Friday, March 14, 2008

The Career Portfolio

I've been meaning to write an article on Career Portfolios for Resume Writers' Digest for a long time now ... but just haven't gotten around to it. (If you'd like to write one and submit it, I'd love it!)

A few months ago, I wrote about a presentation that Phyllis Shabad gave on developing career portfolios at the National Resume Writers' Association conference in 1999 in New Orleans that I think was the best information I've ever heard on the subject.

She called a career portfolio a "secret marketing tool" that will allow you to control 50% of questions in an interview.

I wanted to share some more information -- from my original notes -- about developing the portfolio. What can be in your client's portfolio? Here are some examples:
  • The client's resume (of course!) with yellow highlight on key accomplishments related to the job being sought
  • Reports and graphs
  • Thank yous and testimonials
  • Company research (competitive information, articles, stock information)
  • Publications
  • Research
  • Projects
  • Five-Year Plan
  • Accomplishments
  • Credentials (certificates, awards, diplomas)
  • Press Clippings
How do you create the portfolio? Start with a 1" binder, page protectors, and section dividers. It should include no more than 25-30 pages of documentation. Create themes for no more than five main sections. Organize the information. Make copies -- don't include any originals. Put two copies of each item in the page protector, so you can give one copy to the interviewer.

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