Value of Developing Career Portfolios
by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D., and Katharine Hansen, Ph.D.
[Part 2 of 7 of Career Portfolios: Proof of Performance]
Both the recruiters and career professionals in the Quintessential Careers study found great value in the process for job-seekers in developing portfolios by job-seekers — if for no other reason than the added confidence gained from simply preparing the portfolio.
“We are encouraging everyone from computer professionals to office administrative staff, secretaries, customer service professionals, etc., to look at the benefits of using a portfolio,” states an instructor and coordinator at a community college. “Although a resume tells about their experience, a portfolio really gives an employer a much better understanding of their capabilities and skills. Portfolios make the candidate more credible to the employer and improves the candidate’s confidence level.”
“And I think it is not just self-confidence that the process creates,” states a university career counselor, “it is also self-knowledge of what skills and strengths they have which can help them make a better choice of what jobs to apply for, and then to analyze the match between those jobs and their qualities.”
Adds another participant: “After putting a thoughtful portfolio together, candidates are more realistically confident in their abilities. The candidate with a portfolio comes across better in interview settings. And these candidates come away with jobs.”
“Portfolios are a definite confidence booster,” states another participant. “Creating a portfolio almost ‘forces’ people to self-assess and write down their major accomplishments and achievements.”
“A portfolio provides an enhancement for the candidate before, during, or after the interview. An employer can cut to the chase more quickly by viewing a portfolio, or portion thereof, before, during, or after the interview. The employer can also use the portfolio to screen candidates for the interview,” states one of the recruiters.
The only “downside” to creating a career portfolio? The time it takes to develop and produce a high-quality product. “If you’re going to have one, make sure it’s impressive,” stated the assistant director of the office providing career assistance to alumni of a large state university.
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Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.
Katharine Hansen, Ph.D., creative director and associate publisher of Quintessential Careers, is an educator, author, and blogger who provides content for Quintessential Careers, edits QuintZine, an electronic newsletter for jobseekers, and blogs about storytelling in the job search at A Storied Career. Katharine, who earned her PhD in organizational behavior from Union Institute & University, Cincinnati, OH, is author of Dynamic Cover Letters for New Graduates and A Foot in the Door: Networking Your Way into the Hidden Job Market (both published by Ten Speed Press), as well as Top Notch Executive Resumes (Career Press); and with Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D., Dynamic Cover Letters, Write Your Way to a Higher GPA (Ten Speed), and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Study Skills (Alpha). Visit her personal Website or reach her by e-mail at kathy(at)quintcareers.com.
Dr. Randall S. Hansen is founder of Quintessential Careers, one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the Web, as well CEO of EmpoweringSites.com. He is also founder of MyCollegeSuccessStory.com and EnhanceMyVocabulary.com. He is publisher of Quintessential Careers Press, including the Quintessential Careers electronic newsletter, QuintZine. Dr. Hansen is also a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. He’s often quoted in the media and conducts empowering workshops around the country. Finally, Dr. Hansen is also an educator, having taught at the college level for more than 15 years. Visit his personal Website or reach him by email at randall(at)quintcareers.com.
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