) just write down the first thing that comes to mind and they end up with worthless or (worse yet) a generic mission statement that is utterly useless.

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        Remember, a mission statement should provide a common framework for everyone in your organization.

        When writing a mission statement, you should always try to incorporate the following;

        • What we do?
        • How we do it?
        • Whom do we do it for?
        • What value are we bringing?

        Now, you can see how tempting it is to just come up with something generic that ticks off those four boxes. Something like “We provide the best widgets available online for the consumer.”

        After all, that did check off all the boxes:

        What we do? Provide widgets.

        How we do it? Online.

        Who do we do it for? The consumer.

        What value we bring? The best widgets.

        The problem with this mission statement is that it could apply to any number of companies producing the same widget. There is nothing to distinguish your company or its widgets from any of your competitors widgets.

        Compare that mission statement to this one:

        “We provide the highest quality widgets directly to the consumer at an affordable price backed up with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If our clients aren’t 100% satisfied, we’ll make it right.”

        What’s the difference?

        Both mission statements answer all the same questions of what, how, whom and value. But in the second statement, they are differentiating their company from all other competitors by answering the question “what makes us unique”.

        Another way to read that is, “Why you should buy from us.” In this example, it’s because our widgets are of the highest quality and we stand behind them 100%.

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        You might have noticed the statement didn’t say that we sell widgets at the lowest possible price. That’s because we are emphasizing quality and satisfaction over price.

        A different company’s mission statement may emphasize selling widgets at the lowest possible price with little to no mention of a guarantee.

        Hallmarks of a Good Mission Statement

        1. Keep It Brief

        Your mission statement should be no longer than three sentences. This is not your company’s magnum opus.

        You should be able to distill the what, how, who and why questions into a succinct message.

        2. Have a Purpose

        A company’s missions statement should include the reason it even exists.

        Make clear exactly what the company does with statements like “We strive to provide our customers with …….”

        3. Include a “How”

        Take this as an opportunity to differentiate your company from its competitors.

        How do you provide a product or service that’s different or better than how your competitor provides it?

        4. Talk About the Value You Bring to the Table

        This is where you can really set yourself apart from the competition. This is the “why” customers should buy from you.

        Do you offer the lowest prices? Fastest delivery? Exceptional customer service? Whatever it is that sets you apart and gives your particular products, services or company an advantage talk about it in the mission statement.

        5. Make Sure It’s Plausible

        It’s okay to shoot for the stars just to settle for the moon, but not in a mission statement.

        Being overly ambitious will only set you and your employees up for failure, hurt morale and make you lose credibility. You will also scare away potential investors if they think that you are not being realistic in your mission statement.

        6. Make It Unique and Distinctive

        Imagine if someone who knew nothing about your business walked in and saw how it was operating, then they read your mission statement. Would they be able to recognize that mission statement was attached to that business? If not re-work it.

        7. Think Long Term

        A mission statement should be narrow enough so that it provides a common framework for the existing business, but open enough to allow for longer term goals. It should be able to grow as the business grows.

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        8. Get Feedback

        This is very important, especially from managers and employees.

        Getting their input can clarify how they currently see the company and their role within the organization. It’s also a good way to get people “on-board,” as studies show that people are more likely to go along with an idea if they feel included in the decision making process beforehand.

        9. Review Often and Revise as Necessary

        You should review the missions statement often for two reasons.

        First, as a reminder of what the essence of the company is. It’s easy to forget when you are in the day to day grind of the business.

        And two, to make sure that the mission statement is still relevant. Things change, and not everything can be anticipated at the time a mission statement was written.

        For example, if a mission statement was written before the advent of the internet, a company that use to sell things door to door now probably has a website that people order from. You should always update the mission statement to reflect these changes.

        The Value of Mission Statements: Why Go Through All of These in the First Place?

        It may seem like a lot of work just for a few sentences that describe a company, but the value of a well written mission statement should not be discounted.

        First of all, if you are an entrepreneur, crystallizing the what, how, whom and value questions will keep you focused on the core business and its values.

        If you are a manager or other employee, knowing the company’s basic tenants will help inform your interactions with both customers and colleagues alike.

        Strategic Planning

        A relevant mission statement acts as a framework for strategic planning. It provides guidance and parameters for making strategic decisions for the future of the company.

        Measuring Performance

        By having the company’s mission in a concrete form, it also allows for an objective measurement of how well the organization is meeting its stated goals at any one time.

        Management can identify strengths and weaknesses in the organization based on the criteria set forth in the mission statement and make decisions accordingly.

        Solidifying the Company’s Goals and Values for Employees

        Part of a well run organization is nurturing happy and productive employees.

        As humans, we all have an innate need for both purpose and to be part of something larger than ourselves. Providing employees with a clearly defined mission statement helps to define their role in the larger organization. Thus, fulfilling both of these needs.

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        Now I’m not saying that a mission statement can overcome low pay and poor working conditions, but with everything else being equal, it can contribute to a happier and more productive workforce.

        To Hold Management Accountable

        By creating a mission statement, a company is publicly stating its highest values and goals for the world to see. By doing so, you are inviting both the public and your employees to to scrutinize how well the company lives up to its ideals.

        So if you state that you only provide the highest quality products, and then offer something less, it’s fair for both the public and the employees to question, and even call for a change in management.

        If management doesn’t take the mission statement seriously, no one else will either; and the legitimate authority that management rely’s on will be diminished.

        To Serve as an Example

        This is the opposite side of the coin from the previous statement. If the highest levels of management are seen taking the mission statement seriously and actively managing within the framework of the statement, that attitude filters down throughout the organization.

        After all, a good employee knows what’s important to their boss and will take the steps necessary to curry favor with them.

        Finally, use the company’s mission statement as a way to define roles within the company. You can do this by giving each division in the company a copy of the mission statement and challenge the head of each division to create a mission statement for their respective departments.

        Their individual mission statements should focus on how each department fits in and ultimately contributes to the success of the company’s overall mission statement. This serves as both a clarifying and a team building exercise for all parts of the organization.

        Final Thoughts

        Developing a mission statement is too often just an after-thought, especially for entrepreneurs. We tend to prioritize things that we perceive will give us the biggest “bang for our buck.”

        Somehow, taking the time and effort to sit down and think seriously about the what, whom, how and value of our business seems like a waste of time. After all, we got in the business to make money and become successful, isn’t that all we need to know?

        That mindset will probably get you started okay, but if you find yourself having any success at all, you’ll find that there really is such a thing as growing pains.

        By putting in the time and effort to create a mission statement, you are laying the groundwork that will give you a path to follow in your growth. And isn’t building long term success what we are really after?

        More Resources About Achieving Business Success

        Featured photo credit: Fab Lentz via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] Southwest Airlines: About Page
        [2] Fit Small Business: 10 Vision Statement Examples To Spark Your Imagination

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