Why Create One?
Show Employers What You Can Do!
According to Martin Kimeldorf, author of Portfolio Power, "One outstanding work sample is worth a thousand resume words."
When an employer reads your resume, they usually have to trust that you can do the things that you say you can do. A portfolio, on the other hand, can become your evidence that you have the skills and talents that you say you do; thus often reducing the "risk" an employer would be taking in hiring you. Your resume influences an employer to interview you, the career portfolio can influence an employer to hire you!
In addition, the simple act of putting your career portfolio together can increase your ability to communicate your potential and the skills you have to market to an employer. During an interview, when an employer asks for an example of a particular skill, you will be able to draw from the examples that you already spent time pulling together for your career portfolio.
All too often, people are chosen for employment on their interview skills and not on their work skills. Get evaluated on "evidence" not "effervescence."
Get an Edge on the Competition
Impress an employer by researching the employer's needs and incorporate any work you've done that relates into your portfolio.
If an employer must make a decision between two presumably equal candidates and one brings in evidence of his or her skills (a portfolio) and one does not, the employer may be more inclined to hire the person who brought the portfolio to the interview. Creating a portfolio for an employer can demonstrate initiative, thoroughness, and the quality of care that you put into your work.
Career Services often hears students complain, "But I don't have any skills." We bet your wrong! After pulling examples from past internships, summer jobs, academic projects, and extracurricular activities such as clubs and athletics, you may be surprised by all the good stuff you've done. Once you compile, record, analyze, and illustrate your "stories" or your "evidence" in a portfolio, what you do have to offer often gets more engrained in your memory. During the interview, your portfolio may act as an interview aid and help you recall the important marketable skills you want to sell to an employer.