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The Advantages of a Portfolio

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A portfolio is a collection of a person’s work product that demonstrates his expertise and accomplishments in a particular field or area. Portfolios can include projects, written essays, visual art projects, photography or creations made electronically. Some portfolios also include self- assessments, assessments from teachers or other people, awards for various projects, references, certificates acknowledging achievement or any other information that displays accomplishments.

Personal Reflection

Portfolios permit students, and those using a portfolio for professional purposes, to keep track of their best work and monitor how they are expanding and improving their craft or talent. They can observe how they have moved forward and evaluate how to improve. Keeping attuned to their weaknesses and strengths will help them improve more.

Provides Multi-faceted Information

Portfolios provide legitimate work product that cannot be seen or evaluated with merely a letter grade by a perspective employer or college admission staff. Portfolios offer job and academic applicants to set forth their strengths in the best possible light because there is flexibility on how they organize it and the items they include. If the portfolio is produced by a job applicant, projects in the portfolio can demonstrate the ability to complete certain types of work that may be necessary for the open position. They provide an applicant with the opportunity to show multiple skills, including creativity, writing and proficiency with technology. People observing the portfolio can see exactly how the different skills were implemented and, thus, are able to obtain a fuller picture of how the applicant thinks and assess his capabilities. When an interview is not possible, carefully chosen pieces in the portfolio can provide insight into the applicant’s personality to help evaluate whether she would be a good fit with the organization.

Inexpensive and Easy

Portfolios can be time-consuming to put together, but they are often inexpensive and easy to create. Sometimes they can be an accumulation of school work or office projects with particular client names removed. It may just be a matter of organizing existing work product and information so that it is showcased in its best format. Many of the pieces in the portfolio may be created for another intended purpose so the applicant may not have to prepare them especially for the portfolio. Other times items in the portfolio will be created solely for that purpose. However, often the pieces will require low cost materials and may take more time than expense to produce. Additionally, portfolios are easy to update and can be modified for different jobs or academic opportunities.

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