16 Purpose of a Career Portfolio

Your career is made up of many different kinds of tangible by-products; many job search resources refer to these as a collection of artifacts, which can be presented in an interview as proof of all that you’ve achieved. By incorporating these artifacts into a portfolio as part of your branding package, you are painting a picture or a landscape of your career journey for both the employer and yourself.

A portfolio gives you the opportunity to organize your skills and accomplishments in a visually appealing, professional, and creative way and creates a positive impression in a job interview. In the past, you may have associated portfolios with industries like art, media, and design; however, in today’s market, portfolios are being used by many job seekers and can be effective self-marketing tools in every field. 

  • It acts as a persuasive marketing tool.
    Your portfolio demonstrates evidence of your qualifications and showcases your accomplishments in an organized and interesting way. Showing pieces of your portfolio to a hiring committee in an interview setting can set you apart from other candidates.

    • Using a portfolio item to help answer an interview question is far more impressive and memorable than just a verbal answer. For example, if the interviewer asks you about your experience with MS Excel, you could show them a spreadsheet you created to manage your family budget.
  • It keeps you organized.
    By having all of your documentation in one convenient place, you are able to easily reference or provide employers with the information they are seeking before, during, or after your interview in a timely manner.
  • It reinforces your personal brand.
    As a supplement to the rest of your job search documents, your portfolio strengthens an employer’s image of your personal brand, impresses upon them what you have to offer, and increases the odds of you being noticed.
  • It helps you to prepare for an interview.
    Reviewing the documents that you have included in your portfolio can be a good way to prepare for an interview. Reading over your portfolio and referencing your many accomplishments will be helpful in identifying supportive examples when answering interview questions.
  • It builds confidence.
    Being able to see all the things that you’ve achieved will make you feel proud, and make you more aware of your strengths. Your sense of accomplishment will translate into positivity and confidence when interacting in an interview and networking setting.
Unless otherwise indicated, this chapter is an adaptation of Be the Boss of Your Career: A Complete Guide for Students & Grads by Lindsay Bortot and Employment Support Centre, Algonquin College, and is used under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 International license.

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