Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Value of a Professional Portfolio

Have you ever been asked during an interview, “Why should we hire you over other qualified candidates?” Perhaps as you thought it over, you felt that you were a great problem solver, creative, and an amazing team-player. While this could all be true, how would you convince the employer of this fact?

One valuable way to show evidence of the skills you tout in your resume is to create a professional portfolio. Employers see resumes all day, every day and while there is no getting away from providing a strong resume, you should always be thinking of ways to answer their question and provide evidence for what makes you stand out above other candidates.

WGU Career & Professional Development has excellent portfolio resources designed to help you as you begin building your professional portfolio. It’s important to understand that this is not about “boasting” or having to “sell yourself”, but it is about showing that you have added substantial value to past employers and are eager to do so for a potential employer.

Your professional portfolio can help you show an employer that you can and will make a positive difference and this upfront investment has the potential to really pay off in the long term. For example, having all your accomplishments, skills, awards, and endorsements in one place can:
  • Help you create and update your resume with specific accomplishments and help you keep track of your growth in the industry
  • Showcase all the commendations and awards that you have received over your career
  • Show how you helped to solve problems for the company by showcasing special projects or task forces you have been involved with
  • Provide a listing of professional development opportunities that you have taken advantage of  to show how you stay current and relevant in your industry
A professional portfolio is a compilation of your best work as a student and a professional. It will be a little different for each person but it should highlight your growth, your strengths, professional references from peers and managers and provide examples showcasing your career accomplishments and work product.

Remember that your portfolio will continue to grow and evolve as you do, so have fun with it and be ready the next time you are asked to share why you stand out above the crowd! For more information about professional portfolios or to request an appointment with a career specialist, please contact us.