Source: Stock photo
Work samples are a valuable way to show your skills.
Work samples highlight your skills, projects, career, training, and education to potential employers. Start by creating an outline of your work and school experiences. Make a list of your skills, knowledge, and projects. This will help you categorize your work samples.
If you include too many samples, 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. Showcase only your best.
You can choose to include partial samples of your work and offer full versions if the interviewer requests them. If possible, use color copies or color paper to add visual appeal.
The type of work samples you include will depend on your career as well as your industry. Here are some examples:
|If you are a/an:||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||Photographs of your 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|
|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.|
You also want to include any awards or recognitions you received for your work.
Other sources of work samples include volunteer work, hobbies, sports, hunting, fishing, crafts, and other interests. You could even include leadership, teamwork, or "before and after" examples.
Make sure your samples are related to your career or show your leadership skills. Update your samples regularly.
Source: Adapted from Creative Job Search, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.