Utah State University describes an engineering portfolio as a source of information on your journey through engineering. It could include projects you have completed in the academe or your personal time. Its role is to show off the breadth and depth of knowledge, abilities, and skills you have gathered over time.
You could be someone new in the industry and have finished checking through what you need to look for in your first engineering job. Or you could be a budding software engineer with a few apps developed while some are under development. For what purpose have you been developing these apps? How passionate are you about getting your app released and available on different platforms?
You could also be an industrial engineer managing the operations of a production plant. What management resolutions have you implemented as an industrial engineer? What have been your contributions and personal projects?
Whichever engineering field you are in, simply mentioning your prior work and expertise may not be enough. A portfolio informs recruiters and hiring managers how you can use these talents in a professional situation. In addition, your future employers want to know your potential to contribute to the company culture and profit.
What do you bring to the table? How passionate are you about seeing projects up to their fruition? Having an engineering portfolio can help begin the conversation you want to have with recruiters. Read along to learn more about creating a portfolio.
Related Read: 9 Resume-Building Tips To Stand Out From The Crowd
Put the CAP On It: Comprehensive, Aesthetic, and Passionate
Building a solid portfolio is essential for workers in today’s competitive job market. Your personal brand, which includes your abilities, expertise, and accomplishments, is represented through your portfolio. It might serve as a calling card to draw in new business and create an impression on potential employers.
Remember the acronym “CAP” in building your portfolio: comprehensive, aesthetic, and passionate. Putting a cap on something is knowing the restrictions or limits of your message. The employer should see enough to want to hire you and know that you have a path forward in mind.
Your portfolio should be comprehensive enough to contain relevant information about your background. Include training and work experience that you have. If you do not have sufficient experience and training in the field, look into taking online training through massive open online course (MOOC) providers. MOOC providers include Coursera, EdX, Udemy, Khan Academy, Code Academy, and SkillShare. Moreover, consider reaching out to your mentors and other connections in the field for opportunities that could expand your experiences.
Did you participate in developing and managing different projects in your engineering field? Describe those projects in your portfolio. Take note of the difficulties and successes you had. Any work experience, internship, training, or apprenticeship within the engineering field you have done in the past and moving forward can be added to your portfolio.
The aesthetics of your portfolio must also be functional. You can make it interactive depending on which platform or format you will use for sharing. Complementing the functionality, the design of your portfolio should also reflect your personal branding.
For better chances of landing the job you want, your portfolio’s aesthetic can match your prospective company’s existing one with an added touch of your personality. The similarity may not be based on the company’s color palette but can be based on the company’s overall design or corporate aesthetic—research how you can create an aesthetic that suits your profile and emphasizes your professional growth.
Companies today may look into how you convey your passion in your portfolio. Depending on the engineering field, your portfolio can include research, projects, and fieldwork that you have been part of in the academe, for engineering companies and service providers, or in communities.
If you are a systems engineer with experience, include documentation that shows your passion for the tasks. Your passion should also reflect a healthy perspective on your career and your well-being. Skills and passion complement each other in creating a sustainable approach to your career and professional development.
Formats in Building Your Portfolio
There are different ways to approach the formats of a professional engineering portfolio. Each format will have advantages in helping you boost your chances of landing that job.
- Electronic Document
- Videos and Graphics
- Social Media
- Combination of any
The usual electronic documents can be in the form of a PDF that narrates your engineering journey. You can include hyperlinks that connect it to your published research or online professional profiles. There are cheaper and sometimes free trials for websites that you can use. Nowadays, you do not need to learn HTML or any coding language to create a website, but learning one can be to your advantage.
Social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram can help employers learn more about your skills. They could even give them a glimpse of what you could be like as a buddy or team leader in the company. In addition, videos showing your ability to teach and train can be useful if you want to expand in that area of your career.
You may also prepare a combination of these formats. Consider your availability and energy before deciding the mix of formats you will produce. Building on one and then adding as you go through your journey could be more energy and cost-efficient.
Get Professional Opinions on Your Portfolios
After working on the CAP of your portfolio and deciding on the format, you will use, ask for the opinion of other professionals on its functionalities. Knowing where to improve is a crucial step in building your portfolio. There are different people you can ask:
- Current colleagues
- Friends in the Field
- Staffing Firm
If you are already employed, ask your colleagues for their opinions on your portfolio. They might also be able to share learnings on how they developed theirs. Their comments can help you know what worked for them. You may also check with them how’s the feedback their previous employers or recruiters mentioned about their portfolio.
Additionally, having a mentor can help you build your portfolio and give you better insights into the developments in the field. In some situations, they help connect you to employers and other opportunities to strengthen your career.
On the other hand, your friends within the field can also be more honest with you about any comments they have on your portfolio. They can remind you of work experiences that you should include, even exclude, from it.
Consider turning to staffing firms, too, since they can assign you to a dedicated recruiter or hiring staff. The consultations regarding any improvements on your resume or portfolio will be easier. They would have the most reliable comments, as they will know what caught the attention of employers and what made them hand down a job offer.
EAGER TO GET AN EXPERT EYE ON YOUR PORTFOLIO? GET IN TOUCH WITH US.
Davies Companies has been building powerful partnerships and winning solutions since 1985. We specialize in manufacturing, engineering, technology, and accounting & finance staffing and offer outsourced solutions, including Managed Services, Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO), and Human Resource Outsourcing (HRO). Search for jobs through our portal. We can help you build your portfolio, revise your resume, and practice for interviews. Reach out to us today!
Related Read: Job Interview Checklist