Internship and Job Resources
A portfolio is an extension of a CV organised as a document to showcase your work samples, projects undertaken, and accomplishments as a demonstration of your skills. It can also contain awards and recognitions, feedback and testimonials on your work, and brief notes on the project background, project owners and collaborators where necessary. Some portfolios have embedded in them CVs of the portfolio owner while others are only a collection of projects undertaken.
A growing practice is to include the weblink and QR code (of the weblink) to your portfolio on your CV or cover letter – especially when the employer, funder or collaborator is highly interested in your project experience. There are specialised portfolios such as Behance for designers, Github for programmers, and SoundCloud for musicians. The best portfolios are a collection of your work made publicly available.
Here is a list of things that makes up a professional portfolio in no particular order:
- Biographical information.
This section is a great spot to show off your personality and build a relationship with clients or potential employers. Talk about your professional background, experience, and successes while also including a few details from your personal life. It’s not necessary to include your entire life narrative in your bio, but a few things that give potential clients a glimpse of who you are will be wonderful.
- Skills and Abilities.
What distinguishes you from other candidates for employment is your skill set – what you can do. Include any technical or hard skills relevant to your work, but you should also think about emphasizing your soft skills. For instance, if you’re a web developer, it goes without saying that you should mention your expertise in web development or particular programming languages.
- Work samples.
Showcasing your best works or projects is an excellent way of proofing your skills and how you can bring value to your clients or employers. You may include samples that demonstrate a variety of your skills whenever possible. The samples could be in the form of projects, articles, reports, brochures, or presentations, depending on the sector of the economy you work in.
- Education/Certifications/Professional Development.
Add your educational qualifications and professional certifications you have acquired over the years – this will further prove your credibility and competence. Also, mention any professional training you have received that is relevant to the position you’re applying for or your career paths, such as webinars, workshops, seminars, or other events. Adding professional development show employers that you’re interested in learning and enthusiastic about your career.
- Curate your portfolio materials
Curate all necessary information and materials you’ll need for your portfolio as written in the essentials of a portfolio section. These include your biography/professional summary, skills and abilities, work samples, educational/professional certifications, professional developments, high-quality pictures, links to your social pages, contact information, etc.
- Select the tool to use
There are a number of tools you can use to create your portfolio, and the steps or guidelines to creating one vary across those platforms. You can use Microsoft Powerpoint, Apple Keynote and other presentation applications. You can also use Canva, Photoshop, Coreldraw and other design applications. These tools can help you to create a print or PDF version of your portfolio. You can also use several online platforms for creating e-portfolios that are accessible on the internet. Most sites have a ready-made template you can use and edit to your taste to make your portfolio stand out.
- Make your Portfolio visually appealing
Ensure you select a design template that will appeal to your audience (clients or employers). It entails selecting a good, friendly and interactive design. Ensure the contents are well-arranged – sort all your information into categories and put them in a precise, easy-to-follow sequence.
Here are some tools or platforms to build your portfolio:
Microsoft PowerPoint, Apple Keynote, Photoshop, CorelDraw and Canva. It is recommended that you create a PDF version of your portfolio and make them available online so that you can also share the link.
For online portfolio creation, you can use: Google Sites, FolioTek, FolioSpaces, Weebly, OPResume, Wix, Behance (Designers) and GitHub (for programmers).
You can download this template for general use.
For specialised portfolios, you can visit the following links:
Here is a list of questions to assess the readiness of your project portfolio:
- Is the design and layout, and table of contents properly done?
- Is the outline describing the entire collection and its sections properly articulated?
- Is the list of skills and capabilities (Resume) included?
- Is the introduction to each sample concise, focused and clear?
- Is the creation of each project properly stated (e.g., project description, inspiration, programs/software used, credits etc.)
- Does it contain your best work?
- Does the portfolio pop, is it aesthetically pleasing?
- Does it Include your identifying information and contact details on every page?