WHAT THE HECK IS A CAREER PORTFOLIO?

 

I had to do a locum work for an IT consultant introduced to me by a friend of mine. I took the Job quite personal and so it turned out great. A day or so later, I received a message appreciating me and telling me to submit my portfolio. Then it hit me, I had not the slightest idea about how to make a portfolio.The closest thing I knew about a portfolio was linked in and I couldn’t remember the details of the connection between the two. I did a lot of meditating, then started to research about a portfolio and how to create one so here are the points.

  •         A portfolio is like the in thing now particularly in the non-health sectors like IT, Artists, Musicians, Accountants, Salesmen, Engineers, lawyers e.t.c but that doesn’t mean it is not for everyone.
  •        A portfolio goes beyond you job seeking. It is you telling your potential employer “I have got the job already can you afford what I will bring to your organization.
  •         It gives you an edge over your competitors and makes you more prepared for your interview.
  •         The portfolio traditionally belongs to a folder, file and amazingly a briefcase but recently people are going online especially because it is easily accessible and less stressful to design.
  •         Your Portfolio is made up of a title page, Table of Contents, Letter of introduction/cover letter, occupational goals, personal mission statement, Resume not C.V, Skills and achievements, Application form where applicable and about three sample work. Pheew! That is a lot of document.

·     The main strength of a portfolio is the skill. When we say skills we are not necessarily talking about the big time record breaking skills. In addition you also need experiences termed achievements /accomplishments to validate your skills. Skills include Verbal and Written Communication (and the evidence can be your SSCE English Result, University English Result, Public speaking competition or essay writing Medal or any other test of English), Team work (evidence can be participation in team sports, group projects or volunteering activities), Planning and Organisation( evidence can be a person’s flow chart you designed or a programme you planned), Time management, computing or technical skills just Google Career skills you will see a whole list or hopefully I would be able to write about it someday.

The top skills however are;

  •         Leadership
  •         Management
  •         Inter-personal/teamwork
  •         Innovation and creativity
  •         Resilience
  •         Technical skills.

·     The best way to know your skills is to list your achievements and find out which skill you employed in achieving that.  Your Skills and achievements must be backed by pictorial evidence, news paper clipping, handbills, results e.t c. You should have a standard, all encompassing portfolio from which you can create mini-job tailored portfolios depending on the job you are trying to secure.Remember to save a copy in PDF format so it can’t be altered.