What is a Portfolio?
A Showcase Portfolio is a job-hunting tool that you develop that gives employers a picture of who you are—your experience, your education, your accomplishments, and your skills. Not only does it show the employer who you are, but it also displays what you have the potential to become. It is designed to do one thing—to support you as you market yourself!
- 6 Reasons to Have a Portfolio
- What to Include?
- How to Use My Portfolio
- Win $500.00
- Types of Portfolios
6 Reasons to Have a Portfolio
- Organize and prepare for the job search.
- Distinguish yourself from the competition.
- It is tangible proof of your abilities.
- It can help you find the position that is right for you!
- Turn the interview into an offer.
- Increase the salary offer by impressing the interviewer.
What to Include?
Evaluate what you have to offer and what the best ways are to market your assets. You should decide which skills and experiences you have will relate to the needs of the interviewer, or what you would most like the interviewer to see. If you have don't have much work experience consider your school work/projects, work-based learning opportunities, and leadership activities. For example, if you did designed the advertising campaign for the Red Carpet Event, include a copy of the posters, tickets, invitations etc. you designed.
The following is a list of items you may want to include:
- Table of Contents (for easy reference)
- Traditional Résumé: A summary of your education, achievements, and work experience.
- Samples of Your Work: A sampling of your best work, including reports, papers, studies, brochures, projects, presentations, etc.
- Testimonials and Letters of Recommendations: A collection of any kudos you have received–from customers, clients, colleagues, past employers, instructors, etc. You may even want to include copies of favorable employment or work-based learning evaluations and reviews.
- Awards and Honors: A collection of any certificates of awards, honors, and scholarships.
- Workshops: A list of workshops you've participated in and/or attended such as (Steps to Success workshops).
- Transcripts, Degrees, Licenses, and Certifications: A description of relevant courses, degrees, licenses, and certifications.
- Test Results: Document testing results such as ACT or Work Keys.
- Newspaper Clippings: Include articles and/or photos that address your achievement.
- Military records, awards, and badges: A listing of your military service, if applicable.
- ID, Social Security card, Direct Deposit form: If you get the opportunity to fill out your pre-hire paperwork, these will come in handy.
References: A list of three to five people (including full names, titles, addresses, and phone/email) who are willing to speak about your strengths, abilities, and experience.
How to Use My Portfolio
- Bring the condensed version of your portfolio with you to the interview and be prepared to present all the information within it to the interviewer. You may not always want to leave a condensed version of your portfolio. Interest in the position can help you to decide.
- Announce at the beginning of the interview that you have a portfolio and would like to present it at some point during the interview.
- You can use your portfolio to support your responses. For example, the interviewer might say, "I see that you have worked on your school newspaper. What were your favorite writing assignments?" You might reply, "My favorite assignments include this article (turn portfolio towards the interviewer and show them the article in the portfolio) that required a lot of research and this creative writing piece (show article) that I wrote for a special edition.
- If you are unable to present it during the interview, begin the time allotted for questions by mentioning that you would like to present your portfolio.
MNTC's Career and College Connections Annual Portfolio Contest
Digital portfolios are a great tool for students seeking to obtain employment or apply for college to showcase their accomplishments and achievements.
Submissions for the Career or College Portfolio contest will be accepted beginning January 1. The contest is open to all MNTC students enrolled in a long-term program. *Only one (1) entry per student. Past winners are not eligible for the contest.
CONTEST DEADLINE is March 31 of each year.
Your Career or College Portfolio must meet the following minimum requirements to be considered:
Introduction: Create a 1-3 minute video introducing yourself. Giving employers/college recruiters an insight into who you are and letting them have information that they would not necessarily know from just reading your resume.
Resume: build an employment or academic resume on the Career and College Connection Resume Builder.
References: enter a minimum of 3 references. One reference must be an instructor.
Uploads and Certifications section must include:
- 1 video introducing yourself 1-3 minutes in length
- 3 samples of work
- 2 Certifications or Certificates
- 1 award or honor
- 1 evidence of professional affiliation
- 1 letter of recommendation
Work-based learning – at least a bronze level badge achieved
- Customize your portfolio towards your career or educational goals.
- Use correct spelling and grammar!
- Preview your portfolio before submitting to make sure, you have met the minimum requirements and that all your items are viewable.
- Get feedback on your Portfolio from a member of your Career and College Connection Center staff.
Instructions for submitting your Career Portfolio:
- Log in to your Career Connection account
- Create Portfolio on your dashboard
- Attach Portfolio to the Career Portfolio Contest job posting
Entries are final and may not be changed after the submission deadline.
The submission deadline is March 31 at midnight.
If any changes are found after the submission deadline, the participant will be disqualified.
We reserve the right to disqualify portfolios based on content that is offensive or inappropriate.
Submitting this Portfolio to the Career and College Portfolio Contest authorizes your portfolio material to be viewed by contest judges and the Career and College Connection Staff.
Winners also agree to allow submitted materials to be used by MNTC for Career and College Portfolio promotional purposes. In addition, if you are selected as a scholarship recipient, you are required to:
- Attend the awards assembly in May to accept your scholarship
- Take a picture at the awards assembly receiving the scholarship
- Provide a bio for the Career and College Connection website
*Employees of the Career and College Connection (excluding student workers and interns) and past winners are not eligible.
Any Questions? Email email@example.com
Types of Portfolios
Portfolios come in all shapes, sizes, and formats. From art portfolios to stock portfolios, there's a lot of options out there. When it come to career portfolios, however, there are 3 main types that each have their own advantages and should be used in different scenarios.
3 Career Portfolio Types
A digital portfolio is like super powered online resume. In fact, your digital portfolio will have your resume in it, but it will also have references, certificates, letters of recommendation, transcripts, awards, and everything else that need to show off to employers. The best part is that a digital portfolio can be sent to an employer by a simple URL link.
Digital Portfolio sites:
- Career & College Connection site
- Your own personal website
Video portfolios are engaging and incredibly effective videos that catch an employer's attention while also making sure they understand all of your qualifications and amazing accomplishments. The quality of video portfolios varies greatly and I highly recommend searching for "video portfolio" or "video CV" on YouTube for inspiration before making your own. Here's some of my personal favorites:
Best Video CV Ever Mark Leruste
Paper portfolios are the oldest of portfolio types, but it is still incredibly useful whenever it's interview time. It would be awkward to show a video portfolio during an interview, and a digital portfolio could be displayed but not easily passed around. Paper portfolios allow you to have physical copies of your resumes, certificates, transcripts, letters of recommendations, and references that you can hand out to the interviewer(s).
Most importantly, paper portfolios come with a notepad that you can use to create yourself a cheat sheet/reference sheet that you can use in the interview. You can also make note of anything important that the interviewer says. It's impossible to remember all of the things that you wanted to highlight about yourself in an interview, so having a cheat sheet inside your portfolio is invaluable.