My last post described why portfolios are one of your best tools in winning you career opportunities. Now it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work: what exactly do you put in your portfolio? Keep an eye out below for items you can collect now, or start collecting in the future.
1. Demonstrate Your Education and Training
- Brochures describing training events, retreats, workshops, clinics, lecture series
- Certificate of mastery or completion
- Charts or lists showing hours or time completed in various areas of study
- Evidence of participation in vocational competitions
- Grants, loans, scholarships secured for schooling
- Lists of competencies mastered
- Samples from classes (papers, projects, reports, displays, video or computer samples)
- Samples from personal studies (notes, binders, products)
- Syllabi or course descriptions for classes and workshops
- Standardized or formalized tests
- Teacher evaluations
- Transcripts, report cards
2. Demonstrate Your Work Performance
- Community service projects
- Descriptive material about the organization (annual report, brochure, newsletters, articles)
- Job descriptions
- Logs, list or charts showing general effort (phone calls received, extra hours worked, overtime, volume of e-mail, case load, transactions completed, sales volumes)
- Military records, awards, badges
- Employer evaluations or reviews
- Examples of problem solving
- Attendance records
- Letters of reference
- Organization charts showing personnel, procedures, or resources
- Products showing your leadership qualities (mission statements, agendas, networks)
- Records showing how your students, clients, or patients did after receiving your services (evidence showing your impact on the lives and performance of other such as test scores, performance improvement data, or employment and promotion)
- Samples from (or lists showing) participation in professional organizations, committees, work teams.
- Surveys showing satisfaction by customers, clients, students, patients, etc.
- Invitations to share your expertise (letters or agreements asking you to train, mentor, or counsel others, invitations to present at conferences or professional gatherings)
- Documentation of experience as a consultant. (thank-you letters, products, proposals)
3. Demonstrate Your Data Skills
- Communication pieces (memos, reports, or documents, a public service announcement.
- Writing abilities as demonstrated in actual samples of your writing (articles, proposals, scripts, training materials)
- Evidence of public speaking (membership in Toastmasters, photograph of you at podium, speech outline, brochure for your presentation, speaker’s badge or brochure, blurb from the conference.) Also posters, photos, reviews of actual performances (dance, drama, music, story telling)
- Data (graphs, charts, tables you helped to produce, testing results)
- Display or Performance materials (actual objects, or illustrations, or posters from displays)
- Computer related (data base designed, desktop publishing documents, samples from using the Internet, computer video screen pictures or manuals covers illustrating programs you use)
- Formal and technical documents as in grant or loan applications (include proposal cover sheet or award letter), technical manual
4. Demonstrate Your People Skills
- People and leadership skills (projects or committees you share, projects you initiated, photos of you with important people, mentoring programs, proposals, documents or strategies related to negotiation)
- Planning Samples (summary of steps, instruments used such as surveys or focus groups)
- Problem solving illustrated with various artifacts. Use figures or pictures showing improvements in products, services, profits, safety, quality, or time. Include forms and other paper products used to solve problems
- Employee training packets, interview sheets, motivational activities
5. Demonstrate Yours Tools Skills
- Any artifact which shows technical skills, equipment, or specialized procedures used in your work:
- Paper documents or replicas of actual items including: forms, charts, print outs (such as medical chart, financial statement or budgets, reports, emergency preparedness plan, marketing plan, customer satisfaction plan, inspection or evaluation sheet, financial or budget plans, spreadsheets, charts, official documents)
- Performance records (keyboard timing scores, safety records, phone logs, complaint logs, pay stub with hours worked highlighted, any record showing volume, amount, total time, response time, turn-around time, dollars or sales figures, size of customer database, organization chart showing people supervised)
- Technical directions, manuals, procedure sheets for specialized work, use of equipment, and detailed processes. This could include: sample pages from manuals, illustrations, technical drawings, blueprints or schematics, photos from the workplace, schematics or directions for tools or equipment, operation or procedure sheet
- Photos, video, slide show, or multi-media presentation showing process or equipment.
- Actual items which can be handled in various ways: displayed in person one at a time or part of a display you set up
If you haven’t already, bookmark this page or copy and paste the items above for your reference. These items will guide your portfolio-building efforts for years to come.
Special thanks to The Career Centre @ Western for this list.