What is a Professional Portfolio

The UPEI Career and Summer Job Fair is running today, so we thought it’d be a great day to talk about building a professional portfolio!

A professional portfolio is a presentation of your artifacts and reflections that you’ve collected and organized to demonstrate your relevant qualifications. It’s a great way to provide concrete examples of your skills and experiences.

An artifact is a piece of your work, it might be an award you’ve won, it might be a creative work you’ve made, or even a class assignment you’re proud of. In your portfolio you present your artifacts and reflect on them, why should the employer be interested in this artifact? What lessons have you learned from it, what tools did you use, what skills are on display?

For a professional portfolio you should start with the job posting. Every professional portfolio should be tailored to each job posting as different employers will be emphasizing different qualifications and will use different language. Ask yourself what skills and experiences are the employer looking for? You can take these qualifications and use them to layout your sections in your portfolio and then begin selecting and sorting your artifacts.

When writing your reflections, or providing context to your artifacts, remember that the audience for your professional portfolio is the employer. Make sure that you’re writing in the professional style that you would use for your cover letter, and pay attention to the language used in the job posting. While this is an opportunity to flesh out your fit for the role, make sure to be concise.

The process of building your professional portfolio is also a great exercise for you. For example, your professional portfolio is an excellent study tool for your interview. As you select your best artifacts for the application, you’re helping find specific examples of your qualifications that you can discuss confidently in an interview.

After you’ve finished your portfolio, always get someone else to review it before you send it to the employer.

If you have any questions about building your professional portfolios, feel free to contact careerservices@upei.ca, if you’re a faculty member looking to bring professional portfolios into your courses contact elearning@upei.ca