Creating a professional portfolio can be an overwhelming process. Often students have questions such as where do I begin and what do I include? Here are a few suggestions that may ease your concerns when it comes to creating and presenting professional portfolios.
Begin by making a master portfolio. Include documentation such as your master resume, letters of recommendations, certifications, diplomas, pertinent test scores, research, scholarly papers, team projects, awards you have received, etc. Basically, add to your master portfolio documents that will show employers completed work and accomplishments. Do not forget to take pictures of and/or document your work and accomplishments. Store these documents both electronically and in hard copy for easy access when creating a targeted portfolio for a specific job or industry.
When creating a portfolio for a specific job or industry, begin by researching the employer or industry to ensure what employers will want to see in your portfolio. If you are applying for an accounting position, they may not care to see the award winning photos you have taken of the outdoors; unless you are applying to be an accountant for a company that caters to the outdoors. The point is, know the company and industry and present items in your portfolio you know the employer and/or industry will want to see.
As most of us are aware, employers are often viewing potential employees online prior to meeting with them in person. For this reason, students are encouraged to have a professional online portfolio which employers may view when searching for them. The Career Center even coaches students to include the URL for their online portfolio in the header of their resume to drive employers to this source. When creating an online portfolio, do not spend too much time creating your own from nothing. There are many free resources that already exist. A personal favorite is LinkedIn, as most employers are using this resource already. For information on how to build an effective LinkedIn portfolio click here.
If you need further help with your professional portfolio or the documents therein (resume, cover letter, etc.) remember that the Career Center at SUU is a free resource for you. The center has certified professionals ready and willing to help you create the portfolio in which you can be confident.