Student portfolio sets you up for success

November 16, 2022

Student portfolios are used all the time by athletes, artists, and performers. But even if you don’t fit one of those categories, there’s another reason you (yes you!) absolutely need a portfolio: it’s important to job recruiters!

During a job search, you might think all the pressure is on you to find the right place to work. But employers have the same challenge. It costs them a lot of time and money to find, interview, hire, and train employees. They like seeing student portfolios because it helps them get it right the first time.

You’d be surprised how much an employer can learn about you from a portfolio that they’d never get from a standard resume. So why not take the opportunity to wow them, and virtually lock up a chance at an interview?!

Here are important reasons every high school student needs their own portfolio.

  • Describe what motivates you. Personal and career motivations might sound too lofty, but they start to become clearer as you assemble a portfolio. Based on your motivations and assessment, what do you want to do for the next several years? Don’t pretend to know exactly what the next 30 years look like. Interviewers are trying to find out if you’re a good match. The portfolio shows them how your work goals align with your interests and experiences. Remember, you don’t have to have all the answers to life! It’s helpful to reflect on how you spend your time and energy to identify what motivates you. These make for great talking points in a job interview.
  • Demonstrate how you act on what you learn. Some people list a bunch of courses on a resume. Instead of that, describe in your own way what you’ve learned in and out of the classroom. Maybe you started selling baked goods from home based on something you learned in economics class. Your contributions are a step beyond what you’ve studied in class. What have you done? How have you been recognized? It’s similar to a brag sheet in your college applications. This is tangible evidence that you’d make a good coworker.
  • Share stories that relate to your portfolio content. Your personal storytelling will evolve as you move through your career. For now, start with simple stories that connect the dots in your portfolio. Think of it like stargazing with a friend in the night sky. Show them a constellation where they previously just saw a bunch of stars. For an employer, this demonstrates your ability to see the big picture, and that’s much more valuable than following orders.

Now what?

Before your next interview, come up with one thing you want a potential employer to remember about you. Just one. And then make absolutely certain that your portfolio draws attention to that one thing. Most of the other job candidates are going to rely on a boring resume, but not you!

If you haven’t created your portfolio yet, now’s the time! Here’s what some other students are saying about their experience using spikeview.