Ring in the New Year with a Career Portfolio

Whether you are unemployed, hoping to secure that promotion or simply looking for a career boost, a career portfolio just might be your ticket to success this year! A career portfolio was once thought of as something only models, artists and maybe architects’ would require in their career; however a new trend is arising where a career portfolio can, and should, be used by everyone no matter what industry you work in. It is that added tool that will help focus your job search and give you continued confidence in your skills and accomplishments during an interview.

Most people only think about using their portfolio during an interview.  I am here to say that you should consider creating a career portfolio no matter what your current employment situation. Yes, your portfolio is an excellent resource to have with you during an interview and will greatly set you apart from the competition. However, just think of the added confidence you will ALWAYS have if you start working on your portfolio even before you need it. You will never have to search for documents when your current employer asks for them and during times of stress and maybe even disappointment at work you can refer to your portfolio and be reminded of all the added value you bring with you!

Career portfolios are fairly simple to create and organize and are an added feature that will set you apart from the competition.  You should think of your career portfolio as the bigger picture to your resume.  It too is a marketing tool that you will use to sell yourself.  Your resume is a 2 to 3 page summary of everything you would place in your career portfolio.

There are two ways to create a portfolio; a virtual online portfolio or a simple three ring binder portfolio. I recommend you utilize both avenues, but even just using one method will help boost your confidence and will organize your education, transferable skills and work samples.

An online portfolio can easily be created through LinkedIn and other websites and they usually walk you through the steps for completion.  The avenue most people seem to have difficulty creating is the three ring binder method.  For this reason, I will discuss mostly how you would start to create a Career Portfolio using a three ring binder.  Many job seekers feel as though they do not have enough information to include in a career portfolio.  But honestly, everyone has something beneficial they can include! For a list of samples and other ideas I recommend you do a Google Search on Career Portfolios. You will be amazed at what items you have available to include that you never even thought about!!!

To give you a quick overview of what a portfolio could contain, I will explain what my personal portfolio includes.  Please keep in mind that I am a Resume Writer and therefore what I value as important for my industry might not apply to yours. But that is where a Google Search will help you!

Skye’s Career Portfolio includes:

– Cover Page

– Table of Contents

– Resume and reference list

– Performance Evaluations

– Letters of Recommendation

– Copy of degrees and certificates

– Copy of transcripts

– Resume and Cover Letter samples (that I’ve written)

– Job Search Training Program Manual (that I created)

– Seminar Samples (that I’ve presented)

– Presentations

– Group Projects

– Volunteer Work

Ultimately, your career portfolio includes tangible material that will provide “evidence” to your potential that you accomplished in the past!  They are a good tool to organize all your documents in and will focus all your achievements in one handy place!!!

When you start to create your portfolio you will be amazed at all the added value you bring, that even you didn’t realize you had. You will find a letter of recommendation that you forgot you were given or a performance evaluation you just set aside, you will review education and courses and along the way you will find self-assurance in your abilities that you didn’t realize existed.  And for those days when you feel down, you can always refer back to your Career Portfolio for a little mood boost as you read through those recommendations and recollect on past achievements and remember how much value you have to offer!

So whether you are in need of a job or not, ring in the New Year with a Career Portfolio and start the year off on a positive note. Enjoy recollecting on and organizing all the progressive skills, knowledge and accomplishments you have gained over the years.

Thank you for reading my blog! If you spot any errors or would like to suggest a topic, please contact me at skye@skyeisthelimit.ca. Wishing you much success in 2013!