Portfolios vs. Resumes — The Complete Guide

In as we speak’s aggressive job market, your earnings and profession depend on realizing how one can talk your expertise and experiences. To take action, you possibly can select certainly one of two major automobiles: a resume or a portfolio.

As a contract author and creator, a portfolio is my biggest asset (and one I have been constructing since my first article was printed at 19). But, when job looking out over time, a resume has been required by many positions.

Each a portfolio and resume show an individual‘s skilled expertise and experiences, however what are the variations and distinctive alternatives that every presents?

Let’s take a look at the important thing variations between the 2 that will help you decide the very best device for the job (search) at hand.

Portfolios vs. Resumes

Portfolios — What are they?

Resume — What are they?

Making the Proper Selection

→ Download Now: 12 Resume Templates [Free Download]

Portfolios vs. Resumes

A portfolio and resume assist job seekers land work, however they’ve key variations in visibility, conference, and the overview course of.


A resume is tailor-made for particular job functions. It is mostly up to date and used when making use of for jobs. Additional, resumes must be tailor-made to every particular job utility.

A portfolio, however, is a set of an individual’s skilled expertise and talents obtainable on-line 24/7. It could be seen by a broader viewers past simply potential shoppers. Portfolios aren’t essentially tailor-made to a particular job.


Resumes include a really clear conference. These paperwork are one or two pages most, with expertise listed in reverse chronological order. Resumes show your related {qualifications} whereas being as concise as potential.

A portfolio may be an interactive, artistic, and in depth show of an individual’s work. You may crumple up the concise doc method and share in-depth info.

That features real-life samples, exercising any variety of portfolio ways, and artistic concepts.

Evaluate Course of

A resume isn‘t solely reviewed by potential employers; it’s first uploaded to a resume reader and scanned by synthetic intelligence (AI).

In consequence, following a strict format is usually to your benefit, because it makes the doc extra scannable.

A portfolio is a set of labor samples that may solely be reviewed by an actual particular person. Creativity is your good friend, because it’s one other solution to showcase your expertise and talents.

Portfolios — What are they?

A portfolio is a set of labor samples that exhibit an individual’s expertise and expertise. Portfolios was once reserved for artistic fields.

Nevertheless, the trendy job market has seen an inflow {of professional} portfolios due to the gig economic system.

Profession tradition has shifted away from single-job careers. Whereas there could also be a unicorn employee in your workplace who was employed at your organization straight out of faculty, it is a rarity.

Not solely do employees change jobs recurrently, however in addition they change careers extra usually.

Creator and Harvard Enterprise College college member Christina Wallace describes pouring your self into one single job as “the riskiest transfer you may make” in her ebook The Portfolio Life. It is estimated that 29% of employees have modified careers since graduating school.

This has fueled the necessity for skilled portfolios. These repositories are a approach of exhibiting your work that focuses on displaying expertise somewhat than summarizing expertise. Careers that function this manner are on the rise.

Nicknamed a portfolio profession, that is inspired by the gig economic system, the place employees have traded a single full-time wage for contract-based roles. Financial uncertainty, akin to pandemics and recessions, fuels this.

A portfolio contains particulars like the kind of work that you simply do and your expertise. This will additionally embrace any multimedia that shows your expertise and expertise, akin to:

  • Images.
  • Movies.
  • Audio recordsdata.
  • Video testimonials.
  • Philosophy assertion
  • Written endorsements and evaluations

Benefits of Portfolios

When does a portfolio outshine a resume? Let‘s take a look at the most important perks of utilizing this device to show a person’s {qualifications}.

You may persuasively show expertise.

A resume is a quick description of your expertise, whereas a portfolio is a complete assortment of an individual‘s expertise. It doesn’t require you to take advanced initiatives and boil them all the way down to a quick paragraph.

There’s no have to condense a complete profession sufficient to suit on one or two pages.

A portfolio reveals your entire expertise, expertise, and previous success in a single easy package deal.

“In as we speak’s quickly evolving skilled panorama, the strains between portfolios and resumes have gotten more and more blurred,” shared legal professional Ahn Min Hwan.

“Loads of professionals go for on-line portfolios or private web sites the place they sum up their resumes and likewise show samples of their work, certifications, and testimonials,” he says.

Visuals present as a substitute of inform.

Whereas portfolios have traditionally been utilized by net designers, writers, and others in artistic industries, they’ve grow to be extra of a norm with the rise of portfolio careers. This was once the important thing distinction between a portfolio and a resume.

Portfolios are highly effective and persuasive, particularly relating to displaying artistic abilities.

“As people, we’re emotional decision-makers, and infrequently we act on what we discover visually interesting,” shared Gabe Marusca, founding father of Digital Most interesting.

Gabe is an skilled net designer who creates web sites and touchdown pages for coaches and consultants.

“Within the artistic house, having a visually pleasing portfolio not solely makes you stand out towards the opponents, nevertheless it speaks louder than phrases,” Gabe says.

You may exhibit functionality.

In a world the place greater than half of Individuals have admitted to mendacity on their resume, portfolios slice by means of the noise. They present potential shoppers and employers the cash.

“Whereas the resume tells me the historical past, a portfolio reveals me the functionality,” shared Amanda Sexton, the founding father of FocusWorks. “A portfolio is essential if you happen to’re in a area the place your work may be visualized, demonstrated, or interacted with—like design, content material creation, or net improvement. It presents tangible proof of your expertise and achievements.

Portfolio Examples

Resumes are restricted to only one or two pages and observe a strict format, however a digital portfolio can take nearly any kind to showcase your expertise. Let these examples encourage you to begin designing straight away.

This portfolio instance from Nesha V. Frazier spans a number of net pages and reveals varied sorts of writing work.

What we like: This portfolio instance reveals writing samples damaged up by class. It spans a number of pages, which is definitely carried out on a portfolio due to the medium’s flexibility.

The subsequent digital portfolio instance is from Ralu Enea and showcases her expertise as an online designer, highlighting her excessive quantity of optimistic suggestions.

What we like: The screenshots exhibiting pleased shoppers make this portfolio really feel extremely genuine and persuasive.

This ultimate digital portfolio instance from Gabe Marusca showcases his net design work.

What we like: This digital portfolio takes large venture samples and makes them viewable at a look. It presents work in a very digestible format as a substitute of leaving the viewer feeling overwhelmed.

Professional Suggestions for Portfolios

Essentially the most noticeable distinction between a portfolio and resume design is {that a} portfolio can take nearly any form or kind. As an alternative of that feeling overwhelming, let it really feel empowering with these professional tips about how one can get it proper.

Use a tagline.

Whereas a portfolio is a set of your work, it may possibly (and will) nonetheless have a way of group and construction. That is the place a tagline may help function a quick goal or abstract assertion.

“An attention-grabbing tagline is a terrific method to bringing individuality into your portfolio whereas providing corporations a broad view of what you possibly can supply them,” shared Eran Mizrahi, the CEO of Ingredient Brothers.

“Carry some zing to the proceedings by capping them off with an unforgettable assertion or slogan.” Ingredient Brothers summarizes its product with a memorable tagline on its web site:

Preserve your portfolio targeted.

A portfolio would not have to be a conclusive profession abstract.

Whereas you will have work samples spanning a few years, initiatives, and industries, a targeted portfolio helps a hiring supervisor or shopper really feel extra excited concerning the potential than a broad portfolio.

“To create a terrific portfolio, I like to recommend showcasing solely your greatest initiatives that spotlight your splendid shoppers,” shared Gabe Marusca. “Ideally, your portfolio visuals must be in excessive decision and targeted on grabbing viewer consideration.”

Resumes — What are they?

A resume is a doc that summarizes your work expertise because it applies to a particular job.

Typically one or two pages lengthy and accompanied by a canopy letter, a resume shows related expertise in reverse chronological order and is personalized for particular person job functions.

The idea of a resume hasn‘t modified a lot in your lifetime; in actual fact, it’s one of many solely elements of the hiring course of that hasn’t modified.

A well-crafted resume will show related expertise in a fast and straightforward format. Broadly talking, a resume ought to embrace any related achievements that exhibit an individual’s {qualifications} for a job.

Some customary options of a resume embrace:

  • Delicate expertise.
  • Contact particulars.
  • Work expertise.
  • Related expertise and life experiences.
  • Educational {and professional} {qualifications}.
  • Associated volunteer jobs that you’ve got labored.
  • An expert abstract assertion (generally known as a profession abstract assertion).

Regardless that resumes themselves have not developed a lot, the way in which hiring managers overview them has. It is estimated that resumes are reviewed for lower than 10 seconds by a possible employer.

Job seekers can nonetheless enhance their resume writing and see higher outcomes. Listed below are a number of the benefits of utilizing a resume over a portfolio.

Benefits of Resumes

How does a humble one or two-page doc stack up towards a portfolio? Listed below are the benefits of utilizing a resume in your job functions.

It’s a common device.

Whereas designing a artistic portfolio could take days or even weeks, a resume is an easy and common device that doesn‘t have to sustain with the tendencies (irrespective of the place you’re making use of for work).

“Almost each skilled throughout the globe wants a elegant resume or CV when actively trying to find work,” shared Amanda Augustine, licensed skilled profession coach, licensed skilled resume author, and profession professional for ZipJob.

“The second you determine to begin searching for a brand new job, you immediately grow to be a marketer, and your resume is a key element of your private advertising toolkit,” Augustine says. “Moreover, your resume usually serves as your first level of contact with a potential employer and can form that hiring skilled’s first impression of your candidacy.”

You’ll create a simple snapshot.

Whereas a portfolio has a way of endlessness to it, a resume is a comforting bite-size take a look at your skilled {qualifications}.

Arriving at a terrific resume is way much less time-consuming, due to its concise and predictable nature. Plus, not being pressured to reinvent the wheel saves you an incredible period of time.

“A resume actually serves as a profession snapshot for employers,” shared licensed profession counselor Brad W. Minton, founding father of Mint To Be Profession. “If composed effectively, it supplies an summary of your ‘biggest hits’ which can be related for future goal roles in order that employers can get a fast indication of your worth add.”

Resume Examples

Let us take a look at resume examples supplied by skilled resume writers and profession consultants. These resumes concentrate on totally different roles, fields, and ranges of expertise.

This primary resume instance was supplied by Andrew Fennell, director of StandOutCV. It is an instance of an entry-level place with a concentrate on tutorial achievements:

What we like: The format of this resume leverages colour and design whereas sustaining its readability.

The subsequent resume instance was supplied by Sylvia Glynn, government resume author for Ultmeche. It is based mostly on the well-known Harvard resume template:

What we like: This no-frills method to renew design is primed for AI readability whereas nonetheless showcasing all of the related expertise and experiences that hiring managers have to see.

This resume instance was supplied by Brad W. Minton, licensed skilled resume author and founding father of Mint To Be Profession.

What we like: This resume has a simple design that can move by means of AI scans, nevertheless it nonetheless contains some delicate design selections that can present persona to hiring managers.

Is your resume able to be scanned by AI? Use the free device Jobscan to see in case your resume helps or hurting you at this section of the hiring course of.

This ultimate resume instance was supplied by Amanda Augustine, an authorized skilled profession coach, resume author, and profession professional for ZipJob.

What we like: This can be a nice instance of a two-page resume that makes use of house effectively by including columns to interrupt up dense sections. The indentation on this resume additionally improves readability and makes for clean and pleasing formatting.

Professional Suggestions for Resumes

Is a resume proper on your job search? Then, it must be well-designed, up-to-date, and able to knock hiring managers’ socks off. Use the following pointers from professional resume writers to make it occur.

Translate expertise, expertise, and expertise to desired position.

A generic resume that‘s submitted to dozens of corporations gained’t get the identical consequence as a resume that particulars your expertise and experiences as they straight relate to your required position.

“A robust resume actually boils all the way down to how effectively you translate what you have carried out into what you are able to do for the subsequent position,“ shared Brad W. Minton. ”The way you do that’s by researching the place and firm and showcasing how your previous expertise developed related expertise for the position you are looking for now, in addition to creating qualitative and quantitative impression.”

[video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oG8lP_T1Q4&ab_channel=HubSpotMarketing]

Design resumes for performance.

Designers, writers, and different creatives will likely be tempted to make their resumes distinctive and memorable, however that aptitude is greatest saved on your portfolio. Overly artistic designs stuffed onto one or two pages result in confusion and sacrifice performance.

“When formatting and structuring your resume, it’s essential take into consideration its perform somewhat than simply making it look good. It needs to be straightforward for recruiters to learn and select the data they’re searching for,” shared Andrew Fennell, director of StandOutCV.

Fennell recommends that sections be clearly outlined with daring heading and white house. The textual content must be damaged up into bullet factors, and the colour scheme and font have to make the textual content crystal clear to readers.

“Images, icons, and different graphic options are good to have, however concentrate on the vital stuff first,” Fennell says.

Replace and embrace your LinkedIn account.

A portfolio and resume are literally not stand-alone sources, as resumes can embrace clickable web site hyperlinks to different sources. Hiring managers will usually attain for one more snapshot of your expertise and talents: your LinkedIn account.

“My high resume tip is straightforward, however we regularly see it missed as recruiters. Embody a clickable hyperlink to your LinkedIn profile just under your title in your resume,” shared Mike Basso, founder and CEO of Gross sales Expertise Command.

“Due to its predictable format, many recruiters and hiring managers prefer to overview a candidate’s LinkedIn profile for added info,” Mike says.

If it’s essential be satisfied of the facility of LinkedIn for job seekers, discover somebody who’s energetic on the platform and take a look at the work expertise part of their account.

You might even see a blurb that claims, “LinkedIn helped me get this job,” which you’ll be able to see on my account for a place with the search engine marketing firm forank:

“Your LinkedIn profile can do a terrific job of differentiating you from different candidates if well-optimized. So, make it straightforward for these contemplating you for alternatives to seek out your spectacular LinkedIn profile,” stated Mike Basso.

Replace your account after which provoke a LinkedIn technique to assist your account be extra engaging to potential employers.

Making the best alternative

When making the selection between a portfolio and a resume, see if the choice has already been made for you. The primary query to ask is, what’s the hiring supervisor or potential shopper asking to see?

Your portfolio vs resume debate ends if the hiring course of is clearly outlined for you already. When the hiring course of is much less outlined, contemplate how your expertise and expertise are greatest demonstrated and weigh these components.

  • What are the opposite candidates for this place or contract submitting to exhibit their expertise?
  • Does your work require in-depth info to be defined, or can it match on one or two pages?
  • How will you show your success in previous roles?
  • Do you have got visible examples of your work?

As you are packaging all of the proof of your expertise, it’s essential contemplate whether or not a portfolio or resume can showcase your expertise and expertise greatest.

If work samples and examples of your work would assist you to stand out to a hiring supervisor, purpose for a portfolio.

Designers, writers, and anybody who works with multimedia will be capable to showcase their expertise higher with a portfolio than a resume.

Nevertheless, the vast majority of open work positions will ask for a resume in order that it may be scanned utilizing AI and despatched by means of the usual hiring pipeline. Generally, there is a case for each instruments for use.

When to Use Each

When selecting which device may help exhibit your skilled capabilities, the reply is likely to be each. Whereas they do have their variations, a portfolio and resume can work in tandem as a substitute of being pitted towards one another.

When leveraged correctly, it really works to your profit.

“In some instances, utilizing each a portfolio and resume may be extremely useful,” shared Nate Djeric, founder and profession counselor at CareerBoost.io.

“For instance, if you happen to’re making use of for a advertising position that requires each strategic considering (resume) and artistic execution (portfolio), presenting each can provide you an edge,” Nate says.

Contemplate including a hyperlink to a digital portfolio straight in your resume and likewise utilizing your portfolio as an excuse to observe up with hiring managers and supply further info.

Getting Began

Creating an efficient portfolio or resume is an crucial activity if you‘re placing your self on the market to potential employers and shoppers.

With these examples, greatest practices, and professional suggestions, you’re ready to package deal your expertise and impress each hiring supervisor.

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