Even if you are at a current job that you really like that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t develop a career/project portfolio. This type of portfolio doesn’t have to be too fancy (but it can be!) It simply contains many of your career accomplishments in a neat package. This is a great way to showcase another dimension of who you are as a professional.
Where to Start?
Pull as many materials you have around you together: paperwork, certificates, journals, notes on projects etc. Don’t worry about being neat at this stage. Just be concerned in acquiring as much raw material for your portfolio as possible.
Include personal and professional projects that you either have spearheaded or been a part of. Did you accomplish something amazing individually or in a team that brought in-company or industry acclaim? Have you boosted sales? Have you saved your company oodles of money? Be detailed and include pictures, graphs and any pertanent information that can build the argument that you are the right candidate for the job during the interview.
Articles, Websites and Blogs
Have you written any content on a personal, professional website or maintained a popular/informative blog? Include all that! Don’t be modest; you have to toot your own horn! Companies and organizations need to hear about these outside projects too. It shows you are a well-round individual and dedicated to personal growth and development. What company doesn’t want this type of A1 employee?
When you finish building your career portfolio it will provide you an interesting overview of your accomplishments. This portfolio should be a strong extension of your resume. However, with this portfolio complete you have an awesome opportunity to rebuild your resume. Since you have uncovered past information about your experiences and projects you can most certainly integrate that back into your resume making it detail-rich and meatier.
Keep Adding to It
Never stop adding to your career portfolio! Even if it’s a shoe box of notes, certificates, emails printouts, letters, work-related material, or journals…throw it in and get back to it in the future to organize it all.
It separates you from others
If you want something that really separates you from other candidates when you are vying for a job or a promotion a career portfolio is just what the doctor ordered! It can showcase your project history in detail and flesh out key ideas and accomplishments you have notched.
Make it look Good!
Be sure to hold it all together in a attractive package. Don’t skimp out on this part. Look around for some options and perhaps ask a friend who might give you some advice (if they are design savvy.) Be creative too! Research what others have done and don’t be afraid to experiment with layouts.