It's easy to fall into the trap of believing that people know and understand just what it is you do. The problem is, they might assume something different. You’re better served by providing them written definitions of your service and a clear understanding of the skills and business value that you bring.
How would you respond if someone offered to sell you “education?”
You’d probably be confused and ask “What education?” You’d want to know what specific class or course they were offering, wouldn't you? Education is just too broad a concept for you to be able to wrap your head around it before actually buying it. You’re not unusual in that respect because no one buys something they can’t really define and don't clearly understand. Most buyers want to know all the details what they are specifically getting from choosing your offer over another option. Most important, they want to know what value is in it for them!
A Portfolio Professional™ Needs a Portfolio
It’s right there in the name. By definition, a Portfolio Professional™ needs a portfolio that vividly illustrates their skills, training, and experience. When you join the TDX Talent Pool and become an On-Demand Portfolio Professional™, you’ll want the team at Techadox to know everything about you so they can easily encourage clients to engage you. You’ll also find it invaluable when you’re booking work for yourself!
What Makes a Great, Highly Effective Portfolio?
Definitions. Clear definitions so that even the completely uninitiated will understand the value of what you bring.
Let’s focus on that word “value” for a moment here. Most engineers put together a list of the certifications they’ve earned and the technologies they’ve worked on. That may be enough when the client decision maker is from the technology side of the business. It certainly won’t be impressive to a business-side executive who doesn’t know what all those things on your list are, the "alphabet soup" of technology certifications and skills.
Even the technology manager will still have a problem. They see hundreds of resumes with the same items listed as you have on yours. How do you set yourself apart from the others so they select you?
Define Your Value Proposition! Make sure that whoever is evaluating your portfolio clearly understands the value they’re going to receive from working with you. People buy value, not certifications (certs). Certs lend credence to value, but everybody wants to impact their company bottom line in a positive, upward direction. How does working with you assure that they will enjoy value that far exceeds the fee they pay for your services?
You may find yourself writing highlights of your best projects, explaining how they benefited the client more than describing what you actually did. You’ve really helped your clients. Tell your next client all about that and you'll fill them with enthusiasm for working with you.
Your portfolio is not a resume or CV, it's your personal marketing tool.
You may be getting the feeling that there are no rules to creating this portfolio, and it’s very different from a resume. Score one for you. Your portfolio is your personal marketing tool, so it has to stand out from the crowd. The more you differentiate yourself from every other resume that grinds through a hiring managers mill, the better chance you have of capturing their attention.
Talk about the results, the business outcomes from your work. Stay away from industry jargon. If you can, get your clients to contribute quotes that you can use in your portfolio and even include a photograph of who you’re quoting to increase the personal touch in your portfolio (however, please make sure you have their permission to do so!).
Talk more about the platforms you’ve worked on than specific products. You can always include an appendix or bullet points that list the specifics.
When discussing your certifications, talk more about what value each one of them authorizes you to provide to your clients.
When a company engages you to do work for them, it creates a very personal relationship between you and the person that hires you. Help them know who you are as well as what you bring to the table.
Eliminate the word “CAN” from your vocabulary.
Managers don’t want to know what you “can” do, that’s too fuzzy. You DO things. You SOLVE problems. You ADD value. Very definitive, powerful verbs that make it completely certain that you achieve results. You deliver great business outcomes by implementing and supporting information technologies.
Turn to Techadox
The experts at Techadox are you best resource for assistance in developing and building your portfolio. Gather all of your certifications, project briefs, and anything else that defines who you are and what you do. Then talk to us, let us help you create a compelling profile which compels them to choose you to make the technology magic happen for them. Learn more at www.techadox.com
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