Hire talent by looking at their portfolio

May. 2022

When you're hiring someone, it's important to know what that person is capable of. You can find out a lot from their CV or resume but their portfolio is the best way to see how they work.

What is The Difference Between Portfolio and CV?

Candidates’ CVs are certainly helpful, but if you want to get a feel for how they work, look at their portfolios. 

A portfolio is a collection of what the candidate has done. If they’re applying to be a designer or developer, it will contain their design or development work. A writer might have their articles and writing samples in the portfolio. It can really help to see the world through a candidate’s eyes.

Although having a candidate’s CV or resume is useful, it doesn’t necessarily tell you a lot about their work. A portfolio, on the other hand, shows you exactly the work that they’ve done, and it shows you how they did it.

In a CV, you’re just looking at a list of skills and attributes. You can get some idea of the experience level from the number of years worked, but not much more than that.

In a portfolio, you are seeing examples of actual work done. You can see how the person thinks about problem solving, how they approach challenges all through the lens of their own work, usually showcased in a more creative and artistic way.

What's the first thing that you look at when you're hiring someone?

When hiring potential employees, it's important to consider both their skills and experience, as well as whether they'll fit in with your team's culture.

Do they have the skills and experience required for the position?

Skill is demonstrated by how well the applicant did on their projects, and experience is demonstrated by how many projects they completed in their field.

It's valuable to take a look at what kind of projects an applicant has done, because they can reveal more about their skills and how they go about applying them than any amount of formal education or experience can. It's through examining that collection of work, or portfolio, that you can really get a sense of the applicants' skills. Even for more structured roles, portfolios can tell you about a candidate's initiative and ability to self-manage.

Are they a good match for the team’s culture?

If you're looking for a unique perspective on a candidate, look no further than their portfolio. The way someone carries themselves and presents their work gives you a good idea about their attitude toward what they do, and the sort of personality traits that may also help them in their career. With this information, you can get a sense of the candidate's personality and work ethic

A successful hire will have a certain amount of overlap with your existing team: similar values, like-mindedness, style.

That's what makes it easy for them to be a part of the team and work well with everyone else. 

Being an employer, what kind of portfolio would you look for in a candidate?

A good portfolio is going to tell you about each project, with links to more information about it if you need it. This can be as simple as a blurb about what the project was about and why the candidate felt it was important. It should also include examples of work on that project.

This could be images, code snippets, or whatever works best for that particular candidate and job position.

A portfolio also helps eliminate any bias that might exist toward certain applicants based on their race, gender, or any traits that aren't relevant to how well they'll do their jobs. It gives everyone an equal opportunity to get hired and do well on the job.


To summarize, to really make sure that someone has the skills needed for your position, look at their past projects as well as what they say on their resume.

It will be time well spent to see where they have actually applied those skills before hiring them. 

It will also give you confidence in your decision when you discover that someone has clearly demonstrated those skills already rather than just telling you that they have them.