Posted: April 2, 2012 in Uncategorized



A portfolio is a communication tool that showcases career highlights and professional growth, as a way of identifying your skills, knowledge, and competencies. It can be an online or hard document which outlines professional experience in a clear, succinct manner. These accomplishments are laid out in a timeline to include work experience, education, certificates, samples of work, and/or artifacts. A portfolio essentially sells a person to whoever the intended audience may be. Communicating your experience can show competence for a specific job or program, in an effort to obtain the professional path which is being pursued.




The primary audiences of a portfolio could be whoever the deciding body is when it is submitted to when applying for a job, or educational program, etc. These are the individuals that are kept in mind while constructing the portfolio. If the portfolio is being submitted as an assignment, another primary audience could be the professor. The language used in it may be for an employer, but the professor is ultimately the determining factor in the portfolio’s assessment and grade; so can be tailored to fit the requirements which the assignment outline has set.

Secondary audiences could be classmates, friends, or family who may review the portfolio before it is submitted to its primary audience. Peers may edit and look it over, but the portfolio would not be specifically intended for them. Peers or colleagues of the intended audience could also act as a secondary audience. Another secondary audience could be you. The portfolio could unintentionally or intentionally be used as a reflection of your own professional achievements and can enable you to see their own professional life laid out in a clear manner.




When looking for professional employment, a portfolio can play an instrumental role in showcasing your work experience, expertise, abilities and accomplishments. In an extremely vast and competitive world of business, it is vital that you have a leg up on potential rivals. In addition to greatly increasing your chances of getting hired, a portfolio can serve as an effective tool for promotion and evaluation from current employers.




There are many benefits to developing and maintaining a portfolio. The portfolio is a visual showcase of work and is relevant in a wide range of occupations. The portfolio is not just beneficial for working professionals, but also students. Students can benefit from a portfolio because it is an organic collection of work, which ultimately shows development and growth. Learners are able to assess their work on an on-going basis, which leads to goal setting and future planning. Physical portfolios can be brought to job interviews, making a strong first impression. Portfolios often say more about the strengths and experiences of a candidate than a resume can.

An electronic portfolio also has many benefits, including the ability to organize work by category for ease of viewing as well as the potential to move objects around so a presentation can be tailored for a specific job application. Many professionals, including freelance writers, display their portfolio on a website, which increases the online presence of an individual. The online portfolio can then be connected to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter as well as connected to a professional profile on LinkedIn, which makes it possible to be approached for potential work opportunities.




There are only a few disadvantages to developing a portfolio. When creating a portfolio, students have a tendency to create a binder full of random collections of their work. Developing an organized and purposeful portfolio can be difficult. Rather than the student throwing together as many pieces of work as possible, a student should have an overall goal for the portfolio. Unfortunately, this can be very time consuming. To have the best outcome from a portfolio a student should reflect on the work done as a whole.

Costs can deter many students from developing a portfolio. An average portfolio can cost $50 and upwards. A cheaper and more popular portfolio today is the electronic portfolio.

There can also be many disadvantages to using an electronic portfolio. Electronic portfolios would have to be saved in different formats to avoid compatibility issues with the potential employers and professors you send it to. No matter how many versions you have it saved under, it will always be necessary to bring along a hard copy.




In a world were digital technology plays such an integral role in business and communication, an electronic portfolio or digital portfolio would make the most sense. E-portfolios are gaining in popularity because they have proven to be an effective and efficient platform to showcase individuals’ abilities, skills and desired outcomes. Additionally, e-portfolios can easily readily display various texts, digital images, and electronic files. There is a number of software available to assist individuals to create e-portfolios without any major difficulty.


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