Sending a Case Study "Portfolio" with Resume/CV ?

I graduated with a degree in Government 3 years ago, now I'm working as a project manager for a residential construction company. Began taking a bunch of commercial real estate modeling courses about 6 months ago and now I'm starting to send out my resume CRE companies. As you can imagine 75% of my resume is not CRE related, so I'm trying to figure out ways to get a leg up. Should I create a "portfolio" containing a couple case studies I've modeled to send with my resume/CV or should I just keep focusing on networking?

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Comments (14)

Apr 7, 2021 - 3:23pm

What does this look like in your mind? Are you sending a sample of an excel model you built, or what? 

Also, have you applied anywhere? Are you not getting phone screens? 

If you're not getting phone screens, sure, add it, I don't think it'll hurt. If you're making it to the phone screen then I don't think you need it and I'm not sure it'll differentiate you enough to be worth it.

Apr 7, 2021 - 7:35pm

Haven't been contacted yet after probably 25 applications. I haven't submitted a CV until today so hopefully that will help a little.

Basically using the formatting of a model used in one of my courses (so it looks nice) to solve a case study from scratch. Should I just do 2 (ex: development and value-add)? Or should I do more?

Apr 7, 2021 - 5:35pm

I'd just mention the courses at the bottom of your resume. Adding a bunch of attachments is probably a bit over the top.

Are you targeting development? I know a TON of development shops that would be happy to pick up a guy with construction experience as a development analyst/associate. A construction/planning background is more important than finance to the majority of developers.

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Apr 7, 2021 - 7:45pm

Considering my situation I'll probably take whatever I can get as long as it gets my foot in the door. Ideally I'd like to do developments though. I applied to my first development analyst job today so hopefully you're right about that.

Good to know though. Definitely going to search harder for the development analyst jobs.

Apr 7, 2021 - 8:28pm

I'm actually doing this for analyst positions, similar number of years of experience as you. The way I'm doing it is have calls set up with people who may be looking and when I talk to them and they seem iffy about my experience I tell them I can send them an example of my Excel work with my resume. After I mention they seem a lot more comfortable since a majority of these positions are very Excel/Argus heavy.

I wouldn't send it cold, I'm taking a previous modeling test from another role changing numbers around and building off of it. Be ready to explain it.

Apr 7, 2021 - 10:08pm

I actually think this is a great idea. Models are risky because even if you have 3 people review it there is always some minor mistake that can seep through that someone could be an asshole about, but if you're applying for entry level analyst gigs thats probably not that big a deal. A sample debt OM or IC Memo that has been formatted to hell and back could also be effective.

Apr 8, 2021 - 9:36am

I don't really see any downside to adding materials beyond resume/CV in an application (send to person by email or upload if HR-app system allows). Just make sure what you send really looks good, is professional, and is easy to read/open. To that end, I would not send any XLSX type file, even if super well formatted, excel files are a pain to read. Further, I would see it as an amateurs' flex and not give much points.

If you send well written analysis/project files (like completed final projects for a college course), all in PDF format, then it may be valuable. You need the narrative writeup and tables, the excel stuff is boring. If you are just trying to say you can do stuff in excel, just put in on the resume where it belongs. 

I would say, with a gov't degree and proj. mngt experience for 3yrs.... why would you want to push excel skills as your feature piece? Seems like a slide backwards. Not sure what you are trying to do, but this doesn't seem congruent with your experience nor likely to maximize your next move. (but, you didn't really give enough info to fully ascertain, just a snap judgement on what you gave!) 

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