How to build a professional job portfolio that’ll make anyone want to hire you

AJAYI JOEL
5 min readMay 5, 2022

The job market is saturated and for the skill you currently have, there are thousands of people who have it which makes it difficult to get your dream job on the platter of gold.

The truth is, as much as getting your dream job seems like a big challenge to you, hiring the right candidate is also a big challenge to employers which is why you need to show proof of your experience.

If this is your first time hearing about a job portfolio, I’d define it in a simple layman’s word.

“A job portfolio is a database where you showcase the proof of your experience in a certain field’

It is not enough to tell a potential recruiter or employer that you are good at a skill. Remember, there are thousands of people like you trying to get in. This is why it is important to have a portfolio and a very convincing one at that.

Here’s how to build a professional job portfolio that will get you hired in your next job application;

  1. Choose what you want people to see;

If your portfolio is a database that contains the number of jobs you’ve done in the past, then it is important to be careful of what you place there as you want it to help you convince prospective employers.

If you do not have jobs you’ve done before, then there’s no way you can build a portfolio so you can start off by trying to engage in some free jobs as it would be a little bit difficult to get hired without experience.

Engage in free work for people or embark on projects for yourself in the field you choose. A good way to get authentic and good jobs you can do for free is to join communities and pay attention to people requesting free services.

If however, you have experience, then you can be careful about how you present your experience.

For instance, if what you do doesn’t involve too many visuals, then you can use a platform where your work is being emphasized.

I am a writer and I blog using Medium blog platform. Anyone who requests my portfolio gets the link to my Medium profile where they can go to read my content.

The whole essence of this point is to first pay attention to the industry you are in, assess what is really important to show off, then set a priority on how you can show them off.

If you are faced with the challenge of displaying your body of work based on agreement with the company you worked for (let’s use ghostwriting as an example). Instead of mentioning the company’s name, use the industry;

“I wrote blog posts for company A and scaled their Seo”

“I improved brand visibility for a major B2B company by scaling their SEO

The second option is the more appropriate.

2. Make it simple;

Potential recruiters or employers will not spend hours running through your portfolio all in the name of wanting to check you out. They just need the basic things to convince them that you are the best fit for the role.

This is exactly why your portfolio needs to be pretty simple. In the game of showing off what you’ve done, less is more. Less, but an authentic, result-driven body of work.

The muse gave a perfect example of this in their article using Gari Cruze’s portfolio website.

There are not too many details on this page except for the photos and if you over around each photo, the name of the organization he worked with pops up with more details.

You don’t want to wear those viewing it out with loads of information sho keep it simple.

3. Make it easy to navigate;

You might be really excited to show the body of your work that you make the arrangement terrible. This is where aesthetics come in. while it is good to start with what you have, sometimes it might be a problem.

For instance, some writers have used Google drive as their portfolio and it gets really difficult moving in and out of an article saved on a google doc file.

I would encourage the use of no-code platforms like disha.page, contently, clippers.me, and even regular platforms like Behance, substack, depending on your industry or profession.

However, whatever route you follow, make your body of work easy to navigate to ensure they check through a couple of your authentic work and make decisions quickly.

4. Sell yourself — it is a sales strategy

Your portfolio is not just a body of work showing your experiences, it is also an avenue to sell yourself, subtly.

For instance, a person whose portfolio contains a few details about themselves will attract more emotional appeal than someone else just showcasing their body of work.

People whose portfolios have a high conversion rate to jobs give room to talk a little bit about themselves. This is why in the portfolio option, using a website might seem to be a better option as it gives room for flexibility in putting whatever you want.

You can use WordPress, Wix, Squarespace and a load of other websites to build a customized portfolio or you can get someone to do the job for you.

Whatever you do, ensure that your portfolio doesn’t just display the previous work you’ve done but gives a hint about the types of jobs you’d love, types of people/industries you’ll love to work with.

Now that you’ve seen how important having a portfolio is, it is important you go-ahead to build a great one to end the struggle you encounter with seeking profitable jobs or jobs in your dream company.

If you want to be taken through the step-by-step process of how to build a killer professional portfolio, then you should click this link to join hundreds of others on the waitlist for a workshop on this.

Click the link now and you’d be on the wait-list

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