So, what types of things go in a portfolio? Here are the basic categories. Don’t feel you need to use these exact ones for your portfolio. The key to remember as you contemplate these items is that you want to give reasons for the employer to hire you — you want to showcase your education and work experience by showing examples and evidence of your work, skills, and accomplishments.
- Career Summary and Goals: A description of what you stand for (such as work ethic, organizational interests, management philosophy, etc.) and where you see yourself in two to five years.
- Professional Philosophy/Mission Statement: A short description of the guiding principles that drive you and give you purpose. Read more in our article, Using a Personal Mission Statement to Chart Your Career Course.
- Traditional Resume: A summary of your education, achievements, and work experience, using a chronological or functional format. If you need help developing a resume, visit Quintessential Careers: Fundamentals of a Good Resume.
- Scannable/Text-Based Resume: A text-only version of your resume should also be included. More information about this type of resume can be found at: Quintessential Careers: Scannable Resume Fundamentals.
- Skills, Abilities and Marketable Qualities: A detailed examination of your skills and experience. This section should include the name of the skill area; the performance or behavior, knowledge, or personal traits that contribute to your success in that skill area; your background and specific experiences that demonstrate your application of the skill.
- List of Accomplishments: A detailed listing that highlights the major accomplishments in your career to date. Accomplishments are one of the most important elements of any good job-search. Read more in our article, For Job-Hunting Success: Track and Leverage Your Accomplishments.
- Samples of Your Work: A sampling of your best work, including reports, papers, studies, brochures, projects, presentations, etc. Besides print samples, you can also include CD-ROMs, videos, and other multimedia formats.
- Research, Publications, Reports: A way to showcase multiple skills, including your written communications abilities. Include any published papers and conference proceedings.
- Testimonials and Letters of Recommendations: A collection of any kudos you have received -“ from customers, clients, colleagues, past employers, professors, etc. Some experts even suggest including copies of favorable employer evaluations and reviews.
- Awards and Honors: A collection of any certificates of awards, honors, and scholarships.
- Conference and Workshops: A list of conferences, seminars, and workshops you’ve participated in and/or attended.
- Transcripts, Degrees, Licenses, and Certifications: A description of relevant courses, degrees, licenses, and certifications.
- Professional Development Activities: A listing of professional associations and conferences attended — and any other professional development activities.
- Military records, awards, and badges: A listing of your military service, if applicable.
- Volunteering/Community Service: A description of any community service activities, volunteer or pro bono work you have completed, especially as it relates to your career.
- References List: A list of three to five people (including full names, titles, addresses, and phone/email) who are willing to speak about your strengths, abilities, and experience. At least one reference should be a former manager. Read more in our article: The Keys to Choosing and Using the Best Job References in Your Job Search.