What is a Portfolio?
A portfolio is a compilation of academic and professional materials that exemplifies your beliefs, skills, qualifications, education, training, and experiences. It provides insight into your personality and work ethic.
Choosing the most relevant academic and professional experiences and putting them in an easily understood format will show an employer proof of your organizational, communication, and tangible career-related skills.
If you’re ever struggling with what work samples to choose, how to organize your portfolio, or other career-related concerns, reach out to our Career Services Office for one-on-one help and support.
What should be included in my portfolio?
First, save everything you create and decide later what you want to include in your portfolio. Some items may be more relevant to the work you’ll do in one position than another, so it helps to have a variety of samples. You can present your materials in your own creative style, and these are some of the top items to include:
- Statement of Originality: A paragraph stating that this is your work and that it is confidential. It should also indicate if any parts of the portfolio should not be copied.
- Work Philosophy: A brief description of your beliefs about yourself and the industry you hope to enter.
- Resume: An overview of your skills and work experience. You may also choose to include documentation of your certifications, diplomas, degrees, awards, professional memberships, or community service experiences.
- Work samples: When selecting items for your portfolio, consider what work will best demonstrate your skills, competencies, and achievements, especially in relation to the type of work you’d be doing for this potential employer.
- Works in Progress: List career-related projects or activities you are currently working on that would add to your list of skills and qualifications for that career field.
- Academic Plan of Study: You can include a copy of your transcript which includes the classes you have taken and grades you have earned in those classes, as well as a listing of those classes you plan to take.
- References: A list of three to five people who can verify your professional qualifications. Professional references may include faculty members, internship supervisors, employment supervisors and supervisors of other activities such as community service projects.
How should I present my professional portfolio?
Depending on your field of interest and samples, you may choose to build a digital portfolio on a website, or physical copy such as a 3-ring binder. If presenting a physical portfolio, be sure to use high quality paper and bring extra copies for an interview committee.