Whenever you make a portfolio, your choice of items from your collection will depend on your specific audience and your purpose.
- Use professional binder or notebook that takes clear page protectors
- Use clean copies, rather than originals.
- Create a table of contents.
- Organize by categories relevant to the job.
- Use dividers to separate categories.
- Insert a summary caption that explains the significance of each artifact.
- Use graphics, visuals and color, if possible.
- Should be no longer than 20 pages.
- *Bring duplicates of some artifacts so they can be left with employer, if requested.
What types of things go in a portfolio? The basic categories are listed below. Don't feel the need to use these exact category titles for your portfolio. Keep in mind that you want to give reasons for the employer to hire you. You want to showcase your education and work experience by showing examples and evidence of your work, skills, and accomplishments.
- Career Summary and Goals: A description of what you stand for (such as work ethic, organizational interests, management philosophy, etc.) and where you see yourself in two to five years.
- Professional Philosophy/Mission Statement: A short description of the guiding principles that drive you and give you purpose.
- Traditional Resume: A summary of your education, achievements, and work experience, using a chronological or functional format.
- Scannable/Text-Based Resume: A text-only version of your resume should also be included.
- Skills, Abilities and Marketable Qualities: A detailed examination of your skills and experience. This section should include the name of the skill area; the performance or behavior, knowledge, or personal traits that contribute to your success in that skill area; your background and specific experiences that demonstrate your application of the skill.
- List of Accomplishments: A detailed listing that highlights the major accomplishments in your career to date. Accomplishments are one of the most important elements of any good job-search.
- Samples of Your Work: A sampling of your best work, including reports, papers, studies, brochures, projects, presentations, etc. Besides print samples, you can also include CD-ROMs, videos, and other multimedia formats.
- Research, Publications, Reports: A way to showcase multiple skills, including your written communications abilities. Include any published papers and conference proceedings.
- Testimonials and Letters of Recommendations: A collection of any kudos you have received -- from customers, clients, colleagues, past employers, professors, etc. Some experts even suggest including copies of favorable employer evaluations and reviews.
- Awards and Honors: A collection of any certificates of awards, honors, and scholarships.
- Conference and Workshops: A list of conferences, seminars, and workshops you've participated in and/or attended.
- Transcripts, Degrees, Licenses, and Certifications: A description of relevant courses, degrees, licenses, and certifications.
- Professional Development Activities: A listing of professional associations and conferences attended -- and any other professional development activities.
- Military records, awards, and badges: A listing of your military service, if applicable.
- Volunteering/Community Service: A description of any community service activities, volunteer or pro bono work you have completed, especially as it relates to your career.
- References List: A list of three to five people (including full names, titles, addresses, and phone/email) who are willing to speak about your strengths, abilities, and experience. At least one reference should be a former manager. One size does not fit all
- Because those skills, qualities and knowledge can come from so many different places, even the portfolios of twins could be drastically different from each other.
Your biggest time commitment will be the initial development of your portfolio. Once you've developed it, keeping it current and up-to-date should be fairly easy. Your two biggest decisions in developing your portfolio are determining the format of the portfolio and the organization of the portfolio. Once the development is complete, you then have to gather, write, copy, and assemble the material that goes in the portfolio. This process will not only result in a professional looking portfolio, but should help you be better prepared for your job search.
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