Portfolios are as unique as the individuals who prepare them. While there are no rules about what goes into a portfolio, it should represent the best of you. It should also demonstrate that you have thought through your experiences and gained a clear picture of what you have to offer. Include meaningful, relevant items from all your learning to create a clear picture of ‘who you are’ and ‘what you know you can do’.
The following list contains ideas for the general ‘working’ portfolio. You will want to select specific items from this larger collection for the ‘tailored’ portfolio that you would use in a job interview.
- Career and professional development goals
- Your work philosophy or description of your beliefs about yourself
- A current resume or curriculum vitae
- Copies of cover letters
- Letters of recommendation and references
- Work and learning samples
- A skills inventory
- Evidence of knowledge and abilities
- Learning narratives and reflections
- Certificates, diplomas, degrees and awards (use photographs)
- Records of community service/volunteer work (brochures, letters of recognition, etc.)
- Professional memberships and service
- Work term reports
- Self-assessment records
- Works in progress (activities and projects)
- Newspaper clippings featuring you
- Letters of appreciation
- Photographs or other relevant media
The order of these items will depend on the categories or organizational system that you select. You may want to keep an ongoing Table of Contents to remind yourself of all that you have to choose from. Use a revised table of contents for the tailored portfolio that you show to future employers.