Resume Vs. Portfolio: Which One is Most Important to Your Engineering Career?
As an accomplished engineer, you may be able to put together an impressive resume, but even the best-written resume that touts all of your achievements isn’t as compelling as being able to actually show your best work.
Trying to remember every single project you’ve contributed to and its results can be tough. A portfolio, on the other hand, allows you to have crucial information about your most impressive work at your fingertips. Also, having a portfolio available makes you well-equipped to jump on job opportunities that suddenly appear.
If you have been thinking about putting together an engineering portfolio, consider the helpful suggestions and advice below.
Considering an Electronic Portfolio
Often located on a personal website, an electronic portfolio is useful for engineers who mainly work in an electronic format. If you develop a website, be sure it's easy to navigate. Use as little text as possible for an uncluttered visual. Pages ought to load rapidly, to make for a convenient experience.
You can opt for an online portfolio, but you may run into connectivity issues, especially if you need to access it in random places. If you intend on using an online portfolio for an interview, think about bringing your computer with the portfolio on the hard drive.
Choosing projects to feature
When choosing examples of your work, think about who you want to see it to and why. You may be adept at a range of abilities, but perhaps a potential employer is only trying to find a certain skill set.
Once you have figured out the target audience, pick examples of your work accordingly. For instance, you may not want to present web designs when discussing a job based in analytics.
We are highly visual creatures and people will undoubtedly want to see images of your work. Include a reasonable number of images that highly your best work. Some engineers use before-and-after images to show what they were able to accomplish.
Maintain a Project Journal
Because project can be large affairs involving many contributors, project journals can help you clarify the specifics of each project you have worked on. Journals can help others comprehend the what you put into each project and offer key information on meetings you attended, conversations about the project, major events along the way, critical choices and overall achievements.
Think about using a software application like Word or Google Docs to record your various projects. If you prefer a handwritten journal, you may want to change it to a text file for easier access on a smart phone or computer.
Identify What You Learned from Each Experience
Prospective employers or clients might want to see a track record of learning during your career. A simple approach to do this is to mention the experience gained from each project. Consider each project to be a learning opportunity and in your portfolio, list a handful of key lessons for each project. Be comprehensive, sincere and steer clear of clichés, where possible.
Let Us Help Your Job Search!
At Quanta, we have years of experience in helping ambitious engineers find good job opportunities. Please reach out to us to find out how we can help your engineering career.