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Six Tips for Preparing a Portfolio for Technology Roles

Have you been frustrated by applying to a Front End Developer or Designer job you’re a perfect fit for only to have it declined within minutes or never get any sort of response at all?

Six Tips for Preparing a Portfolio for Technical Roles

As a Technical Recruiter, I have this conversation daily with candidates who find the process of applying to a job slow, nonresponsive and extremely unproductive. Part of understanding how to increase your chances of getting a call back on your application is understanding what a recruiter/hiring manager is seeking.

More companies are starting to request candidates' portfolios for a UI/UX Front End Development or Design positions. In fact, I am seeing more managers who reject a candidate’s resume if there is no portfolio and/or not a proficient portfolio. Bottom line: The proof is in the portfolio.

Here are six tips to help increase your chances of a hiring manager calling you in for an interview for a technical job:

  • Have a professional portfolio ready to go. Make sure it is up and working properly. Often times we go to sites listed on resumes and the screen goes blank, with a message saying that it is no longer a working site.
  • Put details with each example you show. Talk about what it is we are looking at, what technologies are being used.
  • Explain your screen shots. No one knows where they are coming from or what you did personally in the shot.
  • Make sure every link works properly. If it is supposed to be clicked, make sure the link goes somewhere when someone clicks it.
  • Link your resume to the portfolio. Hiring managers prefer to see all the clients you have worked with and as a way to incorporate your resume and portfolio. If some projects are proprietary, a manager will still prefer to see how that work ties into your overall work history.
  • Keep adding little by little to your portfolio every chance you get. The better your portfolio is the faster the interview requests will come! This also means the less time you sit on the market. Your portfolio should really define your skills and abilities. It’s a way to shine in front of someone without having to talk to them. The proof is in the portfolio.

No doubt you have excellent skills and fit the job you are applying to. However, without demonstrating your skills with your portfolio, it’s likely your resume is getting rejected for being incomplete. If you really want to get a recruiter/manager to call you back, you need to understand what’s important to him/her. I hope this helps to understand some of the changes in the job market for technical candidates. Best of luck with your next application!

Also see the blog post, How to Work with a Recruiter to Get the Job.

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