Do you ever wonder if you should create a career portfolio to help you further communicate your achievements to others? A career portfolio is an organized collection of career-related documents in either an electronic or print format that can be shared or kept for your own benefit and records. An electronic version is much easier to share and is what we will focus on in this article.
To help you get started with creating your portfolio, here are some things to consider:
Why do I need a portfolio?
Almost everyone can benefit from having a career portfolio. It offers evidence of and demonstrates your work and accomplishments beyond your resume, curriculum vitae (CV), and cover letter. It lends credibility to your professional accomplishments and can differentiate you from others when shared during a job search or requesting a promotion or raise. Also, when your career-related documents are in one place, it will be easier to update your resume and prepare for interviews.
What is typically included in a portfolio?
Artifacts in a portfolio can be in multiple formats such as Microsoft docs, PDFs, videos, recordings, illustrations, and graphic designs. Keep the content of your portfolio relevant to your career path. Here are some examples of what you might want to include:
- Professional mission statement
- Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)
- Cover letter
- Licenses, certifications, and certificates
- Awards and professional recognitions
- Letters of recommendation and references
- Professional conferences and workshops delivered or attended
- Volunteer experience
- Social media engagement, such as blog posts
- Relevant academic projects
- Relevant work projects (that are not confidential)
- Recorded videos, webinars, or presentations
- Illustrations, photographs, and graphic designs
- Websites that you have created
Once you create your portfolio, keep it updated. Make sure links are working. If you plan to use your portfolio in your job search, remove outdated projects or content that is no longer relevant.
You may also be in a Walden program that requires you to create a portfolio to capture your academic and professional work. In this case, your instructor will provide specific directions on what to include in your program-specific portfolio.
What resources are available to help me create a portfolio?
Career Planning and Development offers a Portfolio Builder tool to help you create, edit, and share your portfolio, along with helpful guides that take you step-by-step through the process. Start creating your portfolio today by referring to the resources below:
Career Planning and Development’s Portfolio Builder tool (log in using your Walden email and password)
Career Portfolio Resources and Guides on the Career Planning and Development’s Resumes and More page
Written by Denise Pranke, Senior Career Advisor