A professional employment portfolio could be just the thing that sets you apart from other job candidates.

A well-prepared portfolio

  • shows your achievements,
  • documents the scope and quality of your experience and training, and
  • shows your skills and abilities.

You’ll use your portfolio during job interviews to support your descriptions of your accomplishments.

Organizing Your Portfolio

  • Determine the skills necessary for the job you will be interviewing for.
  • Choose items that will document how you have used those skills for the employer.
  • Use a looseleaf portfolio notebook.
  • Use clear page protectors to preserve your materials and to make rearranging your porfolio easy.
  • Arrange your portfolio to show how your abilities relate to the employer's needs.
  • Label the different sections for ease of finding information in the portfolio.

What to Include

  • A copy of your résumé
  • An official copy of your transcript
  • A fact sheet, in list form, that displays your skills and what you like to do
  • A list of experiences that do not fit into your résumé
  • Certificates of awards and honors; special certifications for special training
  • A program from an event you planned or in which you participated as part of a class project or campus organization
  • A list of conferences and workshops you have attended and a description of each
  • Samples of your writing
  • Documentation of technical or computer skills
  • Letters of commendation or thanks
  • Letters of nomination to honors and academic organizations
  • Newspaper articles that address some achievement
  • Internship or co-op summary report

If you are seeking a teaching position you may want to add

  • Student teaching evaluation materials
  • Sample lesson plans
  • A videotape of your teaching
  • Sample syllabi
  • Pictures of bulletin boards you designed
  • Teaching tools you have created
  • Information about a field trip or other event you organized
  • Pictures of yourself working with students

In addition to your traditional portfolio, you may want to create an electronic portfolio. You can make the electronic portfolio available to employers as a supplement to your résumé. It can be on the World Wide Web or on a CD-ROM. You can set it up as a PowerPoint presentation or include a PowerPoint slideshow as part of it.

In addition to the kinds of materials in your traditional portfolio, you might include an expanded version of your résumé, audio and video clips, an e-mail link, a link to Ball State's Web site as well as one to your major department's pages, a link to the curriculum for your major, and other appropriate links.