What Is a Portfolio?

Whether you're a graphic designer, photographer or copywriter, you must find a way to showcase your skills and entice customers to choose your services. That's where a portfolio can help. You can use it to present your work, prove what you're capable of and build your own brand. Depending on your type of business, a portfolio may also serve as the collection of all the goods and services you offer.

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)

Portfolios come in all shapes and sizes. You can use one to showcase your past work and projects or your accomplishments in the workplace. For businesses, a portfolio refers to the collection of products you offer.

What Is a Product Portfolio?

Portfolios come in a multitude of types and styles. Choosing one over another comes down to your goals, type of business and industry.

A product portfolio, for example, typically includes the products and services offered by a company to its customers. It may list a single product line, focus on specific brands or provide an overview of all the goods supplied by a business.

Organizations use their product portfolios not only to attract clients but also to decide how and where to allocate resources. If a particular product doesn't perform well, they may remove it from their portfolio and focus on those that generate the highest revenue.

Who Needs a Professional Portfolio?

If you're freelancing, seeking job opportunities or looking for new clients, you may need a professional portfolio. This is one of the most powerful tools you can use to showcase your work and increase brand awareness. Basically, it's a collection of work samples and evidence that proves your skills in a particular area.

Let's say you're a web designer or a creative agency. Consider setting up an online portfolio to feature your best work and describe your services. Mention any high-end brands you've worked with. You may also include testimonials, customer reviews and success stories.

If you’re a copywriter or blogger, add writing samples to your portfolio. Link to any popular websites featuring your work. Whenever you apply for a new job or contact potential clients, add a link to your portfolio. This will help you stand out from the crowd, back up your claims and showcase your work experience.

What About Career Portfolios?

Job seekers may use a career portfolio to gain a competitive advantage and show their skills, expertise and accomplishments to prospective employers. Think of it as a way to plan and document your education, experience and achievements.

Compared to a resume or cover letter, a career portfolio gives you more flexibility. You may include work samples, artwork, links to articles you've published online, news clippings about your work and more. Depending on your preferences, you can set up an online portfolio or use a file folder.

Feel free to include your resume, employee evaluations or letters of recommendation, awards and certifications, career goals and a list of references. Be creative with your portfolio, but keep it professional. If you attend a job interview, use work samples and case studies in your portfolio when talking about your achievements.

Why Create a Portfolio?

A well-crafted portfolio can increase your chances of success in career and business. Whether your goal is to land a better job, grow your customer base or make a name for yourself, this tool can help. It highlights your best skills, shows who you are and serves as evidence of your potential.

Another reason to create a portfolio is that you can use it to assess your own progress and see how far you've come. A web designer, for example, may realize that his current work is far superior to what he did two, five or 10 years ago. Furthermore, he can use his portfolio to identify new opportunities and areas for improvement.

If you're looking for a new job, a portfolio can set you apart. It gives you a chance to show your experience and what you can do for prospective employers. Additionally, it demonstrates that you're proactive in terms of personal and career development.

References

Resources

About the Author

Andra Picincu is a digital marketing consultant with over 10 years of experience. She works closely with small businesses and large organizations alike to help them grow and increase brand awareness. She holds a BA in Marketing and International Business and a BA in Psychology. Over the past decade, she has turned her passion for marketing and writing into a successful business with an international audience. Current and former clients include The HOTH, Bisnode Sverige, Nutracelle, CLICK - The Coffee Lover's Protein Drink, InstaCuppa, Marketgoo, GoHarvey, Internet Brands, and more. In her daily life, Ms. Picincu provides digital marketing consulting and copywriting services. Her goal is to help businesses understand and reach their target audience in new, creative ways.