A portfolio enables a job seeker to highlight their best work and provide details that cannot be conveyed in a resume. For engineers a portfolio is another tool to engage potential employers, pique interest, and invite inquires.
Let your portfolio tell a story
Stories typically have a beginning, middle and end. Structure your portfolio in the same fashion – highlight projects that will illustrate the process you employed to tackle and solve engineering problems. Add narratives, images, drawings, or videos to articulate the technical challenge or task, and how you were able to provide a solution. This will give the hiring manager insights into your engineering problem solving process.
Remember that a portfolio is not for restating your resume; the hiring manager already has that information.
The benefits of having a portfolio, especially for job interviews
Having a well-organized portfolio during a job interview can be a competitive advantage. The interviewer now has tangible and detailed samples of your work to complement what was indicated on your resume. This allows for a more in-depth discussion of your experience.
Discussing your portfolio allows you to take control of the interview. You have the opportunity to focus the interviewer’s attention on the projects or achievements that tell the entire story of your experience.
Show your best work in your portfolio
Present the work samples that effectively communicate the range of experience you have including any specific technical skills. The goal is to elicit in-depth questions from the interviewer which will give you the platform to speak and expand on your experience and process.
Tailor your portfolio for the job
When considering what samples to showcase in your portfolio, consider the job that you are applying for, the company, product and industry. Then select work samples that are most relevant to what the hiring manager is looking for. This will help focus both you and the interviewer on relevant engineering issues and avoids wasting time on tangents.
Have a digital version of your portfolio
According to a Hover survey that was participated by 120 hiring managers, 38% said that having a digital portfolio is important and 86% said they will visit the link to a portfolio when given the option. Of those who visit the portfolio, 71% said the quality of it influences their consideration of the candidate.
Here are some tips on how to make a digital portfolio:
- Utilize website builders such as Wix, Strikingly or Squarespace.
- Most of these websites have free access but the address or “URL” will be a subdomain of theirs (i.e. www.wix.com/johndoeportfolio). By paying a premium, you can get a custom URL (i.e. “www.johndoeportfolio.com”) that enhances your personal branding.
- Include the website link of your online portfolio on your resume, LinkedIn profile and e-mail signature. Make it easy for prospective employers to find the link AND click on it.
For more tips on how to present your portfolio or if you need assistance finding your next engineering position, call SoloPoint Solutions today at (408)246-5945 or (714)708-3639!