Your professional portfolio is a collection of physical evidence that documents, describes, and emphasizes your professional accomplishments. A professional portfolio can be very useful in encouraging potential employers to offer you that coveted job. Many job seekers know they need these documents during their job search, but aren’t always sure of what needs to be included and how they should be presented. Here are some simple answers to help get you get started.
Why use a professional portfolio?
- Effectively express your professional and career goals
- Articulate the work you have been doing to achieve your goals
- Record accomplishments
What goes into a professional portfolio?
- Introduction: Statement of your professional goals and your professional philosophy.
- Career History: Resume or Curriculum Vitae.
- Narrative description of experiences you want to highlight such as: Academic Work, Research, Teaching, Leadership, Service, Publications, Conference Participation, Lectures/Speaking Engagments, Performance Reviews, Recognition, and Awards.
- Appendices: Annotated materials and examples to illustrate or elaborate on the previous portions of your portfolio.
- Professional References: Not all employers ask for these during an interview, but if they do, show them you’re prepared by having your list ready.
How to get started with your professional portfolio?
- Develop the practice of collecting materials that represent your skills, achievements and accomplishments.
- Study job postings and learn what potential employers value when they are hiring.
- Determine what materials and examples provide the best representation of your goals and philosophy.
- Select an organizing principle that best reflects your work: chronological, functional, thematic.
A portfolio will help you stand out amongst the scores of job applicants. It will look very different from all the other candidates because your experiences will be unique. This makes it easy for you to stand out and impress those potential employers.