Creating a Portfolio

Topics: Employment, Work, Writing Pages: 6 (1064 words) Published: October 23, 2013
Creating a Portfolio
What is a Portfolio?

A portfolio attests to your work,
accomplishments, and skills, and
documents the breadth and depth
of your ability and experience. It
rounds out your resume, making
you more attractive to employers
and increasing your chances of
being hired or of receiving a

Basic Portfolio Contents

A generic portfolio might include these

• Title Page
• Table of Contents
• Personal statements (Mission,
Values, and Goals)

Why is a

• Resume
• 5-8 writing samples
• Brief description of the
assignment or work project
• Brief description of your
contribution to the sample
• Education & Training (official
transcripts, relevant coursework)
• Experience & Skills
(internships, workshops,
leadership roles, languages)
• Letters of recommendation
• Achievements & Awards
(include hardcopies or digital
images if possible)

• References

Arranging Your Portfolio

As you compile your portfolio, you
can rearrange these components
and combine them to fit your set
of work. For instance, you might
include education and training on
your resume, thus eliminating those
sections elsewhere.

What's Inside?
Portfolio Options
Portfolio Tips
Reference Material


"In today's tough job market, you need to create a competitive difference or "brand" to generate interviews. To achieve that end, I encourage you to build an executive portfolio. A well-written resume portfolio represents a powerful, out-of-the-box alternative to a traditional resume strategy." ~Don Straits, CEO o f Corporate Warriors

Hope College - Office of Career Services

Arranging Your Portfolio,


Or you might organize the whole portfolio by skill set (for instance, Writing, Communication, Leadership, Languages, and other abilities and marketable qualities) and list your coursework, experience, and writing samples under each heading.

The bulk of the portfolio should be dedicated to showcasing your work, so pick your pieces (often called “artifacts”) carefully. Be selective: not all your work will be relevant to each employer, and no one will dedicate hours of time to read through every last piece of your writing. Ideally, you should maintain a basic skeleton of your portfolio, adding or removing pieces to tailor it to a specific organization. As you choose pieces of writing, remember that you can also include CD-ROMs, videos, and other multimedia formats, especially if you are assembling your portfolio digitally. Employers prefer to see the work you’ve done outside of class, so, to maximize your portfolio, choose at least half of the samples from out-of-class writing:

an article written for the Anchor, the Sentinel, or another journalistic publication a creative piece from the Opus or another literary journal
a pamphlet, brochure, or web text for a student club/organization or area employer a press release or brochure for an event
a personal essay that shows self-insight and demonstrates your ability to paint vivid pictures with words a brief report prepared for a community project
an essay or other writing project showing your ability to analyze and solve a problem an academic essay or report based on field research, library research, or both an example of a collaboratively written document accompanied by a description of how the team worked and what you contributed

Portfolio Options
There are three basic formats for portfolios—standard hardcopy, e-folio (on a CD), and online—each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Some things to consider when choosing a portfolio type:

Standard Hardcopy

Positives: Assembling a hardcopy is simple and straightforward for those unfamiliar with working online, and your portfolio won’t be lost if your computer crashes.
Negatives: Since organizations seldom have time to review portfolios during an interview, presenting it can be a problem: you...
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