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A professional portfolio is a collection of documents highlighting your achievements, training, education and skills. In the past, portfolios were presented in binders, but electronic--or ePortfolios--are becoming more common. Professional ePortfolios present both benefits and drawbacks.
An electronic portfolio requires a fraction of the physical storage space needed for a printed portfolio. It can be saved on a hard drive, website, CD or other external storage device. An ePortfolio can be emailed to potential employers, is easy to duplicate and does not show wear and tear like printed materials. Electronic portfolios can also be enhanced with sound, images and interactive elements.
Software conflicts when viewing documents are a potential problem with ePortfolios, as are large file sizes that can overwhelm a potential employer’s email account. An ePortfolio can also be difficult to use during a job interview if you do not have access to a computer. Finally, if your work is not already in electronic form, it will need to be scanned and formatted for inclusion in your ePortfolio.
Your portfolio needs to present a complete and accurate picture of your skills and training. It is a reflection of you, so take your time making sure it comes across as professionally as possible.
An adjunct instructor at Central Maine Community College, Kristen Hamlin is also a freelance writer on topics including lifestyle, education, and business. She is the author of Graduate! Everything You Need to Succeed After College (Capital Books), and her work has appeared in Lewiston Auburn Magazine, Young Money, USA Today and a variety of online outlets. She has a B.A. in Communication from Stonehill College, and a Master of Liberal Studies in Creative Writing from the University of Denver.