When you want a job and you know you’re the perfect candidate, how do you stand out from all the other applicants who also think they’re perfect for the job?
You create a stunning portfolio with PDFs, of course. Portfolios aren’t just for creatives, such as artists and writers. They’re the ideal way to stand out from the crowd. Think of it as a quick way of showcasing your skills in an easy to scan format. Plus, it shows you’re willing to go the extra mile when other candidates aren’t.
Why Use PDFs?
Why not documents or spreadsheets over PDFs? First of all, PDFs aren’t easy to alter and they’re compatible with nearly every computer and mobile device. You don’t have to worry if your .docx file will display correctly when an employer checks out your portfolio. Plus, PDFs seem more like the sophisticated businessman of document formats. Don’t you want to seem sophisticated for your interview?
Are Portfolios That Important?
Yes! According to The Muse, everyone should create an interview portfolio. When a hundred other applicants want the same job, a resume alone may not be enough to get you noticed. Providing a link to your online portfolio not only catches an employer’s attention, but makes them take a closer look at what your skills and accomplishments are.
Think of this as show and tell before you even get called in for an interview. For instance, your resume might say you have team building skills, but that’s an extremely general statement. Your portfolio might include PDFs that list the team building steps you’ve taken, the ROI of creating more productive teams and even feedback from prior team members.
You want to take any opportunity possible to stand out. Portfolios filled with detailed PDFs showcase your dedication. They’re even more impressive if you customize the portfolio to the job. Want to get hired for a web developer position? Showcase code samples on your portfolio. Want to be a veterinarian assistant? Detail volunteer and intern positions along with pictures of you in those positions.
How To Create A PDF Portfolio?
It’s a myth that portfolios are only for those with something visual to show off, such as photographers, digital designers, artists and even writers. However, every skill you have has a story and examples attached to it. Don’t just wait for an interviewer to ask you the right questions. Use your portfolio to answer all their questions before you even interview for the job.
Use your portfolio to tell your work story. For best results, use visuals in your PDFs to instantly attract attention. You could even create you own quote-style graphics at the start of each document to make the titles of each PDF more noticeable.
According to John Leonard, every person has something to put in their portfolio, but what you add varies based on who you are, what you’re applying for and your past experience. For instance, a recent college grad might post PDF versions of their transcripts, any internships along with details of the position, letters of recommendation and in-depth details of projects you completed during college.
Some general ideas to help get you started with your own stunning portfolio include:
- Any projects you’ve worked on in previous jobs, especially those that relate to the position you’re applying for
- Sample case studies / research projects for research style positions
- Sample project that’s relevant to the job you’re applying for
- Anything you developed or created at previous positions (if you have license to showcase it)
- Performance awards
- Letters of recommendation
- Samples to go with individual skills
- Certifications and how you earned them
- Challenges you faced and overcame
- Future goals and aspirations
Create your own personal website to host your portfolio. Upload your PDFs as needed. By using PDFs, it’s easy to add and remove files to your site as needed. Plus, employers are able to download the files most relevant to them to add to your resume when you come in to interview.
Before you apply to another job, create your portfolio. It could mean the difference between getting your dream job sooner rather than much later.