A Career Portfolio is a visual presentation of your work experience (paid or volunteer), and education, (university, college, any professional development courses), combined with professional achievements, strengths, and set of skills. It is recommended to include any interests or hobbies for the purpose of introducing and presenting the entire You.
As you may have guessed, this is a self-promotional tool that helps you to prepare for interviews or to make a presentation to a prospective client or a business partner.
At the same time, the Career Portfolio represents a tool for your career management as it helps you assess your career development and set further goals. Also, it helps you gain credit and recognition for your non-formal learning experiences.
Ultimately, this tool can be used for your performance appraisal and it represents a great platform for good communication.
There are few suggested steps in the development of this document. For the sake of the concept, we can refer to them as the 7 Steps of a Career Development Portfolio:
1) Decide what to include (n.b. pay attention to confidential information)
2) Conduct a self-assessment
In terms of content, include a current resume (you may also keep, for personal reference, your old resumes or other versions of your resume) as well as the following:
- copies of your education and training documents
- significant pictures or projects
- articles and/or a list of publications
- awards or special recognitions you previously received
- list of references
- letters of recommendation
- Thank You cards that you find special or represent your passion for a job well done.
Feel free to also include a personal statement (this is your professional mission, your values (such as workplace values), and, most importantly, your goals in life and profession.
As a last and important note: creativity, proper use of space, organization, consistency, and close attention to colors as a means for increasing retention are always appreciated.
Good luck with your Career Portfolio development!