Effective Use of Portfolios: How and When to Best Use Portfolios
by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D., and Katharine Hansen, Ph.D.
[Part 3 of 7 of Career Portfolios: Proof of Performance]
Once a job-seeker has created a traditional career portfolio and brought it to the job interview, several strategies can be deployed to get the portfolio into the hands of the interviewer.
The portfolio can be used at the beginning of the interview, especially if the interviewer uses the traditional question that asks the job-seeker to describe him/herself. “I think it’s a great idea to teach our students/clients to use the portfolio as part of the answer to ‘tell me about yourself,'” states a career professional. “Of course, there are several other questions where it would work also… [interviewees must be] proactive in showcasing them to prospective employers.”
The portfolio can also be used to help answer a question about a specific type of problem or work situation, answering the questions — and then showcasing corresponding work from the portfolio. “The portfolio can be used more to highlight an example of a topic or question in the interview,” states a career expert. “The candidate should think of the individual parts of the portfolio as examples in the interview, rather than trying to incorporate the ‘whole’ portfolio to be worked in somewhere. I think of the portfolio in the interview as a ‘teaser.’ Once you pull out something as an example, then I might wonder, ‘what else do you have in that portfolio?’ Then I want to definitely see it, or at least more of it.”
Finally, the portfolio can also be used at the end of the job interview. “The portfolio can be utilized in the candidate’s summary/closing comments,” states another respondent. “That is, ‘if you would like to see more of my work, learn more about me…'”
Go on to Part 4: Online portfolios comprise an emerging trend
- Go back to Main Page: Proof of Performance: Career Portfolios an Emerging Trend for Both Active and Passive Job-Seekers
Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.
Katharine Hansen, Ph.D., creative director and associate publisher of Quintessential Careers, is an educator, author, and blogger who provides content for Quintessential Careers, edits QuintZine, an electronic newsletter for jobseekers, and blogs about storytelling in the job search at A Storied Career. Katharine, who earned her PhD in organizational behavior from Union Institute & University, Cincinnati, OH, is author of Dynamic Cover Letters for New Graduates and A Foot in the Door: Networking Your Way into the Hidden Job Market (both published by Ten Speed Press), as well as Top Notch Executive Resumes (Career Press); and with Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D., Dynamic Cover Letters, Write Your Way to a Higher GPA (Ten Speed), and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Study Skills (Alpha). Visit her personal Website or reach her by e-mail at kathy(at)quintcareers.com.
Dr. Randall S. Hansen is founder of Quintessential Careers, one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the Web, as well CEO of EmpoweringSites.com. He is also founder of MyCollegeSuccessStory.com and EnhanceMyVocabulary.com. He is publisher of Quintessential Careers Press, including the Quintessential Careers electronic newsletter, QuintZine. Dr. Hansen is also a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. He’s often quoted in the media and conducts empowering workshops around the country. Finally, Dr. Hansen is also an educator, having taught at the college level for more than 15 years. Visit his personal Website or reach him by email at randall(at)quintcareers.com.
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