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Here at Catherine’s Career Corner, we referred to your Skills Portfolio on numerous job search articles. Recently, we found an apt article via the Trinity Western University on Skills Portfolio, what it is and what it should contain. Showing below is an excerpt of the article.
WHAT IS A PORTFOLIO?
- A collection of samples that can be used to both communicate your interest and give evidence of your talents and experiences.
- Visually shows what you have accomplished, learned or produced.
- A creative way to showcase a unique special-purpose autobiography.
WHAT SHOULD THE PORTFOLIO LOOK LIKE?
- A portfolio should be displayed in an attractive and professional manner.
- A 3-ring presentation binder with plastic dividing sheets is a good start but it is recommended that you purchase a professional portfolio case from any office supply or art store.
WHAT SHOULD I INCLUDE?
Typical Portfolio Elements
You can pick and choose from the list what is appropriate for the positions you are applying.
- Title Page
- Table of Contents
- Confidentiality & Originality Statement
- Statement of Originality & Confidentiality
This portfolio belongs to (Your Name)
Please do not copy without permission. Some of the examples within this portfolio are the property of organizations that have granted permission for these items to be used in a demonstration of my work.
- Personal Statements: mission, values, goals (link)
- Clearly state your unique purpose: define who you are, what you do & why you do it (your “brand”)
- Guiding principles for your career
- Management, counseling or teaching philosophy (depending on your focus)
- Make it original, simple, honest & direct
- Your mission statement should be one sentence, easy to understand and to memorize. Example: “My mission is to build relationships and empower others toward reaching their full potential.”
- Resume (link to Writing a Resume section)
- Reference Materials / Quotes from others / Employer Evaluations
- Education & Training – Diplomas/Certificates/Grades/Transcripts/School Projects
- Experience & Skills Section
- Achievements & Awards
- Community Service
- Professional Affiliations
- Personal interests and hobbies
- Printouts (posters, flyers, brochures, etc.)
- Personal Web Site or e-portfolio address
HOW SHOULD I SELECT ITEMS FOR MY PORTFOLIO?
- Choose recent examples
- Quality is ALWAYS more important than quantity!
- Avoid redundancy
- If you dislike using a skill or knowledge, don’t feature it
- Always ask permission to use work samples, if you have signed a confidentiality agreement
WHAT SUPPLIES WILL I NEED FOR MY PORTFOLIO?
- A file box and hanging files
- A Professional-looking zippered 3-ring binder (D-ring is best)
- Clear, no-glare sheet protectors
- Divider tabs
- Creative paper: use for title page, section dividers & summary pages. Generally a colourful, professional-looking card stock found at a craft supply store gives a coordinated look to the portfolio. Card stock can also be used for mounting photos & creating captions
- Post-it tape or glue
- A scanner & digital camera
HOW SHOULD I ORGANIZE MY PORTFOLIO?
- Sort items into functional categories
- Insert items into non-glare sheet protectors
- Lead with your strengths
- Sort in a way that enables you to easily retrieve items
- Create a title page
- Design a table of contents
- Create section divider pages & tabs
- Develop captions
- Strive for consistency and visual identity or theme
- Don’t use more than two typefaces on layout pages
- Artwork & clip art should accentuate, not decorate
- Keep a back-up copy of your portfolio
HOW TO USE YOUR PORTFOLIO
- To support your answers to interview questions with samples from your portfolio.
- Review and know both your portfolio and the job announcement before going to the interview in order to stay focused.
- Do not show the portfolio page by page to a hiring manager. The purpose of the portfolio is to hold all your documentation, show only what is appropriate for that specific interview.
- Do your best not to lose control of your portfolio. At times the interviewer may try to look ahead or take the portfolio and leaf through it. Try to tactfully avoid this.
- Bring your portfolio each time you interview even if you go for a second or third interview with that employer.
RESOURCES ON PORTFOLIOS:
- Portfolio Power: The New Way to Showcase All Your Job Skills and Experiences. Kimeldorf, Martin. Princeton, NJ: Peterson’s, c1997.
B260 K45 – 1997 c.1
- Proof of Performance: How to Build a Career Portfolio to Land a Great New Job. Nelles, Rick. Manassas Park, VA: Impact Publications, c 2001.
B260 N45 – 2001 c.1
- Creating Portfolios: For Success in School, Work and Life. Kimeldorf, Martin. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing Inc., c.1994.
B260 K56 – 1994 c.1
- The Career Portfolio Workbook. Satterthwaite, Frank and Gary DOrsi. New York: McGraw-Hill, c.2003.
B260 S28 – 2003 c.1
- Creating Your Career Portfolio: At a Glance Guide for Students. Williams, Anna Graf and Karen Hall. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall., c2001.
B260 W55 – 2001 c.1