Hiring managers are hard to please, and it’s no wonder: they see hundreds or thousands of resumes each year, many of which are submitted without accompanying printed portfolio books or any other “proof” that career claims are true.
Printed Portfolio Books Serve to Back Up Claims Made on Your Resume
Employers are aware of “resume bloat”, which is what happens when people make unsubstantiated claims or exaggerate their credentials on paper. They’re wary of relying too heavily on a paper resume for exactly that reason: it’s all just words.
Printed portfolio books change all that by providing a hiring manager some physical “proof” of your experience and your competence. For example, it’s one thing to say you’re good at communications. It’s quite another to prove it in your portfolio by showing a clipping from the local newspaper of an article you wrote for them.
And it’s one thing to say you’re involved in the community, and quite another level when you show pictures of yourself serving soup at the local soup kitchen, or handing out food at the local food pantry.
Maybe you wrote the company newsletter at your last job? That’s another perfect example of how printed portfolios offer validation to your resume claims.
They Also Help Your Resume Stand Out
A printed portfolio book also helps your resume stand out. Outside of the creative community, very few people take the time to assemble one, and those who do are setting themselves apart when it comes to applying for jobs.
Done properly, a handheld, printed portfolio can really make your work stand out and leave a long lasting impression.
Source: Creative Bloq
Some job applicants like to bring their portfolio with them to job interviews. That way, when they’re asked about their experience, they can open it up and play show and tell, rather than just talking (this also relieves nervousness!). Incorporating a visual component into your interview is a sure-fire way to get noticed and remembered.
Tip: Be sure to print enough portfolio books to leave one at each interview. In a stack of ordinary resumes, your book will surely stand out.
What Goes in a Good Portfolio?
So what, aside from those few items mentioned above, goes into a career performance portfolio? …anything that relates to your past jobs, your volunteer work, your internship work, or even your classroom work.
Here are some more ideas for your career portfolio:
- The best papers you wrote in college or during advanced training
- Written recommendations or other types of praise letters from past bosses or managers
- Fliers (or posters) you might have made for a group you belong to
- Photos of yourself in action: giving a presentation or doing volunteer work, for example
- Graphic design or photography examples for creative folks
Choose your Paper Stock Wisely
If you think your printed portfolio books can be easily made with your home printer, you better think again. There is a big difference between professionally printed items and your desktop printer.
And paper stock? There is a huge difference here too. Be sure to use a high quality stock chosen for your individual needs, personality, and profession. Here are a few paper tips:
- Linen paper stock works well for those in conservative professions. If you are applying at a law firm or bank, this may be the best paper stock to use.
- A glossy photo paper can be a very impressive if you are displaying high quality rendered images and graphics.
- Use a heavy paper – more like card stock. Nothing looks more cheap and unprofessional than a light-weight flimsy paper. At a minimum use 24# stock.
The Cover and Binding it all Together
Here’s where you can have even more fun and make your book creative and unique. Your portfolio book cover can be made from a variety of surfaces and they don’t have to be paper. Although a heavy card stock can work for your book, why not think out of the box and go with something unusual like suede, leather, or fabric. You can even use custom printing such as die-cut, embossing, metallic inks, or foil.
It’s the finishing that counts – and your binding will be noticed. You can have your books saddle-stitched, spiral bound, perfect bound, loop stitched, and more. The type of binding is usually chosen based on the number of pages. Your budget will play a part in this decision too.
Think of the aesthetics for your binding too. After all, your printed portfolio books play a big part in your career. This is generally not the time to scrimp on your budget. Your book reflects you.
And the good news is…
…you don’t have to be a creative type in order to come up with a beautiful, professional-looking book. At Las Vegas Color we have a full range of enticing options, and a staff to help you put yours together. We have a wonderfully pleasing array of colors, textures, bindings, and paper to choose from, plus a friendly helpful staff to help you get started. Come visit us, or give us a call!