A Visual Career Portfolio consists of two main components:
- visual career tools that represent your abilities, skills, capabilities, knowledge, qualities
- a representation of your potential in the workplace
The purpose of the Visual Career Portfolio is to demonstrate that you have work-related skills and experience necessary to fulfill the requirements of a specific job. The portfolio provides “evidence” of your potential by demonstrating what you have accomplished in the past.
Many people prefer to have a Visual Career Portfolio rather than a resume. Some people believe that an online career portfolio (a.k.a. online resume) can take the place of a paper resume. Online portfolios are good resources to help you reach your target audience. A Visual Career Portfolio is important for many reasons:
- It offers a better way to showcase your talents and abilities.
- It helps to communicate the depth of your skills and talents.
- It enables employers to see your work potential rather than your work history.
Your portfolio will give employers proof to back up the claims you make in your resume. A career portfolio gives you the means to handle your career transition from identification of the opportunity to achieving the final outcome.
You should customize and present your visual career portfolio in a professional manner. You will identify the best examples of your skills and abilities, and personalize the portfolio to the requirements of specific jobs.
In your profession, the norm may be to have supporting documents available. For those that apply to you, make copies and put them in your visual portfolio so that you may reference them during the interview. Some of the most important documents include:
- Licenses or Certifications.For many occupational fields, especially those in health-related fields, having documentation of your licenses and certifications is required. Have these documents in your portfolio when you interview, as this will save time during the interview process.
- Letters of Recommendations. If you have particularly glowing recommendations from colleagues and employers, your sharing of these recommendations could be a tie-breaker between you and another candidate. Current laws prohibit your references from sharing most information with prospective employers, so this additional information can be of great worth to the hiring manager.
- Particularly in the customer service industry, notes from customers who were so pleased with your performance that they took the time to write about it to demonstrate your outstanding abilities. Often these testimonials are short, generally a few sentences, so combining them onto one page is the best presentation. You will need to gain your customer’s permission, if including their names.
- Evidence of Specific Skills, Awards, Honors. Similar to licenses or certifications, having copies of these specific qualifiers can give you the additional edge over the competition. Your awards and achievements should be included in the text of your resume, but keep a copy of each in your portfolio in case you are asked to verify these honors.
- Web: Some people create an online website to showcase their talents.
- Scrapbook: You may opt to create a high-end scrapbook and bring it along to interviews.
- Binders: Other people collect important documents on projects and organize them in pocket folders.
- Artfolios: Many creative people bring actual samples of their artwork, sculptures and more.