In looking at all of the things that we add to our resumes: education, experiences, interests, hobbies, etc. The one thing that is critically important for those of you within the realm of marketing is your portfolio. Being on both ends of the spectrum as someone who has been looking for work and someone who has also assisted in the hiring process, while your resume should show the basics of your capabilities, it’s your portfolio which will tell more about you than any amount of words.
A portfolio shows how you think. Yes, it can show how great you are at Adobe Creative Suite or if you’re like me it’s probably filled with examples of social media strategies, but the bigger impact is that you are able to show how your brain went from problem to solution. It shows how you were able to get across a message and how you chose to tell that story.
For those who have graduated from design schools, I’m certain that you’ve found yourself designing work which isn’t as outside of the box as the work that you were able to produce while you were in school. This doesn’t just pertain to designers though, you might have become one of the social media “gurus” (or whatever we’re calling it this week)…and maybe you were hired through the corporate setting. I’m certain that the person who is running the LexisNexis Facebook page and Twitter account would probably rather want to be doing it for Apple or Nike (let’s be honest…getting people excited iPads is far easier than getting lawyers excited about….well, anything).
Alright, so how do you keep your portfolio fresh with new ideas to show off your true skills? Well, luckily there are these wonderful little organizations who need help, helping people = they are called non-profits. Here’s the beauty of it: they are usually broke (that’s the non-profit characteristic), but why that works is because they don’t have the resources to hire on internal personel. So if you’re a designer: you can come up with some crazy concepts and they’ll run them! You can create work that will get printed. If you’re a social media geek (I include myself in this category) you can help bring a non-profit to relevancy on the social platforms. Taking a non-profit from obscurity to helping them build an army of volunteers…that’s a portfolio piece!
This post is inspired by Shana Douglas and Carla Weis Hale, the founders of CultureMash. Within 6 weeks they have taken a concept to what is the launch of their efforts to help the NPOs. If you’re looking to not only help yourself, but to be part of something truly inspiring, I encourage you to get in touch with this organization to be paired up with a non-profit who needs help.
As always, thank you for listening + take care of one another.