What is a Portfolio?
- A tool to organize the documentary evidence of your education, skills, experience and achievements in order to support your career planning and job search.
Why use a Portfolio?
- To provide concrete evidence of your knowledge, skills and abilities to an employer during an interview.
- To track, record and assess learning experiences as a way of planning for life-long learning and career development.
- To support your performance appraisal and to market and promote yourself within an organization.
What to include in a Portfolio?
- Professional profile including short- and long-term career goals
- Results of any self-assessment or psychometric tests
- Employability skills. Provide evidence to support how your skills were developed, whether through courses, work experience, volunteer experience and /or extracurricular activities.
- Achievements and awards
- Educational transcripts, certificates and diplomas, training records and professional development activities
- Examples of projects, sample presentations, newspaper and newsletter articles involving you
- All references, including reference letters, thank-you letters/cards, previous performance appraisals
- Proof of extra-curricular activities involving athletics, student associations, community service projects, volunteer work, etc.
Before creating a portfolio, it is important to understand the difference between a personal portfolio and a portfolio designed for an employer.
- A personal portfolio is a collection of non-domain-specific documentation
- A portfolio for an employer is a collection of documents designed to demonstrate your competencies for a position for which you have applied.
How to create a personal Portfolio – Step 1
- Collect and store work samples or artifacts.
- Select appropriate documentation for inclusion based on the purpose of your portfolio. Some artifacts or documents will require a written explanation.
- Organize the documentation for your portfolio in a logical order. At this stage you should decide what format your portfolio will take – print or hard copy versus a computer based medium. Many individuals organize their hard copy portfolio into a binder with a clear table of contents and dividers for each section. The important thing is that it be well organized, easy to follow and up to date. Each portfolio is unique and the format will depend on the individual.
- Evaluate your portfolio to ensure it meets your initial objective and become familiar with its contents.
- Develop a system to update and maintain your personal portfolio.
How to create a Portfolio for an employer – Step 2
- Research the employer or job desired.
- Identify your portfolio’s goal and its intended audience.
- Select appropriate documentation to include from your personal portfolio.
- Choose a medium that makes it easy to organize portfolio content and retrieve relevant information.
- Evaluate your portfolio and solicit feedback on the content and design.
- Revise your portfolio and rehearse its use in an interview.
- Present your portfolio to the employer.