Putting Together the Perfect Portfolio

It doesn’t matter if you’re currently a jobseeker or living your dream job – having a portfolio is an important asset to shine a spotlight on your accomplishments and experiences.
Sarah Si
Sarah Si
Editor, gradsingapore
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When it comes down to the essentials of a job search and job interviews, we often place a lot of emphasis on the basic three – your standard job application form, resume and cover letter. But sometimes, when competition is stiff for coveted and limited positions with top employers (78.3% of graduates in the annual Singapore 100 Leading Graduate Employers Survey 2021 conducted by GTI Media Singapore (S100 Survey) think that it’ll be tough to get a good job), it may not be enough.

So, if you’re looking to go the extra mile to prove that you have what it takes for the position on offer, one of the ways you can stand out positively is by submitting a portfolio that showcases your strengths and skills that are relevant to the job. Check out our quick guide on creating an attractive portfolio for your job application!

What’s a portfolio?

At the very bottom of it all, a portfolio is a compilation of materials – drawings, work samples, videos, projects and even professional certifications – that prove your internship or work experience, accomplishments and qualifications.

There’s no set format for your portfolio. It can be a physical binder or file that contains organised samples of your work, a blog that you maintain, or even a compilation of documents stored in a thumbdrive.

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The best time to submit a portfolio

If your portfolio’s digital, it’s a good idea to attach a PDF version or include a link on your resume and cover letter at the initial stages of the job application process. This helps your prospective employer to immediately assess your skills and experience together with your application. If your portfolio is physical, bring it along on the day of your interview and present it to your recruiters.

As a fresh graduate, your portfolio can give you a leg up in convincing recruiters of your abilities and potential, especially if you lack relevant work experience. Additionally, the content of your portfolio can come in handy during job interviews as you can talk about your materials as concrete examples of your capabilities. So make it a point to review your portfolio before stepping into the interview room!

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What to include in your portfolio

Your portfolio should be a compilation of your best work instead of a crammed collection of every project you were ever involved in. Collate your strongest and most relevant materials that highlight your skills and strengths.

As a rule of thumb, you should always consider the position and employer you’re applying for, and the relevant skills you want to showcase. Remember to tailor your portfolio according to the role you’re applying for, just like you should with your resume and cover letter!

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How to present your portfolio

Because the contents of your portfolio can come in handy during job interviews (you can use your materials as concrete examples of your capabilities), how you present your portfolio counts. It’s a chance for you to showcase your creativity, and you can also use it as an opportunity for your prospective employer to evaluate your organisational skills.

Because there isn’t a single correct way to present your work samples, feel free to present your portfolio in any way you see fit. You can even create a mixture of presentation methods, such as a hand-drawn comic with an accompanying video on an online platform!

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Putting together your portfolio is the easier part of the process. When that’s done, familiarise yourself with the contents of your portfolio before attending your interview. After all, using the samples in your portfolio as examples of the relevant skills you’ve honed can help you clinch the job on offer!