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San Diego State University

Career Services

Preparing a Portfolio

A portfolio is a portable collection of material that provides graphic evidence of your accomplishments, skills, and abilities — and that documents the scope and quality of your experience and training.

  • Start a master portfolio to collect all professional documentation
  • Prepare an internship portfolio according to faculty assignment
  • Develop a customized portfolio to meet a specific goal, such as a job search

Contents of master portfolio

  • Updated resumé copies
  • List of references
  • Brochures or web page printouts on your employers / internships / professional affiliations / community service sites
  • Complete job descriptions of positions you have held
  • Transcripts / SAT scores
  • Projects from class, internship work or organizational involvement
  • Class papers
  • Examples of skills with computer software (e.g., Excel spreadsheets)
  • Publicity items such as fliers, ads, news clippings
  • Letters, memos, articles
  • Project planning lists
  • Evaluations
  • Letters of recommendation or appreciation
  • Duplicate materials as examples

Customized portfolios can be used for:

  • Providing a competitive edge and visual impact during job interviews
  • Reviewing before interviews for reminders of achievements
  • Applying for graduate school
  • Negotiating raises and promotions
  • Marketing your business

Conducting your job search with a customized portfolio

  • Determine which skills and qualifications you are seeking to demonstrate
  • Prepare a small, customized portfolio with selected items from your master portfolio
  • Focus on items that relate to the position you are seeking
  • Use a quality binder with clear plastic sheet protectors
  • Use outstanding examples, diverse materials, section tabs, and color (if appropriate)
  • Show relevant samples in response to questions if interviewer indicates interest