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The Disadvantages of Portfolios

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Creating your sample portfolio is one of the most important achievements you can make as a career professional. Your portfolio should portray your skills the best way possible, and deciding on a medium for display can be daunting. Although there are many advantages to having a professional portfolio, there are disadvantages for each version. By learning the disadvantages of each method, you can choose how you want your professional samples displayed as you seek job opportunities.

Hard Copy

A paper hard copy tends to waste paper as you continually update your samples. There can be times when an employer would like to see samples of your work when you apply for a position. This can prove difficult to send your portfolio in the mail, and there are times where multiple copies are required because of applying for multiple positions. A hard copy of your portfolio may not look as professional as other mediums. Since not everything in your portfolio is relevant to the current job opportunity, you must spend time reorganizing your samples before every job interview.

Disk Copy

The disadvantage to having a disk or flash drive version of your portfolio is you may not know the computer skills of the receiver. In a case of being interviewed by a committee instead of an individual, sharing your portfolio around a table would prove difficult. Also, clients may not have the correct program to read your disk information. Unfortunately, you cannot always know that you will have a method of viewing your portfolio during an interview, so a hard copy would still be necessary. An interviewer may decide never to view your disk for fear of receiving a virus on the computer.

Online Copy

Finding a web host for your online portfolio can become expensive. If you are not technically savvy with creating websites, there is a learning curve. Maintaining an online version has a time commitment that exceeds other mediums. If a company you interview with does not have Internet access, your portfolio would not be seen by a hiring manager. Also, your personal information is online for anyone to copy and you have less ability to monitor who views your personal information.

Mobile Copy

With a majority of the population carrying cell phones with Internet ability, a mobile portfolio is a new technology being adopted for working professionals to bring up information wherever they are located. Although the idea of a mobile portfolio is appealing because you can have it with you at all times, mobile devices are small, and you would need to be in close proximity to your potential employer for your samples to be shown. Like an online copy, a web host is needed for your samples to be accessed, and you have a limited way to monitor your personal information.


Andrea Altenburg has been a technical writer since 2003. She works full time writing online and print help manuals for Shared Logic. Her work is published on the iPad News Update Web site. She has a Bachelor of Arts in scientific and technical communications from Bowling Green State University.

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Lilly Roadstones/The Image Bank/GettyImages