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Archive for the ‘Resumes and Portfolios’ Category

How To Create A Career Portfolio

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

Career portfolios, also referred to as professional portfolios, are becoming an increasingly popular job search tool.

What is a career portfolio?

A career portfolio is a collection of materials evidencing your qualifications, skills, experience and personal qualities. Used as a marketing tool, your career portfolio is a powerful visual aid which allows you to showcase your career accomplishments and provide insight into your capabilities.

It can be used to apply to jobs, apply to college or training program and to justify seeking a pay rise. In addition to demonstrating your skills and abilities, it allows you to keep track of your own personal and professional development.

What does a career portfolio look like?

There are two types of career portfolio: a traditional, hardcopy version and a digital or virtual one that can be accessed online. Here, we’ll focus on how to create a hardcopy version.

Any presentation or display folder with protective plastic sleeves to protect your documents and other materials can be used for your career portfolio. Here are some examples of the kinds of binders suitable for a career portfolio:

CREATING A CAREER PORTFOLIO – STEP BY STEP

  1. Choose a presentation folder suitable for your needs
  2. Identify who your audience will be e.g. Potential employer, current employer, college or university, professional recognition body etc.
  3. Decide on the sections you will include
  4. Create a Table of Contents
  5. Gather evidence materials e.g. certificates, photos, letters, articles, awards etc.
  6. Insert evidence materials in folder being sure to display them in as professionally and visually pleasing ways as you can.
  7. Add dividers to distinguish different sections using introductory title pages if appropriate
  8. Show your completed career portfolio to someone for feedback – ask them if they find it easy to read, understand and navigate

What does a career portfolio include?

One of the questions I’m most frequently asked is what to include in a career portfolio. What you include in your career portfolio will depend on the purpose for which you are creating it. A portfolio developed to apply for a place at a college or university will be different to one used to apply for a job or a pay rise.

Depending on the length of your career and the amount of evidence you have, you can either begin your portfolio with your CV (if you’re just starting out in your career for example) or a Table of Contents page.

Here’s an example of a basic Table of Contents:

  • CV/Resume
  • Education, Qualifications and Training
  • Ongoing Professional Development
  • Employment/Work History
  • References/Recommendations

Another interesting and creative way to present your Table of Contents is to break it down into the demonstration of key skills and abilities.

If the role you are applying for calls for an individual with ‘superior sales skills’ for example, you could include this as a section and provide evidence by way of sales figures in graphical format, performance review extracts, sales awards etc.

If you decide not to include a Table of Contents, start your portfolio with a freshly printed copy of your CV and continue to fill the sleeves with your evidence documents as described above. You can use dividers to distinguish between the different sections of your portfolio in line with the sections of your CV.

Examples of what to include:

DEGREES, CERTIFICATES AND DIPLOMAS

  • Include copies of the originals (or originals if this has been specifically requested) along with course outlines, learning outcomes and transcripts of academic record/results
  • Academic achievement awards and any college or university related achievements can be included

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

  • Professional development activities where you received a certificate of attendance
  • Conferences, seminars and other events can be evidenced by including a flyer, programme or outline
  • If you use an e-portfolio programme to record your continuing professional development (CPD) you can include a print out to demonstrate your commitment to your ongoing CPD. Information about current or future professional development activities can be included, e.g. an accountant working towards CPA certification

EMPLOYMENT/WORK HISTORY

  • Evidence your employment such as employment contracts, position descriptions and job advertisements
  • Performance review documents, recommendations for promotion and operational documents such as sales figures etc (don’t include any commercially sensitive information)
  • Samples of your work e.g. if you’re applying for a job as an Illustrator you should include examples of the kinds of illustrations you have produced and the projects you have worked on.
  • Accolades received for your work eg. a favourable product or service review or special awards received
  • Photographs, business cards, staff profiles and media relating to you starting in or progressing in the role are other forms of evidence you can include

REFERENCES

  • Any formal references you have from past employers, supervisors or colleagues
  • Recommendations from others including those from LinkedIn for example, ask the permission of the recommender before including it in your portfolio
  • Testimonials from past or present customers or clients are another great way to boost the references section of your portfolio

How do I use my career portfolio?

Once you’ve developed your career portfolio it’s a good idea to take it along to job interviews, performance reviews or any other situation where you need to demonstrate your skills and experience.

Just be mindful that like your CV, you may need to tailor your portfolio to suit different roles you apply for. If you’re applying for a managerial role for example, make sure your portfolio is loaded with examples of your key skills and abilities most applicable for the role. Likewise, if your portfolio is full of managerial skills evidence and you’re applying for a lower level position, consider removing some of the items that show you are over-qualified for the role.

Make Sure Your Resume Says It All

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

At present market scenario getting a job that too of our liking is a tough ask indeed. Many of us would agree that more often or not we apply for a post share our resume and don’t hear back from them.

Do you wonder why this happens that most resumes gets no response even though the position applied for is most apt with your expertise and experience? Well, simple because your resume is still not good enough to sell your skills. Get your resume analyzed and see if it is market ready or not. Be it a fresher, an experienced professional, a job seeker who lost his previous job due to economic slowdown or somebody looking for an interesting alternative career, each one requires a well written and powerful resume.

The present market demands a comprehensive resume where you present your experience, expertise, skills, qualifications and how you really be a value add for the post applied for.
With a well-crafted resume your chances of getting noticed by a HR professional or by an employer is much high. This is why resume writing services in Chicago, Addison, Florida and Dallas are well known to quickly change the scenario with effective resume writing.

If you are looking for Resume Writing Service in Addison then make sure that you place your trust on someone who is well qualified to do this job. When you look for Curriculum Vitae services you will get many options with big promises while some with lower rates to catch your attention. Look out for their professional reach in terms of their expertise in writing resume.

Similarly, for other options like Chicago based resume writing services, you again cannot blindly trust what they say. You need to do a bit of research by going through their website, looking at their achievement and testimonials.

With multiple resume writing services available in the market, you will get various rates for writing CV, now you have to compare the pricing along with the services provided with resume writing. To remain competitive in the market Curriculum Vitae services comes up with offers like additional facilities like career consulting, writing a cover letter along with your CV or even interview preparation services. The CV written at first draft may not be exactly the way you wanted it to be, so you need to talk and may finalize the final version after multiple communication.

Resume writing services certainly gives you an edge over others with best suited and well-articulated words that depicts your professional expertise, you have come closer to getting interview calls.