Career Portfolio Workbook

date Jun 12, 2007
authors Frank Satterthwaite and Gary D’orsi
reading time 3 mins
  • Book Title: The Career Portfolio Workbook
  • Author: Frank Satterthwaite & Gary D’orsi
  • Year written/published: 2003
  • My Comments: A great book on a great idea!

Contents page:

  1. What is a career portfolio?
  2. Assembling your Master Portfolio
  3. Targeting your Portfolio
  4. Using Informational interviews to perfect your portfolio
  5. Creating resumes that work with your portfolio
  6. Using your Portfolio to get that Job
  7. Getting that raise and other important uses for Portfolio
  8. Developing your Portfolio to Protect and Advance your Career
  9. Digital Options for your Portfolio and Resume
  10. Portfolios on the fly: Creating a Portfolio in a few Hours

definition of a career portfolio…

A career portfolio is not a resume, which simply lists your experiences and accomplishments. Nor is it a cover letter in which you write about yourself and your qualifications for a particular job. Instead, it is a collection of actual documents that support and make tangible the things you want to say about yourself in a cover letter, a resume or a face-to-face interview. Letters of recommendations, performance evaluation, certificates, papers, pictures of things created or of activities led are all examples of items that might be included in a career portfolio.

portfolios are great self-marketing tool for 5 reasons…

  1. Portfolios get attention
  2. Portfolios provide links
  3. Portfolios make key intangibles tangible
  4. Portfolios add to your credibility
  5. Portfolios build confidence

Portfolios can be categorised into the following 5 areas: PEAKS

  1. Personal Characteristics
  2. Experience
  3. Accomplishments
  4. Knowledge
  5. Skills

Portfolio Documents to include…

  1. Bio Stats: resumes, hobbies, extra-curricular activities
  2. Learning Skills: degrees, transcripts, certificates
  3. Targeted Task Skills: Writing sample, photographs of events
  4. People Skills: Leadership, management experience
  5. Self-Management Skills: Personal Mission Statement, professional presence
  6. Task Accomplishment: Creative Products, Pictures of something created, Inventions patented
  7. Community Services

Strategies for creating new documents for your collection…

  • Ask people to create useful documents for you
  • You can (and should) create some of your portfolio documents yourself
  • Consider taking pictures and using the web
  • Colour sells

Getting the right look for your carrying case:

  • consider using a carrying case that looks like a briefcase
  • Use a carrying case that blends
  • Photocopy your documents
  • size your documents consistently
  • try using collages
  • Remember, colour sells
  • Use sheet protectors
  • Use the front and back of a sheet protector to link documents
  • Store extra items behind displayed documents

Portfolio Dos and Don’ts:

  1. Do not let go of your portfolio
  2. Keep the focus on you, not your portfolio
  3. Do not keep your portfolio continuously open
  4. Use the peek-a-boo technique when showing your portfolio
  5. Do not use your portfolio as a crutch to fill awkward silences
  6. Look for opportunities to use your portfolio in response to key questions
  7. Always explain the relevance of the documents you present
  8. Use the portfolio items to demonstrate desirable personal characteristics
  9. Use most of your portfolio items as confidence builders that you don’t actually show
  10. Bring extra copies of items that your interviewer is likely to find particularly impressive
  11. Do not leave behind items that have not been explained during the interview
  12. Be careful not to show your portfolio too much

Further uses for Career Portfolio:

  1. To get a favourable performance review
  2. To get a raise
  3. to get a promotion
  4. To make a lateral move within your organisation
  5. To chance careers
  6. To get consulting assignments
  7. To get into college or graduate school