I highly recommend to my students and former students who are going to a job interview that they take with them a portfolio of some of their better work done while in school or while working as a paralegal.
I have had paralegals report back to me that the portfolio was something that seemed to push them to the top of the stack of applicants. I have also had them report to me that potential employers were surprised by the number of projects they had done while in school. I have even had students tell me they were hired based on their portfolio. Therefore, the easy answer to the question, “Why have a Portfolio?” is: It just might get you a job!!!!
The portfolio has a lot more credibility than you as the interviewee have. Most job applicants routinely exaggerate their “hands-on” experience. Some even lie as to the skills they possess to get a job only to be fired shortly thereafter because they just can’t deliver the goods. The Portfolio is hard evidence for the interviewer of what you have already done. It shows that your statements about your skills are backed up by proof, documentary proof. I recommend that you take your portfolio with you to interviews and that you leave a digital copy (on c.d. or d.v.d.) with them. When they go back to review resumes later, yours will be clipped (hopefully) to a c.d. full of work samples. This may be what recommends you to the final interview stage.
I will address how to put together the portfolio in upcoming posts, so make sure you have subscribed to the blog . . .