How to Develop a Professional Portfolio

The best way to present yourself, your qualifications, and achievements to a potential client or employer is to provide a portfolio. However, a portfolio is more than just a collection of work you have done. If you want to develop a professional portfolio that makes a winning impression, take into account some very essential steps.


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    Decide how you wish to present your portfolio. The most popular method is to use a 3-ring binder. Don't forget to set yourself up with clear plastic protective inserts for your materials and dividers so that you can categorize your materials.
  2. Image titled Develop a Professional Portfolio Step 2
    Collect the materials you wish to include in your portfolio.
    • Begin creating your portfolio with a brief explanation of your career goals. Include your professional philosophy and emphasize your work ethic and guiding principles.
    • Update your resume so that it includes relevant information for the position you are applying for. Include the usual information regarding your education, professional achievements, and work experience. Note that your portfolio will expand upon much of what you will put in your resume, so keep it brief.
    • Offer a detailed description of your skills and experience. Note the skill you possess along with a description of any related qualifications and work experience, and any associated awards or achievements you may have earned.
    • Provide a detailed list of all your accomplishments, awards, and honors to date in your professional career portfolio. Include military service records, if applicable, and awards. Accomplishments are a great way of demonstrating your ability to go above and beyond.
    • Gather samples of your work that best showcase your skills. Depending on your field of business, consider including reports, photos, studies, writing samples, trade brochures, projects, presentations, and CD-ROMs. Don't forget to include your published works, if any.
    • Include listings with brief descriptions of any other professional development activities you attended, such as conferences, workshops, seminars, and professional associations.
    • Don't forget to include any career related degrees, licenses, and certifications. Offer a brief description of each.
    • Add information on any volunteering, pro bono, or community service work you have done. This does not have to be just career related.
    • Remember to include any testimonials and letters of recommendations you may have. If you don't currently possess these, you may want to request a few from your customers, colleagues, and past employers.
    • End your professional portfolio of achievements with a list of at least 3 references from people who will be more than happy to verify your strengths and work ethic.
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    Divide the materials into categories using your dividers once you have gathered everything you want to present, and then create a table of contents. Place this at the front of your portfolio as an introduction of what's to come.

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Categories: Resume Preparation