Career Portfolios: What to Include

An excellent career portfolio will help you to show yourself in the best light possible in your job search. A career portfolio is designed so that your skills, special abilities and qualifications stand out and bring you up and center stage to the attention of the selectors. What are career portfolios? A career portfolio is a more detailed than a resume. When a resume mentions about a skill or ability, the career portfolio will show proof of your abilities and achievements. It convinces the potential employer why you-and possibly only you-will be the perfect fit for that particular vacancy. You can have a normal three-ring binder to hold your career portfolio or your own website with all graphics and special effects, but the portfolio should have all the following items well organized. All the details should be filed under their appropriate headers. Each section must be separate and complete and easy for reading.

Education Details:

  • All details with the appropriate degree/diploma certificates.
  • All training certificates, professional licenses, etc.

Work and Professional Experience:

Jobs Held:

  • You should summarize briefly how you managed the jobs, your purpose and passion which drive you to excel in your job.
  • What your work ethics are.
  • Any special career interests/planning and career goals that you have for next 2 to 4 years.

Special Skills and Talents:

  • What the unique skills, talents and qualities that distinguish you.
  • The way your skills have been instrumental in your success.

Major Career Goals and Accomplishments:

  • You should give a full list of all your major accomplishments.
  • Showcase all the targets and goals reached.

Samples of Work:

  • You should attach samples of all your successful projects, any impressive presentations, any white paper/brochure prepared etc.
  • If you are a creative artist, you can include videos and CD-ROMs or multimedia data and printed samples as well.

Resume:

  • It should have the traditional resume; a crisp and professionally created resume.
  • You can tweak the standard resume slightly for a tailor-fit to the job you are applying for.

Published Material:

  • Published papers, newspaper/magazine articles and any ads that you had a hand in creation etc.

Recommendation Letters/Referrals:

  • Your former boss or colleagues can give a referral about past performance and other details.
  • Any awards, citations and other marks of appreciation, praise and thank-you letters from customers also should be included.

Social Service and Volunteer Work:

  • This will give an insight to your perception/values about your social responsibility.
  • Your willingness to reach out to others.

Hobbies and Learning Goals:

  • This will show your personal passions, interests and eagerness to better your educational qualifications etc.

Once you complete it, show it to a senior professional friend asking for feedback. Get to know the details thoroughly. Sometimes the employer may be pressed for time and not able to read all of it, in which case you can give him a shortened verbal version and expand if they ask for it. And keep the career portfolio updated regularly.

A career portfolio is unique and when well-prepared will land you your dream job. All you have to do is understand your own professional requirements and blend it effectively with the profile of the job you are applying for.