Week 3 Discussion (Portfolios)

Portfolios 1

Preparation: Watch the videos on these sites: Monkey See Portfolio Video (4 Mins) and You Tube video (2.5 mins). And please read the articles at these sites: Create an Awesome Work Portfolio and Engineering Portfolio

First Response: Please type up a response to the videos. What did you learn that was helpful? What was unclear? Now, please think about the homework you have completed so far. Then tell us how you would build the PowerPoint (or Word) section of your portfolio. Which slides from which presentations would you include and why? Which documents would you include? How would you explain these to an interviewer? How would you sell these skills to a potential employer (meaning, how would you translate what you are showing him/her into what you can do for him/her if hired)? What printouts would you include and why? Do you have any certificates, rewards, etc. that you would include in your portfolio? What are they? Then explain how you would introduce each one to the interviewer and why that one would be impressive to an employer.

Both videos tell you to include your resume and cover letter. We don’t recommend that you include these in the presentation section of your portfolio (since you aren’t going to tell the interviewer which skills you used to create them), but you should have nice hard copies in the back or in a folder with pockets to give to the interviewer at the beginning of the interview (in case he/she lost the copy you already sent). Responses should be at least 250 words.

Second Responses: Please read your classmates’ responses and reply to at least two classmates. What do you think about the pieces he/she plans to include in his/her portfolio? Are they strong pieces? Do they provide him/her with enough to talk about? For each item he/she plans to include, please explain: Is the way that he/she plans to discuss this in the interview strong and persuasive for hiring? Explain why or why not? Do you have any suggestions for other things to discuss with these items? Are there any skills that he/she isn’t illustrating with the examples he/she plans to use (i.e. how to create a custom layout)? Responses should be at least 100 words.

As always, responses are due before the start of the next class day.


29 responses

  1. Portfolios are a huge success when it comes to interviewing. Porfolios are a great example to show work that you have done and incorporate into what you’re saying. Like examples when the interviewer asks you questions, you can have your work right on hand. With the PowerPoint section, what I did was do a print out with about 4 slides on it so I can show the work I did. And then I can further explain how I put different things into each slide. It’s good to show things to the employer like that because you can end up making things like that for their company. It’s just good to have things to refer to because it proves everything that you are saying. I include important projects that really showed my skills for either word, excel, access and PowerPoint. I haven’t passed any MOS exams but I have mastery certificates and also perfect attendance certificates that look really great in portfolios because it makes you seem like a hard worker and professional. With the perfect attendance, you can use that as saying you are very dependable when showing up and getting things done. Actions definitely speak louder than words. You can use your portfolio to present what you are saying visually.

    1. What did you learn from the videos and links that was helpful? What was unclear?

    2. Caytie, yes they seem important for the success of the job interview. It shows the interviewer what you can do instead of them just taking your word for it. Cause you can tell them anything that they want to hear but if you show them what you can do that a big plus. Especially things that will help their company, like it seems that a lot of people are using Microsoft Office no matter what kind of company they are, so showing what you can do and being confident in presenting it is a huge plus.

  2. The first video was good but I am not sure what you to do if you don’t have some of the things it says you need to have like for instant the accomplishments you have gotten. But it was informative especially if you never used a portfolio before. The second one was good and to the point. I like that it emphasizes how important a portfolio is and that you need to practice what is in it so that you can answer any questions that the interviewer asks. Also the interesting difference between the two videos was that the second one said not to give the interviewer the portfolio so that you can control what is being asked in the interview. I felt that the interviewer has the power to ask the questions and that he’s should be able to ask the questions that he see fit and that the portfolios will help with giving him ideas of what to ask and then you can answer as needed. The article had good information about including things associated with what you did for work to show the interviewer what you have done. I like that it mentioned how important a portfolio is that it may make you stand out from the other people being interviewed. The thing it had to add to your portfolio was good too, like your accomplishment, the features you have done, and a list of benefit that the interviewer would get if he hired you. I have never really used an portfolio in a interview but I now see the importance of it how it can make you stand out and the interviewer can see what you have accomplished also.

    1. Don’t forget: Tell us how you would build the PowerPoint (or Word) section of your portfolio. Which slides from which presentations would you include and why? Which documents would you include? How would you explain these to an interviewer? How would you sell these skills to a potential employer (meaning, how would you translate what you are showing him/her into what you can do for him/her if hired)? What printouts would you include and why? Do you have any certificates, rewards, etc. that you would include in your portfolio? What are they? Then explain how you would introduce each one to the interviewer and why that one would be impressive to an employer.

    2. I agree that if you don’t necessarily have the accomplishments or achievements, what would you put in their place instead? I definitely wouldn’t want to walk into an interview with a fairly empty portfolio. But I guess that’s when you can add a power point or maybe of your in sales, a graph or chart that shows your sales performance. I would actually offer the portfolio for the employer too look at if they want and then let them lead the interview however they want. Whether that be them looking thru it or you guiding them thru it, whichever they prefer of course

    3. Sharelyn, I too wasn’t sure of what to include in the portfolio if you don’t have accomplishments or rewards. But after reading Monica’s post she had the idea of including letters and comments from her customers. I really thought was a great idea. I too believe that you should practice especially if you haven’t used a portfolio before in an interview or even been on a real interview before. What I mean by “real interview” is that the jobs I have held in the past have basically been word of mouth and a simple introduction. I have not been on a “real professional” interview. So for me this is all so very new and a bit nerve racking. I just hope by the time it comes down to actually going on an interview I will be prepared and confident 

  3. In the first video I found it to be very informative and helpful. It gives you examples of what should be in your portfolio. It explains the advantages of having a portfolio. I believe with a portfolio in hand it will help you relax and feel confident. I agree that regardless of what you do for a living, you can show your future boss that you are perfect for the position. I also agree that the portfolio should contain the best examples of your work it shows your level of skill and quality of your work. In the second video I learned that practicing your interview with your portfolio will help you feel at ease and also helps you point out your critical skills. Also, I really liked the helpful hint about keeping your thumb in place of your portfolio to help you keep on track of what you want to say. In the first article it was very informative about the explanation of a portfolio and what should be included in it. I like the examples that were given to help you in putting your portfolio together. I never really thought about how important it is to put a portfolio together. I didn’t realize that putting the time and effort into a portfolio would help you be prepared to answer any interview question about your experience, skills or past work. Also, by seeing your body of work it builds your confidence level and that really stands out in an interview. Even though you may not use your portfolio in an interview, I think it is still a good idea to have one.

    1. that is true what you said about a portfolio helping you relax and feel confident because you should know whats in it very well and it should be able to assist you in what you are saying. and you should have knowledge of the things and examples in your portfolio. and yes having the best examples is very important. and having a portfolio will make you stand out. its very importatnt to have a professional looking portfolio and incorporate what you are saying in your TMAY to your portfolio. i agree with what you said in your last sentence that even though you may not use your portfolio for every interview but it is always great to have one on hand! great blog =]

    2. Maria, what items will you be putting into your portfolio? Which PPT slides will you include?

    3. In response to Monica, you brought up a good point in that not all jobs show their appreciation in the form of an award or a certificate of excellence, or customer service. Most employers consider your paycheck to be your reward. Some people look at that type of leadership and figure hey why should I work harder, and have it not recognized. Maybe some employers don’t show their gratitude so don’t have the tools to find a better job.

    4. Maria I agree that a portfolio is a good idea, before I took this class I never used or heard about a portfolio. So it been a good learning experience to learn what it is, what to put in it, and how to use it. So practicing with it is the key to success, cause you want to show the interviewer that you have confidence. Also when you practice you know what’s in your portfolio and can answer any question that the interviewer asks. So to me it seems like its a real important tool to have to get a head of the other applicants.

  4. The videos and the articles explained how to put a portfolio together. I like that it made suggestions of additional documents. Since it has been advised to keep my resume down to one page, it sounded like I would take my resume and make each section a separate page. That way I can expand on any items I want my interviewer to know. I also like that it said to make copies of anything you have in your portfolio. That way you can leave any examples of your work or examples of you with the interviewer. I think this would be very helpful since some times the interviewer is a first step and only collecting the best candidates for s second interview. It will be easier for him/her to present you with examples. It states that 52% of people are visual/audio. If you are the candidate with the visual component, I feel you’ll be remembered first. I am a bit confused about how to present my portfolio. The first video said I could just put it on the table and let the interviewer flip through and help guide his/her questions for me with what they see. The second video said to keep a thumb on the page to maintain control and not let the interviewer flip until I am ready. So what is the best option?
    In my portfolio I already have my resume, cover letter, and examples of my PowerPoint and Excel work. I have two slides I like best out of my PPT presentation and my handout. I have my attendance certificate, my PPT proficiency certificate and my PPT MOS “you passed” print out. I have tons of refining and additions to make. I am looking forward to adding several accomplishments to my portfolio over the next several months.

    1. i like what you said to include copies of things in your portfolio in case they need to be provided with one. like your resume and cover letter too. its important to tie in your TMAY with your portfolio. like for example if your explaining about the current microsoft office programs, then turn to your portfolio and give an example and further explain it. i dont like the idea of the employer flipping through it because then it might make you lost. i think its best to have you do it that way you know exactly what you are talking about and are prepared for it. i think all of the things that you listed in your portfolio are key pieces for your binder. good job on your blog =]

    2. Remember, you can also print out your MOS certificate and put it in there, instead of the “You Passed” paper. Go to http://www.certiport.com and sign in with the same user name and password you used in the testing center. Point your mouse to “MyCertiport” and a drop down menu will appear. Choose “My Transcript.” It will load a page that shows all of your tests and scores so far. Click the PDF link next to the certification you passed. It will be listed under the Certifications heading. Then, after the PDF loads, scroll to the bottom and click, “View Official Certificate” and print this version. You can even save it to your thumbdrive or desktop by clicking the download button next to the print button.

    3. I was in the same boat as most of the people that are responding to this post, I was told to have a one page resume. Didn’t have a clue what a cover/ thank you page letter was all about. After starting here I quickly realized how important it is to have all of the necessary documents and that you possess a strong portfolio. I’m pretty sure only a kid off the street can get away with walking in and filling out an application.

  5. The videos to me were very helpful since I have never made a portfolio before, let alone present one to an employer. It showed me how to present it properly. You need to be in control of your portfolio so always keep your fingers on it so you would change the pages and not he employer. Make sure that you know the material inside you portfolio and that you practice enough on how you will be presenting it to the employer. Some of the things that I may include in the portfolio are certifications and some of you r work that I have done to show the employer what you capable of and that you can do the work that you are applying for. Some of the slides that I may use are going to be from my final project in PowerPoint, my presentation, mainly because it’s what I have created from scrap. From Excel I would include some of the assignments we had during the six week period. I would most likely do the same thing with Word. In the beginning of each subject I would include the certifications from the moss exams I’ve taken so far, next would go the certifications from the school’s mastery exam, and last but not least would go the award of excellent attendance for whatever subjects I will receive. I would present each certificate as proof that I know what I am doing when it comes to Microsoft Office, and with the examples of my work it would back me up.

    1. Remember, you can also include print outs of work you have done in each program, to better show that you have the skills you say you do. So, for instance, you could put in a page or two from your newsletter (when you are done) and a couple of pages from some of the assignments.

    2. Danielle Healey

      I am with you on never making a portfolio before. I have never had a professional interview at all. I like that you stated to be in control of your portfolio. I was a little confused about that from the videos. Practice make perfect. I agree you need to practice. Looking like you thumbing through someone else’s portfolio when it’s yours could turn off a potential employer. Including all off your certificates is a great example of showing the interviewer how responsible you are. I think the attendance certificates have a high importance. Be sure to include those. Be sure to pick pages of your work wisely. Be sure to print examples of your work that you can explain the details of what you did.

  6. I found both the videos and articles very helpful in pursuing a job. I personally had never heard of a portfolio for an interview. What I really found useful was the fact a portfolio makes you stand out, above and beyond what a potential employer might see on a regular basis. I enjoyed the fact you can showcase your abilities with graphs and charts. As a former salesperson myself, this would be a great visual to show in an interview. It is also good to provide a list of your detailed challenges you might have faced in your previous employment. I would put in my portfolio letters and customer comments I have received over the years. I also found accommodating that you can put certificates and awards you also have kept from previous employer when normally I just shove them in a folder somewhere to never be looked at again. It’s also a good idea I think to maybe have to switch your portfolio up a little bit depending on where you’re interviewing and for what position. A chef’s job would be completely different than working in car dealership so you might want to change up your awards or certificates and possibly put them in a different order. It’s also a good idea to stick to the highlights and not get off topic. If you have a good portfolio and the interviewer asks a question you can flip right to a chart or graph and put the attention right back on him, which shows them how prepared you are for the interview and just how serious you are for the job.

    1. Putting in a section for letters and customer comments is a great idea. I’m glad you thought of it. It’s good that you kept all of those things, as it is always good to show an employer that your customers loved you. I wish I’d kept my customer comment cards from when I’d worked at hastings. Even though I wouldn’t be applying for a retail position, it would have given me a chance to show that I received a lot of positive feedback from my customers.

    2. Danielle Healey

      I am building my portfolio now. I like that you pointed out to include certificates or accomplishments from previous employment. I have several items shoved into a file folder that would be great to include. It shows that you have track record of accomplishments, you are not just a one hit wonder, so to speak. Great point about knowing you portfolio inside and out, when you are asked a question you can immediately go to a visual aid to help you answer the question. I really would show the interviewer how prepared you are. I think I will be making a sales graph to include in my portfolio. It would be proof that you are not just trying to “sell” yourself. You can back it up.

    3. Monica, I’m with you on the part of not hearing of a portfolio before. I never realized that having one could really help you land a job. I think your idea of including letters and comments from customers is a great contribution to your portfolio, especially the certificates and awards you received from previous employers. What a great asset that will be for your portfolio. I think you have a pretty good concept of what your portfolio should contain and the idea behind it. I agree with you on your interpretation of how to switch it up depending on what kind of position you are applying for. You have great ideas.

    4. At least now I know that I am not the only one that hasn’t heard of a portfolio or had one in an interview, which is good to know. I agree with you Monica, a portfolio does make you stand out and most important I think is that it shows the employer what your skills are and what you’re capable of. I liked your idea of showing your certificates as well as rewards you have earned from previous employers. You will be getting plenty of certificates and awards here at school that you would want to put in your portfolio as well as more information on what to include in it and also how to arrange everything.

  7. Here is part of my first response, I swear to god I did at home didn’t transfer to blog from home. But first class worked and the online quiz.

    1. Ok, but don’t forgot to post this!

  8. First Video- I learned the portfolio should show samples of your work summaries; add visual impact to your answers. Provide the employer with information that showcases your accomplishments and experiences that will do the selling for you. As far as the contents that the portfolio should contain resume, list of certifications, awards, and any further accommodations.
    Things needing answers –
    I wasn’t sure on the order of which things should be listed first, and shouldn’t the resume be a condensed version of said portfolio? I think the video was informative and useful for examples of the contents in the portfolio; I have already bookmarked the monkeysee website for future references.
    Second Video- Well I thought it was more educational than the first video; she got right in and got to the point. She also mentioned things I would never have thought like holding the pages down with your thumb, to me that behavior would have been to forward for a job interview. Overall very informative two thumbs!
    Differences in the Videos in reference to the articles- There are a few things to consider when using Work Portfolios. If it is a physical portfolio, you may want to drop it off prior to the interview to give the interviewer some time to review it.
    Youtube said to hold the pages down so employer could not take control of your portfolio. I assume she said this so your time rehearsing interview (in the mirror) doesn’t go to waste.
    The second article shed a little more light on other formats to present your portfolio, like a CD, website, slideshow (PowerPoint). Which brings up the question with technology today, how long till faxing or e-mailing your resume is replaced SkyDrive or Cloud?
    This was a fun topic,

    1. As on the subject Jason is touching on here, yes, what order should your portfolio be in? And I don’t feel a resume is enough to stand out on an interview. I also don’t feel there is enough in a resume to show all your accomplishments and achievements. Resumes should be fairly simple and to the point, otherwise they might look a little tacky. And I don’t think I would hold down the page so the employer can’t look at it. That seems a little pushy and doesn’t make the employer feel like they are in control. I would let the employer look at the portfolio as they wish.

    2. The way I’m setting up my portfolio for now is by subjects that we a currently taking in core. Starting with PowerPoint. In PowerPoint I begin with my certification from Microsoft, and then I put in the schools certificate of mastery, award for not missing any days, and at the end I put in my work that I would want the hiring manager to see. Although I’m considering to change that and have it exactly the opposite. You mentioned it adds a visual impact. That got me thinking about what Margret told me about showing by example. You the tell the employee these are the things I know how to do and you use the portfolio and the work you put in, to show him/her that you indeed know how to do it.

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