Building a Career PortfolioHow to Present Yourself to Potential Employers Presented by April Legler, Lecturer of Career Education, KSOB
What is a Portfolio? • What is your understanding of a portfolio and its purpose? • Who has traditionally created portfolios? • Does anyone have a portfolio?
Definition • A portfolio is a documentation and demonstration of your accomplishments representing growth in your skills and understanding of those skills over time. • The portfolio not only documents your results but also how you got there and what you learned in the process.
Employers are asking… • “How much will you cost me to train?” • “Can you keep your personal life in order so that it does not interfere with work?”
Employers are seeking… • Proof of current relevant soft skills • Real work samples
Transferable across careers, jobs, and industries organizational interpersonal work-style Work Content do a specific type of job immediate contribution gained through course work and job experience Two Broad Categories of Skills
Employers Want the “Total Package” • Excellent communication skills • Technical proficiency • Leadership • Teamwork • Interpersonal skills and personal traits
Portfolio Advantages • Clearly shows your individuality, personality, & skills • Speaks to your skills without your having to say directly “I’m good” • The resume gets you the interview, the portfolio gets you the job
Steps for Assessing Your Major Accomplishments • What I Did? • What I Learned? • What’s Next? (We will be using a group activity to reinforce these steps in a minute.)
#1: What I Did? • The first step is documentation of events, activities, and skills that have been accomplished. • It is a collection of your most important accomplishments, both personal and professional.
# 1 Artifact • Choose a tangible item to exhibit the accomplishment or skill you have just selected to showcase
Activity: What did YOU do? • Think of a skill you wish to highlight and an “artifact” from an activity you have done that could showcase it. OR • Think of something truly significant you have done and what skill that demonstrates. What artifact can you use to showcase that?
#2: What I Learned? • The next step is going back and looking at each entry and writing “statements” identifying and explaining the purpose of each piece of evidence so that the entries are meaningful when reviewed by others. • These statements should also contain reflective comments about your learning.
What I Learned-Sample • To develop an annual budget of $6000 • To keep accurate line-item entry books of income and expenditures • To create and maintain excel spreadsheets of monthly finances • To create annual financial statements
Activity: What did YOU learn? • Write a statement of what you gained from the activity that you selected just now.
#3: What’s Next? • Review each entry • View as springboard to future learning • Revisit and examine work accomplished • Professional and personal growth • Assimilate information into “skills and achievements” for resume and interview process
What’s next-Sample • Add activity and accomplishments to resume • Improve organization of records to facilitate creation of annual report
Activity: What is next for YOU? • Write what you will do to use or improve what you have begun in this class activity.
Career & professional development goals Resumes/Cover letters Your work philosophy Self-assessment records Transcripts Work history Skill areas Works in progress (activities and projects) Work & learning samples Work term reports Certificates, diplomas, degrees, & awards Professional memberships & service Records of community service/volunteer work (brochures, letters of recognition, etc.) Newspaper clippings featuring you Letters of appreciation Photographs/Media Networking contacts Letters of recommendation/ references Sample Artifacts for a Portfolio
Career Portfolio Sections • Management philosophy • Professional goals • Resume • Work samples by skill areas • Works in progress • Community service (transferable skills) • Professional memberships • Degrees, certifications & awards • References
Sections: Philosophy and Goals • Mgmt Philosophy-brief description of your beliefs about yourself and the industry (Career Objective Statement) • Career Goals-professional goals for the next 2-5 years
Section: Resume • Your resume provides a brief summary of your education and experiences.
Section: Skill Areas • Skill areas-tabbed sections containing information on your skills and experiences relating to specific areas • Marketing • People Management • Technology • Target skills desired by companies you are interviewing • Job advertisements • Job descriptions • Focus on measurable skills • Technical skills • Soft skills
Analytical Communication (Oral & Written) Computer Skills Creativity Decision Making Flexibility Interpersonal Leadership Listening Multicultural Understanding Organizational Problem Solving Research Teamwork Time Management Skill areas that employers want from recent graduates.
Work Samples • Work sample-physical examples of your work • One for every skill • Projects, reports • Real work samples preferable to school projects • How do I get them? • What are you good at doing? • Rummage through your stuff at home and at work for samples • Plan to secure work samples
Propriety on Work Samples • Do I need to get permission to take copies of my work? • If you signed a confidentiality agreement • If you are a contractor or employee • Use the templates of your work • Do NOT share proprietary or personal information • Do share letters, customer comments, class or workshop projects
Section: Additional Proof • Works in Progress-brief list of works, activities, projects or efforts that are on-going. • Letters of Recommendation-support or reference that verify your abilities in a certain skill area
Section: Transferable Skills • Sources • Community service • Volunteer organizations • Avocations (intense hobbies) • Intramural activities • Artifacts • Letters of recognition • Photos of projects completed • Programs and brochures
Transferable Skills Support… • Soft skills • Teamwork • Presentation skills • Communication skills • Attitude • Leadership • Others
Section: Professional Growth • Memberships-member cards, citations, letters • Certifications • Diplomas, Degrees, or Awards-copies of actual recognition received
Section: Reference Materials • Academic Plan of Study-list of courses and what you learned in them • Faculty and Employer Biographies-descriptions of the people whose signatures appear throughout—who are they, what do they do • References-list of people who can verify your character, academic record or employment history
Group Activity • Break into small groups and select an individual to “record” for the group. • Pick 3 skills from the list provided. • Share experiences with your group, in which you each have developed those 3 skill areas. • Identify and lists ways to document that experience in your portfolio. • Report out to the group.
Analytical Communication (Oral & Written) Computer Skills Creativity Decision Making Flexibility Interpersonal Leadership Listening Multicultural Understanding Organizational Problem Solving Research Teamwork Time Management Skill areas most wanted by employers from recent graduates.
Include an introduction and table of contents Organize work samples into skill areas Keep to a consistent format Don't include original documents Don't punch holes in your documents Number sheet protectors, not contents Use quality paper & captions to enhance Create all text on computer Use a high-quality printer Don't use too many fonts Be creative Tailor your portfolio to include only relevant information to the opportunity you are seeking Observe a maximum length of 10-15 artifacts Consider having a copy of your portfolio or important parts of it to leave behind with an employer Showcase Tips: Paper Portfolio
When Is It Appropriate to Present Your Portfolio • In an Interview • To illustrate skills you are asked to describe • As concrete proof of your accomplishments as they relate to the opportunity at hand (Generally do not send with your application package unless requested.)
And Also… • In a Job Performance Evaluation • To remind the employer of your contributions and accomplishments • Focus on the time since your last review • Include career highlights, works in progress, group/individual achievements • Give to supervisor 2-3 weeks before review
HARD COPY Introduces oneself Answers questions during interview Summarizes qualifications ELECTRONIC To compete for an interview As additional research for candidates As follow-up Hard Copy vs Electronic
Online Portfolios • Idea 1: Online resumes • Idea 2: Linked resumes • Idea 3: Online portfolio collections
Close-up view of linked info Period: XX/YY – XX/YY National Agency for Telecommunications (Anatel) Brasília, Brazil Telecommunications Engineer XXX (detailed job assignments) XXX Reason for leaving: resigned for personal reasons. Supervisor Contact: Mr. John Boss, firstname.lastname@example.org (+55 61) 323 7865