Portfolio Development

 

Creating a portfolio

Initially, portfolios were used by those – artists, architects, journalists, etc. – who created physical objects. However, the digital world has opened up opportunities for what portfolios can include and has been adopted by many industries. These portfolios are often used to review a potential candidate when applying to graduate schools, internships, or jobs. To know if a portfolio is necessary in your industry, review job descriptions and talk to professionals in the field.

Who Needs a Portfolio & Why?

Initially, portfolios were used by those – artists, architects, journalists, etc. – who created physical objects. However, the digital world has opened up opportunities for what portfolios can include and has been adopted by many industries. These portfolios are often used to review a potential candidate when applying to graduate schools, internships, or jobs. To know if a portfolio is necessary in your industry, review job descriptions and talk to professionals in the field.

Get Curious & Talk to People

By reviewing professional portfolios in your particular industry, you can gain further understanding as to what companies are looking for. Connect with students, faculty, alumni, and colleagues (using The Meliora Collective or LinkedIn) to see if they have portfolios or can make recommendations of great examples. When exploring portfolios, it’s important to recognize that these can be very individualized – differing in layout, design, focus, and work samples. To help you assess these portfolios, here are some criteria and questions to ask yourself:

Building Your Portfolio – Tell Your Story

Now that you’ve explored industry portfolios, it’s time to build your own! Keep the criteria above in mind as you continue to gather materials, write language, and tell your professional story.

Think broadly about the jobs you are interested in. What types of skills are required and what samples would best demonstrate these abilities? If you have varying career interests, you can create one portfolio with different sections that cater to these different roles. Gather samples of your own work that would be relevant. This could include sound clips for audio music engineers, campaigns for marketers, app layouts for UX designers, lesson plans for educators, sample coding for software developers, stills for photographers, published papers for researchers and more. These examples do not have to come from work experiences, but could be built during class projects, internships, freelance work or student clubs!

When you’ve collected these samples, write brief descriptions to provide context for each (What is this sample of? What was it for? What was your role in its creation? Were there any interesting outcomes?). In addition, provide a brief biography about yourself (What’s your story? What experiences do you have? What job opportunities and industries are you interested in? What are some future goals?).

Once your materials are set, build your portfolio on your selected platform. Certain platforms are better suited to particular needs (i.e. if you need to house video or audio files, you will need a location that has large amounts of storage). Explore the following platforms to get started – Wix, WordPress, Weebly, Carbonmade, Squarespace and GoogleSites. Of course, when building, keep in mind the criteria above to ensure the best portfolio possible.

Receive Feedback

When you’ve created a solid draft, it’s always a good idea to receive feedback from others. Whether they are colleagues, professionals in the field, or a Greene Center Advisor, they can provide outside insight and perspective. Think about how you can use this feedback to tell your story even better!

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Resources and Tools

Tell Your Story

Storytelling: The art of communicating your inspirations, most meaningful experiences, competencies & accomplishments to an audience.

Part …

By reviewing professional portfolios in your particular industry, you can gain further understanding as to what companies are looking for. …

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