A portfolio allows you to organize the documentation related to your academic background, work or volunteer experience and achievements.

Types of portfolios

There are two types of portfolio: 

  • Personal: A collection of documentation not specific to a field. 

  • Designed for an employer: Documentation proving specific skills and competencies related to the position sought. 


Regardless of portfolio type, include the following sections:   

  • Table of contents 

  • Short- and long-term career goals 

  • Results of any self-assessments 

  • Resumé 

  • Transferable skills supported by evidence and achievements showing how you got your skills, such as courses, work experience, volunteer experience and extracurricular activities 

  • Awards and achievements 

  • Transcripts, certificates, diplomas, training  and professional development activity certification 

  • Projects, presentations and publications 

  • References such as letters of recommendation, thank-you letters and performance appraisals 

  • Proof of extracurricular activities such as sports, student associations, community service projects and volunteer work 

Building a personal portfolio 

Where to start 

  1. Collect examples of projects and articles that put you in a good light. 

  1. Select relevant documentation to include in your portfolio and add written explanations as needed. 

  1. Organize the documentation in a logical order. At this stage, you should decide which portfolio format you want to use (hard or digital copy). If you opt for a hard copy, you can organize it into a binder with an easy-to-read table of contents and dividers to make it simple to locate the different sections. Each portfolio is unique and the formats vary from person to person. 

  1. Evaluate your portfolio and make sure it meets your goals. 

  1. Develop a system that will allow you to update it quickly and efficiently.   

Building a portfolio for an employer 

Where to start 

  1. Research the desired employer or job. 

  1. Identify your goals and the people whose feedback will be helpful. 

  1. Select documentation from your personal portfolio that will be appropriate to show an employer. 

  1. Organize the information in a way that is easily accessible to the employer. 

  1. Evaluate your portfolio and ask your friends for feedback on the format and content. 

  1. Practise for your interview using your portfolio as a reference source. 

  1. Present your portfolio to the employer!