What is a Portfolio?

By: Ashley

So most of us have heard of bringing a resume to an interview, but what about a whole portfolio that represents the very best of what you accomplished while in college? So now you might be wondering what the heck a portfolio is and what you can put in it. First off, a portfolio is a collection of your experiences, skills, accomplishments and pretty much any material that is evidence of your education while you were in college that you can present while in an internship or job interview. Alright so now that you have the gist of what a portfolio is, what should go in it? Here are just a few things you can add:

  • Resume
  • Items created through class projects
  • Evidence of awards/honors
  • Laboratory work
  • Documents of leadership experience
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Sporting awards
  • Synopsis of research/term papers

As you can see there is a wide range of things that you can include in your portfolio, these and many more examples of what you can include are on our office website.

Now that you have the information on what you can add, how should you organize it? As one of the top 10 skills employers seek in job candidates, organization is very important in a portfolio. Two possible ways to organize your portfolio are: by subject order and by skill or knowledge order. Subject ordered is where you organize the portfolio by school subjects, or by the job/project (e.g. independent study, lab experience, or internship). Skill or knowledge order is where you match projects and activities to your skills and knowledge, you can tailor this to match the job description to help you choose what to include in your portfolio.

There are two ways you can present your portfolio, digital or hard copy. For a digital copy, you can have it as a DVD, on the internet, or just on your laptop. You should pick a unified theme and make it easy to understand with the most important information represented and with as little a number of clicks or slides as possible. For a hard copy, you should have it neat and organized in a three-ringed binder and should be approximately 10-20 pages. A table of contents should be included and makes sure everything is error free and grammatically correct.

Finally, to present and use your portfolio there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Only present necessary items
  • Add or subtract items as the need arises
  • Research employer needs
  • Either use the wait or up-front method to present your portfolio

Of Possible Interest: 

Read Ashley’s other posts

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