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Creating a Professional Portfolio

  • Career Summary and Goals: A description of what you stand for (such as work ethic, organizational interests, management philosophy, etc.) and where you see yourself in two to five years.
  • Professional Philosophy/Mission Statement: A short description of the guiding principles that drive you and give you purpose. Read more in our article, Using a Personal Mission Statement to Chart Your Career Course.
  • Traditional Resume: A summary of your education, achievements, and work experience, using a chronological or functional format. If you need help developing a resume, visit Quintessential Careers: Fundamentals of a Good Resume.
  • Scannable/Text-Based Resume: A text-only version of your resume should also be included. More information about this type of resume can be found at: Quintessential Careers: Scannable Resume Fundamentals.
  • Skills, Abilities and Marketable Qualities: A detailed examination of your skills and experience. This section should include the name of the skill area; the performance or behavior, knowledge, or personal traits that contribute to your success in that skill area; your background and specific experiences that demonstrate your application of the skill.
  • List of Accomplishments: A detailed listing that highlights the major accomplishments in your career to date. Accomplishments are one of the most important elements of any good job-search. Read more in our article, For Job-Hunting Success: Track and Leverage Your Accomplishments.
  • Samples of Your Work: A sampling of your best work, including reports, papers, studies, brochures, projects, presentations, etc. Besides print samples, you can also include CD-ROMs, videos, and other multimedia formats.
  • Research, Publications, Reports: A way to showcase multiple skills, including your written communications abilities. Include any published papers and conference proceedings.
  • Testimonials and Letters of Recommendations: A collection of any kudos you have received — from customers, clients, colleagues, past employers, professors, etc. Some experts even suggest including copies of favorable employer evaluations and reviews.
  • Awards and Honors: A collection of any certificates of awards, honors, and scholarships.
  • Conference and Workshops: A list of conferences, seminars, and workshops you’ve participated in and/or attended.
  • Transcripts, Degrees, Licenses, and Certifications: A description of relevant courses, degrees, licenses, and certifications.
  • Professional Development Activities: A listing of professional associations and conferences attended — and any other professional development activities.
  • Military records, awards, and badges: A listing of your military service, if applicable.
  • Volunteering/Community Service: A description of any community service activities, volunteer or pro bono work you have completed, especially as it relates to your career.
  • References List: A list of three to five people (including full names, titles, addresses, and phone/email) who are willing to speak about your strengths, abilities, and experience. At least one reference should be a former manager. Read more in our article: The Keys to Choosing and Using the Best Job References in Your Job Search.