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One Week, 10-Minute-a-Day Career Portfolio Plan

Published: April 29, 2020
 

No matter what career you pursue, a portfolio is a great tool to highlight your work and show potential employers why you’ll be an asset to their organization. But building one can sound like an intimidating and time-consuming process.

Not with our one week, 10-minute- a-day, portfolio plan. Got some free time? Get started now!

Day 1

Make Your List

Grab a pencil and sheet of paper or open notes on your phone and make a list of the components you’ll need to include in your portfolio. You’ll need a current resume and cover letter, but what else?

  • Letters of Recommendation: These show potential employers that you will be a valuable employee—because you already have been! If you don’t have any, jot down the names of former employers, coworkers, mentors, and teachers that might be willing to write one for you. Who can speak to your strengths as a worker or a student, whether it’s about your teamwork, punctuality, or attention to detail? Who can write about your strong character?
  • Performance Reviews: If you don’t have a letter of recommendation, you can use a positive performance review. This shows that you do well on the job.
  • Education and Certifications: Include all relevant education, including your high school diploma and any college courses you might have taken. Include special licenses or certifications in areas like healthcare, IT or computer science, or anything else relevant to your career field.
  • Examples of Your Work: This gives potential employers a chance to see the quality of your work. If you’re a welder, show projects you’ve worked on; you can even create a video of you in action. Work in Computer Aided Design? Pull the best examples of plans you’ve created. But what if you work in healthcare? You can’t exactly bring in a patient! No, but if you’ve ever received a thank you note from a patient or their family members, that’s just as good.

Day 2

Make Contact

Now that you know what you need, begin to pull it together. Reach out to those people who might be willing to write you letters of recommendation. Send emails or make phone calls. Be sure to explain the kind of job you hope to get and what skills you think would be best to highlight.

Day 3

Update and Edit Your Resume

Review your resume and add recent jobs and responsibilities. Make sure to match the language you use in your resume to the kind used in postings for the jobs you want. For example, if you’re a great problem solver, but employers want people with critical thinking skills, it’s the same thing! Call it what they do. And even if your past employment isn’t an exact match to your future career, look for transferrable skills and highlight those on your resume.

Day 4

Create a Cover Letter Template

Each and every cover letter you write will need to be a good fit to the individual job you seek. But you can get yours ready to go with three easy sections:

  1. Introduction: State the position for which you’re applying and then write something that shows you’ve done your homework. I’ve always admired your company. I’ve used your products for as long as I can remember.
  2. Experience: Don’t reiterate what’s on your resume but do highlight the experience you have that’s a good match to the job. This section could remain practically unchanged from letter to letter, but it can also be a good chance to pull language directly from the job posting.
  3. Fit to the Job: Why are you uniquely qualified for this position? Explain how you will be an asset to the organization and make sure the recruiter knows that you want the job.

Day 5

Make Copies

With the exception of your cover letter, make copies of all the components of your portfolio. For items like diplomas, licenses, certificates, and letters of recommendation, it’s a good idea to make several copies. For your resume, which you will want to continually update, only make a few copies.

Day 6

Assemble Your Portfolio

Once you have all the components for your portfolio, it’s time to build it. Use a new or gently used binder and some dividers. Put everything in order and put it all together. Your resume and cover letter should come first. If you have strong work examples, add those next. Or, if you have several certifications, add those near the front. There’s no wrong way to build a portfolio—the point is to show what you’re capable of.

In this digital age, more and more employers are asking for online portfolios, particularly those in technology and computer-related fields. You can build your online portfolio using the same steps outlined above. When it’s time for assembly, you can register for a free website on WordPress to set up your own personal portfolio page or use a tool like About.me and create a free listing.

Day 7

Look for Portfolio Matches

Now that you have a great portfolio, take ten minutes a day, every day to see what jobs are out there that match the skills you have!

 

If you’re ready to enhance your skills and your portfolio with career training in Health Care, Information Technology, or Business, contact Charter College today. Our faculty and staff are dedicated to your success because when you succeed, we succeed. Call 888-200-9946 or fill out the form to learn more.