Portfolio Development

Portfolio Development

What is a Portfolio?

An organized booklet or folder that contains documentation that supports your education and professional credentials.


What is the purpose of a Portfolio?

To be a focal point for the employer before, during, and after the interview. Other uses include: display of initiative; demonstration of ability; self-awareness for the job seeker; Proof of your credentials (skills and abilities); at your annual reviews after you get the job.


Recommended Portfolio Contents

  • Cover
  • Table of contents (sections separated by tabs)
  • Statement of originality and confidentiality
  • Work philosophy or mission statement
  • Career goals
  • Rèsumè
  • Transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation
  • List of references
  • Artifacts pertaining to formal and informal education and training
  • Artifacts demonstrating general work performance
  • Artifacts about skills using data
  • Artifacts pertaining to people skills
  • Artifacts about skills, things, tools, equipment

Statement of originality and confidentiality sample

This portfolio belongs to (your name). Do not copy without permission. Some of the samples within this portfolio are the property of the organization whose name appears on the document. Permission from each has been granted for the product to be used as documentation of my work.


Work philosophy or mission statement examples

  • Exceeding customer expectations equals success
  • Organization and efficiency are key characteristics to a job well done
  • Attention to details make all the difference

Career goals examples

  • To obtain a bachelor's degree in three years
  • To manage a successful restaurant or catering service within 10 years
  • To strengthen my weaknesses as they apply to new tasks
  • To continue educating myself as technology progresses

Artifacts pertaining to formal and informal education and training

  • Brochures of retreats, workshops, lecture series, or clinics
  • Certificate of mastery or completions
  • Charts or lists showing hours completed in various areas of study
  • Grants, scholarships secured for schooling
  • Licenses
  • Lists of competencies mastered
  • Samples from classes (papers, projects, reports, displays, video or computer samples)
  • Samples from personal studies (notes, binders, products)
  • Syllabi or course descriptions for classes and workshops
  • Standardized or formalized tests
  • Teacher evaluations
  • Transcripts, report cards

Artifacts demonstrating general work performance

  • Attendance records
  • Community service projects
  • Descriptive material about an organization where you worked/volunteered
  • Past or present job descriptions
  • Logs, list of charts showing general effort (overtime, volume, case load, sales volumes, etc.)
  • Military records, awards, badges
  • Employer evaluations or reviews
  • Examples of problem solving
  • Letters of reference
  • Samples from (or lists showing) your participation in professional organizations, committees, work teams
  • Documentation of experience through thank you letters, or completed projects
  • Invitations to share your expertise asking you to train, mentor, or speak at professional or group gatherings

Artifacts about skills using data

  • Communication pieces (memos, reports, or documents)
  • Writing abilities as demonstrated in samples of your writing (articles, proposals, scripts, training material)
  • Evidence of public speaking, (photograph of you at a podium, speech outline, brochure for your presentation)
  • Data (graphs, charts, table you helped to produce, testing results)
  • Display or performance material (actual objects or illustrations, or posters)
  • Computer related (database designed, desktop publishing documents, samples)

Artifacts pertaining to people skills

  • People and leadership skills (project or committee involvement, projects you initiated, proposals or documents)
  • Planning samples (summary of steps, instruments used such as surveys or focus groups)
  • Problem solving illustrated with various artifacts (use of figures or pictures showing improvements in products, services, profits, safety, quality, or time)
  • Include forms or other written documents used to solve problems
  • Employee training packets, interview sheets, motivational activities

Artifacts about skills, things, tools, equipment

  • Paper documents or replicas of actual items including: forms, charts, print outs (such as medical charts, financial statement or budgets, reports, emergency preparedness plan, marketing plan, customer satisfaction plan, spreadsheets, charts, official documents)
  • Performance records (keyboard timing scores, safety records, phone logs, any record showing volume, amount, total time, response time, turn-around time, dollars or sales figures, size of customer database, organizational chart showing people supervised)
  • Technical directions, manuals, procedures

If interviewer requests to keep portfolio after the interview:

  • Know who you are handing it to
  • Remind them of the confidentiality statement: do not copy
  • Set up a specific time to pick it up (usually 24 hours)