Do I need a portfolio?
“I am not a designer, why should I keep a portfolio?”
A portfolio is basically a support document that is used to support what your specific resume claims. It demonstrates what is important at particular points in time – your achievements, reflections on learning and, potentially, a rich and rounded picture of abilities, aspirations and ambitions which might be useful for your personal branding, development, career advancement/transition.
End of the day, a portfolio is a powerful branding tool that documents all your work-related talents and accomplishments. Here are a few ways one can use a portfolio:
A portfolio assists job applicants to contextualize and understand their own developments in terms of skills, knowledge and attributes. Portfolios can also help enhance the quality of job applications, linking and supporting the authenticity of a person’s resume. Tangible examples of your skills and abilities are powerful weapons!
Continuing Education and Training (CET)
A portfolio can be used to showcase a more detailed view of evidence for professional accreditation purposes, as well as to identify both short and long-term career development needs.
Recognition of prior learning (RPL)
A portfolio can be used as a process of collecting evidence of personal achievements for formal RPL documentation. Skills, knowledge, abilities and achievements for a particular competency can be compiled in a central repository, aligned with the specific skill sets recognised by authorities (for example), making the RPL evidence collection process simpler and more efficient.
How to start creating a portfolio?
Make sure it is formatted professionally! Make it attractive and include titles, headings and images that are attractive to the eyes. Include graphic images such as photos, maps, charts or other visual aids.
You should start developing your portfolio by first doing a self-assessment (seriously). Evaluate what you have to offer and which item is most crucial in telling the recruiter that you are the best person for the job. Link this portfolio to your resume to support your claims in a more structured and detailed manner. You should decide which skills and experiences you would most like the interviewer to see.
To create a physical portfolio, collect everything that you want to include in your portfolio and print everything out. Then organize it into sections to create the table of contents. Then put it all together and insert the materials in the binder in the correct tabs. Proofread the portfolio carefully and review it with a friend or family member to get their feedback. Remember not to clutter your portfolio and your message. Make sure that you keep formatting consistent throughout the portfolio.
If you don’t have much work experience—most students don’t—you’ll need to mine your schoolwork, volunteer work, and hobbies for evidence of the relevant skills you know you have. For example, if you organized for a campus freshmen orientation camp, include some pictures or documents you might have collected.
To create a portfolio in biipmi.com, on the other hand, is a walk in the park. Just imagine that you need folders (called Category in biipmi.com) for ease of sorting and filing in biipmi.com. In this folder(s) you have many pages, which are your means of indicating significant projects/phases of your life that you want to document. All you need is to create a page, upload pictures, videos or documents you think might be useful, attach a brief description and some personal reflection, and ‘Submit’. You can also link your portfolio to your resume entries to support your specific resumes.
How to use your portfolio?
In an interview, do mention to the interviewer that you brought along some materials or samples of your work for review. Use it to demonstrate your skills and abilities that you are promoting in the interview. Don’t push it too much but if they look interested and want to see it, break it out! This gives you a great way to present yourself and show work samples as a demonstration.
If you do not get to share the contents of your portfolio at all during a particular interview, given whatever circumstances, you can still use your portfolio to prepare for an interview. Reviewing the contents of your portfolio before an interview should provide you with fresh examples that you can draw from during the course of your interview.
To use your portfolio in biipmi.com is something you have already done when you first created the Category and linking it to a specific resume entry. All you need to do is attached a specific resume to a job application and that’s it!
Anfernee Tan | Operations Director, biipmi Pte Ltd
Anfernee Tan is the Co-founder and also the Chief Editor of biipmi.print. He oversees all marketing initiatives for content and channel optimization across multiple networks to drive engagement, retention, leads and positive experience for the individual users and business owners. He is a career coach, an adult educator, and an entrepreneur with special interest towards employability, digital media, content marketing and brand strategy. Follow him @anferneeck.