Image of file folders Professional Portfolios

Professional portfolios are being utilized by many job candidates as a detailed review of their accomplishments.

It is a good place to summarize your professional development and use as a tool for future applications and interviews. As you prepare your portfolio, think in terms of what you believe an employer would like to see.

A portfolio will bring your work, academic and other related experiences and accomplishments together into a single professional file. You will probably be very pleased to see all you have accomplished.

Developing Your Professional Portfolio

General Content

  • Professional profile (make a great first impression by including your background, your goals and summarize your qualifications)
  • Resume

  • References (employment and academic), including letters of recommendation (make sure they are not too old)

  • Academic transcripts, certifications and diplomas

  • Awards, achievements and scholarships

  • Skills inventory with supporting evidence (through completion of specific courses, training, work or volunteer experiences, special projects

  • Additional training and/or professional development

  • Table of contents (itemize the main headings in your portfolio and include page numbers)

See below for additional resources to help you decide what to include in your professional portfolio.

Tips for Creating a Professional Portfolio

  1. Design. Is your portfolio professional-looking and organized in a way that highlights your skills and accomplishments?

  2. Value. Is this portfolio of value to you? Is the information you have included relevant to your field?

  3. Presentation. Practice your presentation and keep your audience in mind. Target your content to your prospective employer and think about how you would like to present this information to them.

No matter if you are developing a hard copy version or an electronic portfolio (ePortfolio), research your industry or field of work to see if there are sections, language or styles that are commonly used. It's as easy as searching "Science portfolio" for example.