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 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 in our Career Handbook (see page 46 if you have the hard copy).

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. In our handbook there are two ways of organization highlighted. One is subject ordered and the other is 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 need arises
  • Research employer needs
  • Either use the wait or up-front method to present your portfolio

For the complete low-down on developing and using portfolios visit our office to get your very own copy of our career handbook, or go online and check out the free PDF version.

Related article to check out: 5 Benefits of Creating an Online Portfolio from Careerealsim

Read Ashley’s other posts

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s