How Should I Organize My Work Portfolio?

How Should I Organize My Work Portfolio?

Having a portfolio of your work can be an essential interview tool for those in several lines of work - graphic designers and other creatives come to mind. But even if you're not a creative, a portfolio can be a fantastic way to highlight your skills and achievements.

In case you're not familiar with the concept of a portfolio, it's usually a binder or notebook of pieces of your work. Think of it as a brochure of what you have to offer to an employer.

Perhaps you're a marketing professional and you've had an article written about you in the local paper. Or you're an engineer with several high-profile patent applications. Maybe you've written documents that show off your writing skills. Include these in your portfolio.

In any event, your portfolio needs to be polished and professional. Here are some guidelines for you to consider when assembling one.

  • Make it clean - Your portfolio should consist of your best designed work, arranged neatly and well formatted. If it's ugly, don't include it, unless...
  • Make your work stand out - If that ugly piece of work is making a statement you want it to make about your skills, then by all means include it. Select pieces that best show off your creativity and intellect.
  • Make it tell a story - Organize your work in such a way that it says something about the progression of what the reader is looking at.  Group like with like; if you've improved as time goes on, organize your work in such as way that it shows how you've grown.
  • Make it shine - Pick your best pieces. Get an outside opinion on what is your best work - not everybody may agree with your own opinions, and it's easy to become attached to your personal favorites.
  • Make it available online - A digital portfolio is great because you can always pull it up when you're sitting in a hiring manager's office. Pieces like that training module you designed come alive when presented in multimedia.

Scott Singer is the President and Founder of Insider Career Strategies Resume Writing & Career Coaching, a firm dedicated to guiding job seekers and companies through the job search and hiring process. He is a Human Resources professional and staffing expert with almost two decades of in-house corporate HR and staffing firm experience, and is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC).

Insider Career Strategies provides resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, and career coaching services, including a free resume review. You can email Scott Singer at, or via the website,