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Tips on Creating a Career Portfolio

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A career portfolio is a useful tool that can magnify your experience, education and other aspects of your entire career. Career portfolios can be given to prospective employers at an interview who can see some the work you have done thus far in your career. The main misperception about career portfolios is that they are only suitable for artists. In truth, anyone can use them. Here are some tips to create an effective career portfolio.

Biography and Statement

A career portfolio includes a biography and a career statement that can deeply describe you. These sections allow you to really sell yourself by promoting your motives for choosing your career. The biography should briefly express your level of education and career progress as well as any relevant activities. You can also include any credentials you may have. As for the career statement, you can relate that to a mission statement. It should describe your work philosophy and your professional beliefs. Together, these two sections help match your beliefs with the prospective employer's beliefs.

Career Goals

In the career goals section, you should describe where you see yourself with this career two, five, and even 10 years into the future. After describing these goals, explain how you will obtain them: for example, learning new skills by returning to school. Include how you plan to participate in professional organizations in the future as well, which demonstrates your dedication to the field. Furthermore, expressing that you plan to give back to society shows a sincere care that employers tend to appreciate.

Work Samples

Perhaps the best aspect of owning a career portfolio is that prospective employers can view the work you have done in your career. For example, if you have a career in journalism, a portfolio including articles and stories you have written can claim the attention of a potential employer. In short, work samples visually highlight your skills. Choose the best work you have created, and try to choose the samples that most accurately relate to your career goals. You can organize these samples in the portfolio by chronological order. Write captions if needed around a visible part of the sample so the interviewer can identify what the sample pertains to. Never use the original of your sample; instead, use copies so you can prevent damage or loss.


Grace Ferguson has been writing professionally since 2009. With 10 years of experience in employee benefits and payroll administration, Ferguson has written extensively on topics relating to employment and finance. A research writer as well, she has been published in The Sage Encyclopedia and Mission Bell Media.