What is a portfolio?

A portfolio is a purposive collection of documents. Career portfolios serve as proof of your skills, abilities, and potential in the future.

Why should you compile a Portfolio?

  • Provides evidence of self reflection.
  • Allows you to establish the value of your work.
  • Serves as a show case of acquired skills and competencies.
  • Facilitates you making judgment about your performance.

Items that can be included in your Portfolio:

  • A Five Year Plan
    This may include long term and short term goals. A five year planner allows you to strive towards realistically living your dreams. Some job interviewers have an interest in your professional goals. Allows you to establish the value of your work. Serves as a show case of acquired skills and competencies. Facilitates you making judgment about your performance.
  • Personal Statement
    This is a short statement about you. It would be useful to do a psychometric test so that you can complement what you know about your strengths and weaknesses with scientific data.
  • Work Experience Statement
    This is an overview of quality experience gained from voluntary or paid employment. The skills and competencies acquired should be highlighted.
  • Up to date resume or curriculum vitae
    A resume is a short advertisement of your skills and competencies in an outline form. This must be a perfect document since it maybe your only chance to tell an employer why you are the best person for the job. Invest time in this document.
  • Cover letter or marketing letter
    Follow the rule of thump in constructing these letters. The cover letter supports resume and the marketing letter replaces both resume and cover letter.
  • Sample of work done
    This captures skills and competencies acquired from projects and other assignments. If you have done a written project you may want to explore doing an abstract and getting the lecturer(s) signature as proof of work done. You may also include photographs and other creative ways of presenting achievement. If available you can include brief reports and or journals of community service and other involvement.
  • Presentation of certificates
    All your certificates and awards can be displayed in your portfolio.

Presenting Your Portfolio

Invest in a professional folder and plastic sheaths (leaves) which will protect and enhance the appearance of your documents.

Using your Portfolio

Instead of a large envelope with your documents take along your portfolio to scholarship interviews, job interviews and any other interviews that may require reflection on the "self".