3 Reasons to Develop a Professional Portfolio

Whether you are actively job searching or are happy in your current position, we recommend you develop a professional portfolio.  Below are three reasons why.

  1. Show your competitive advantage. A portfolio is a great way to show your competitive advantage with a visual representation of your work.  You can highlight academic accomplishments such as a capstone project or thesis along with research and team projects.  Also consider adding professional documents such as your resume, introduction letter, certifications, presentations, and written or visual communication.  These items are called artifacts and will help you stand out to employers and show that you are qualified for a new opportunity or advancement.
  1. Track your career progress and prepare for performance reviews. Keep track of kudos you receive throughout the year along with professional accomplishments to prepare for a performance review.  These might be emails from clients, acknowledgements from your supervisor, or evidence of performance goals being met.  A portfolio is a great way to organize and showcase your hard work.
  1. Leave a lasting impression. Stand out to a potential employer by leaving behind a component of your portfolio after an interview.  That way, once you leave, they have something to remember you by.  This may consist of a few highlighted projects which represent you as a professional, or copies of kudos you have received.

If a professional portfolio sounds right for you, there are two types of portfolios to choose from—an electronic portfolio or a hard copy portfolio.  An electronic portfolio is a great option because it is easy to send to a potential employer or pull up during an interview or meeting.  You can also give the employer a CD or jump drive of your portfolio.  It is also a great way to organize your electronic documents!  To assist you in building an electronic portfolio we offer OptimalResume Portfolio Builder.  To get started, view our training tutorials.  The other option is to create a hard copy portfolio which houses your hard documents to bring to an interview or meeting.

A professional portfolio can take you one step further than a resume by visually showcasing both your skills and talents and praise for your work from others. Whether you are job searching or preparing for a performance review, we recommend you consider developing one!

For more great ideas to manage your career, attend our upcoming live webinar: Maximizing Social Media to Proactively Manage Your Career    Tues., Sept. 16, 12:00 noon Eastern. Register under Latest News on the Career Services Center home page at http://careercenter.waldenu.edu/

Written by Career Services Advisor, Andrea Obrycki