One of the most powerful assets any marketer can have for job hunting and career growth is a well-developed portfolio. But not all portfolios are created equal, and it’s possible to maximize the value from yours and get an edge over competition for your dream jobs.
Marketing portfolios aren’t just for creatives these days. Nearly any marketer from any profession could foreseeably make a portfolio of their work and accomplishments; even an SEO consultant or marketing analytics contractor. Regardless of your background, if you have a well-crafted and comprehensive showing of your work then you’re likely to stand out in the hiring process.
Even a straightforward, no-frills portfolio can be effective in attracting digital marketing headhunters. But if you take a little extra care to optimize it, you’ll find even more success. Take these steps to polish up your current marketing portfolio or keep them in mind as you build one from scratch.
Tell a Story with Your Projects
One of the most powerful things you can do with your portfolio is show how long-term projects and campaigns evolved over time. All too often, marketers will just show a list of completed deliverables without any context on how they developed or what they contributed to the assignment.
This is something even great creatives often fail to do. For instance, a graphic designer might have some gorgeous advertisements to show off in their portfolio. But they’ll often neglect to mention the goal of those ads, the strategy behind the art direction, or the results they drove. Making pretty pictures to woo a digital marketing headhunter is one thing. Designing compelling, engaging art that moves the needle is another.
Similarly, you can use your portfolio to walk viewers through some of your success cases. Explain the problem/challenge, the strategy that was developed to overcome it, the goal/KPIs, and how your mission evolved over time. Show where adjustments and improvements were made, and the final results of your efforts.
You can even tell a compelling story about yourself and your career with your portfolio by including meaningful works from throughout your time as a professional. Show how you’ve improved over time and adapted new skills to fit your career path.
Have a Digital and Physical Version Available
It’s wise to have both a digital portfolio to share online as well as a hard copy to show people when the need arises.
Having a digital portfolio available makes it easy for you to share your accomplishments with potential employers. It pulls double duty, acting not only as a portfolio but also a way to show off your digital and web aptitude. A sleek, logically assembled and easily navigable portfolio is worth showing off itself. You might even get offers as a passive candidate by digital marketing headhunters who encounter your online portfolio.
Having a physical version of your portfolio can be helpful as well, even if it’s not an exact copy of your digital edition. You can bring it into interviews, networking events, and more to share with hiring managers and valuable connections and put your skills and creations on display.
Update it Regularly
Making a great portfolio isn’t easy, and the thought of maintaining it might be intimidating. But a periodic cleansing and refresh of your portfolio can be highly valuable–even if you’re not actively in the job market.
Treat it much like you would your resume or LinkedIn profile. Even a small update once or twice a year can go a long way.
When you’re regularly updating your portfolio, it keeps you ready to act when a job opportunity arises. You won’t have to spend long hours or even days cleaning it up to apply to a new job, and any digital marketing headhunter who comes across it will see your most updated, best version.
Don’t Be Afraid to Get Creative
It’s easy enough to make a standard portfolio on one of the major portfolio-hosting sites and call it a day. There’s nothing wrong with that; outside of creatives, most marketing professionals don’t have a portfolio. So having anything at all–even something very straightforward–gives you a huge advantage over competitors for a job.
But businesses want marketing professionals who can bring innovative ideas and new perspectives to the table in all aspects of their marketing. If you think of an unconventional or clever way to display your past work and experience, that goes a long way towards making yourself stand above others in your field.
Think about it. How can you showcase past work that might not have a strong visual element, such as SEO strategy or spreadsheets of data? Are there any underused platforms you could use to showcase your portfolio that would be especially relevant to your field of work? How can you show your personality and character in your portfolio?
Need some inspiration? Check out these Outside-the-Box Marketing Resumes for some examples of how you can go above and beyond the traditional channel.