Presenting one's credentials in a portfolio has been expected practice for years for many occupations such as artists, photographers, models, architects, advertising executives and teachers. In a highly competitive job market it is one more way that employers can compare and evaluate job candidates.
As a student you may be months or years away from facing a high-powered job interview. In fact, you are probably still not at all completely decided about your career path. However it is not too soon to begin assembling a collection of documents and materials that showcase your skills and personal achievements.
Creating a portfolio is equally about a process and a product. For this reason it may be helpful to think of two very distinct types of portfolios in a career planning or skills portfolio, and a career or professional portfolio.
What is a Career Planning or Skills Portfolio?
A portfolio is a collection of documents, artifacts or materials which are representative of your academic, leisure and career development activities. One of the purposes of a career planning or skills portfolio is to organize your own thinking about your career development. Later, it will be useful as you develop a formal presentation of your qualifications, skills, experience and achievements, for employers or admission committees. Carefully selected and constructed, your portfolio is a concrete reflection of who you are, who you hope to become, and what you are aiming to achieve in your career and personal development.
The process of assembling a skills portfolio requires you to identify and reflect upon what motivates and satisfies you. You examine and present your interests, skills, values, needs, goals and strategies. In the process of creating your portfolio, you will discover a greater understanding of what you have to offer an employer, so you will be more effective in your job search.
What is a Career or Professional Portfolio?
Career or Professional portfolios are frequently used for interviews. However, a career portfolio is more than just a thick folder for your job search. It is carefully organized synthesis of your accomplishments, your learning and your goals.
In the process of creating your portfolio, you will discover what you have to offer an employer, and therefore will be more effective in your job search. When you are more effective in your job search, you will be more confident with risk-taking and career decision-making. With more confidence, you will find more opportunities, and this increases your ability to market yourself and to network more effectively. Ultimately, you will increase your chances of a successful and meaningful career, one that reflects your interests and the things that are important to you.
In the Action section you will find further information on Career and Professional Portfolios.
|Skills Portfolio||Career/Professional Portfolio|