Maintaining a Career Portfolio

The first thing that you should do when looking for a job is to maintain a career portfolio.jpgportfolio. A career portfolio is a place where you store all relevant documents related to your education, experience and other things that you have done which would help you get a job. A portfolio of your career should be developed and maintained using all documentation of your career history as valid proof of tasks and achievements. It should also include your most up-to-date résumé which will be based on the contents of your portfolio.


Original certificates ranging from your birth, citizenship and marriage to those detailing your qualifications, experience and achievements should find a place in the portfolio. Copies of résumés and cover letters; details of relevant job descriptions and results of career self-assessment tasks; a list of recruitment agencies and important companies; contact details of relevant people you have networked and address of workplaces that you have submitted your application to can all be recorded in your portfolio.

All volunteer experience you have gained, work experience that you have undertaken and other detaifiles.jpgls of jobs done could prove to be valuable in your career advancement or job search. In the event you being unable to make contact with a former manager or provide up-to-date contact information to a potential employer, your career portfolio could serve as a means of proving your value to the potential employer. It could serve as evidence of your skills and personal attributes. You could also record your short-term and long-term goals; your career objectives and alternatives; your likes and dislikes which would help you make the right decisions when looking for an appropriate job.

folder.jpgApart from credentials, awards and certificates of appreciation, a career portfolio could include memos or emails from your previous bosses/ managers to you or your colleagues mentioning any of your accomplishments. Were your accomplishments published in the company newsletter, local newspaper or a trade magazine? Annual reviews, award certificates, and documents or articles recognizing your contributions to projects and/or business growth are proof of your accomplishments and major contributions. Be sure to clip the articles, print the emails, save the memos and add them to your portfolio.

In some cases, projects and missions that you have undertaken and successfully accomplished could be included. Samples of special interests or work accomplishments and even photos of initiatives and activities that you undertook for your previous workplace or the community could also saved as evidence of your versatility.

Maintaining a career portfolio is a very positive means of recording your vocational self-worthiness. It isstar.jpg a good means of self-assessment and can boost your morale when you feel a lack of confidence. To look back and review all that you have done in the past would be a reassurance of your capabilities and this could rekindle a sense of self-esteem when you meet with minor setbacks in your job search activities or even in your workplace.

It would also be a good means of recording the things that you have done, for your family and generations after you to remember and cherish. Below is a list of things that can be included into a Career Portfolio:

1. Documents related to your education, training and relevant experience.

2. Description of tasks and achievements in previous jobs.


3. References from previous employers and referee details.

4. All relevant certificates like birth, marriage, name-change, citizenship/ nationality, et al.

5. Job advertisements, relevant job descriptions and contact details of recruitment agencies.

6. Copies of your latest résumé, all credentials, awards and certificates of appreciation.

7. Record your short-term and long-term goals; your career objectives and alternatives; your likes and dislikes; and list of job preferences.

8. Records of volunteer work, work experience and projects that you did.

9. Relevant memos, emails, photos, publications and articles which highlight your skills and attributes.

10. Important websites, details of businesses/ companies and contacts to network with.

Note: Do you think that maintaining a portfolio is good practice or not? Do you think it is easy to do? Would you be able to do it?

Revised: May 3, 2012 4:18 am
@ Bernard Lewis (EPU, NAVITAS English)