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What Should Be Included in a Career Portfolio?

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A career portfolio is a collection of your work and qualifications for a given job or type of position. While some people create a portfolio for a specific position, others create a portfolio that applies to several positions. A career portfolio should include specific information that showcases your achievements and knowledge in the given industry. The more experience you have, the more information will be included in your career portfolio.

Career Goals

The first section of the career portfolio should include a list of career goals. The goals should be focused and show the direction you want to go in with your work and career. The goals should reveal your ambitions and where you see yourself in five to 10 years. If you are an experienced worker, you should still include your career goals, even if they focus on improving your existing skills.


Include an updated version of your résumé. The résumé should include your work experience, your education and your personal achievements. If you are creating a career portfolio with a specific direction, do not include jobs you had as a teenager that do not add anything to the portfolio. The résumé can be formatted in a functional or chronological form.

Accomplishments and Skills

The career portfolio should also include a list of your accomplishments and skills as a professional worker. Each job may give you a new skill set or allow you to accomplish new things or projects. This can be skills and accomplishments earned in the workplace, in school or in your additional coursework or training you have done for a job. It can also include honored recognitions and workshops.

Samples of Work

If you can visually show your work in the career portfolio, you should do so. For instance, if you are an architect or a photographer, include pictures or photos of your designs and work, so the employer can see how your work looks. If you cannot include photos in your portfolio, it is also accepted to submit CD-ROMs, videos and other common multimedia formats.

Reference List

Your career portfolio should include a list of professional references who can confirm the skills and achievements you have outlined in your portfolio. This can include people who can provide testimonials, people who have taught you in school like your professors, community leaders in volunteering settings and previous employers.


Based in Toronto, Mary Jane has been writing for online magazines and databases since 2002. Her articles have appeared on the Simon & Schuster website and she received an editor's choice award in 2009. She holds a Master of Arts in psychology of language use from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

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