Why you should create a professional career portfolio
- even if you're not in a creative field
Making the case
A professional portfolio was once the exclusive domain of those only in creative professions. Fresh out of college and armed with my advertising degree, I remember purchasing my first one from a local art supply store. The years went on and I updated it a few times, but it collected dust in my closet and remained largely forgotten until I needed it for another job interview.
Nowadays, any savvy professional should have a current professional binder portfolio. A well-presented career portfolio can serve as visual proof of the contributions you’ve made to your industry and to your company’s success. Put simply, a career portfolio establishes your credibility.
This blog will address why you need a hard-copy professional work portfolio. It will provide some ideas for what to include even if you’re not in a visual field and what to use to present it easily and efficiently.
No more talk – prove it!
A career portfolio is essentially a collection of work samples – either hard copy or stored online - that demonstrate your skills. Think of it as a “visual resume.”
Remember – a portfolio should be an extension of your résumé or curriculum vitae – not a replacement. It helps you determine who you are, what you do best, and how you wish to present yourself and your work.
A career portfolio should help you to:
- • show your professional development
- • guide you through a successful interview
- • prove your case for earning a promotion
- • navigate career transitions and track your professional growth
- • show your initiative and earn recognition
Think of your portfolio as a conversation starter with a leader or interviewer. Since they’ll likely be the ones going through it, give them a chance to ask you questions. Remember, your included items are just the highpoints – you provide the stories at the right time.
A few things to include
Whatever your career, your portfolio should contain items that reflect your skills and accomplishments.
Although the elements of a portfolio vary and can be as individual as we are, here’s a quick checklist to get you started.
Portfolio ideas when you don’t work in a visual role
Just because you may work in sales, management or product development doesn’t mean you can’t create a portfolio binder to show off your skills. You just have to think a little more creatively.
Take photos of papers and drawings related to brainstorming sessions and white board planning sessions and include those. A photo can often provide a clear sense of how much went into the project, and help clarify the thought processes that went into the project.
Create a graph or chart showing results of new policies and programs you’ve implemented; or how your recommendation helped increase sales.
Include testimonials from happy internal and/or external customers. If one of your programs or projects produced outstanding results, have your supervisor write a letter about it and your contribution to your company. Include it in your portfolio.
UniKeep Portfolio Binder
The UniKeep Portfolio Binder is a large format, fully-enclosed portfolio case that's perfect for storing and presenting 11x17-inch documents. It’s a professional, six-ring binder that comes with ten clear 11” x 17” inch page protectors. Add extra 11”x 17” divided protectors that store two 8.5”x11” pages to further customize your binder.
What’s great about this portfolio binder is that you can store both larger and smaller items together in one place. No more folding and creasing things that don’t fit or carrying your larger items separately.
Enclosed, safe storage
The UniKeep large portfolio binder uses a slim-profile construction that snaps completely shut. You don’t have to worry about damage to the contents from light, moisture or dirt. The inner pages are manufactured from durable polypropylene so your work remains in perfect condition, no matter what you put it through.
Perfect for executive presentations and meetings
These large format binders are perfect for presenting documents and keeping them organized after the meeting ends. They’re also great for storing all types of documents - from accounts receivable, inter-office memos, contracts and agreements to take-out menus - use it your way.
No limit for uses with UniKeep
There's really no limit to how you can use the UniKeep portfolio binder. For more ideas for uses at home and at work,
Call UniKeep today at 1-800-829-8117 for storage and organization ideas for home and business.