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Work Samples

What kinds of work samples can or should you include in your portfolio?

You might be surprised by the variety of work samples you can use. Check out the list below to get started.

 

How many work samples should you include?

In general, be selective about what you feature. If you include too many examples, employers may experience information overload. They may also question your ability to identify the work that best illustrates your skills. If you include too few, employers may think you are inexperienced. Keep it simple and showcase only your best. Most of the time, less is more.

 

How should you get started selecting your work samples?

Start by creating an outline. Make a list of your skills, knowledge, and experience. This will help you categorize your work later. The type of work samples you include will depend on your occupation as well as your industry. Here are some examples:

Occupation:

You could include:

Artist

Photographs of your paintings, illustrations, sculptures, etc.

Chef or baker

Photographs of your culinary creations

Dancer, actor, musician

Video and/or audio recordings of your work

Designer

Photos of graphic, interior, or web design work

Facilitator or trainer

Copies of presentation or training materials, participant evaluations, and video recordings of your presentations

Mechanic

Pictures of auto restorations

Multimedia specialist

Copies of interactive programs you have created

Photographer

Prints of your photographs

Public relations specialist

Copies of press work and marketing plans as well as results event promotion

Office support staff

Brochures, reports, newsletters, spreadsheets, and other examples of work that you have completed

Researcher

Copies of research reports, peer reviews, technical documents, and articles in newspapers and professional journals as well as any awards received

Sales person

Graphs showing sales results

Tailor or seamstress

Pictures of the clothing that you have produced (and wear your own creations on the job interview)

Teacher

Copies of lesson plans, class projects, and assignments

Writer

Copies of blogs, newspapers, and journal articles as well as grant proposals, reports, marketing plans, etc.

Other sources of work samples include hobbies, sports, scouts, hunting, fishing, crafts, volunteer work, and other interests. You could even include leadership, teamwork, or “before and after” examples. Make sure you update the samples in your portfolio regularly.



Department of Labor CareerOneStop is sponsored by the U. S. Department of Labor,
Employment and Training Administration