Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Power-Up your Resume

Job planning portfolios are like resumes on steroids. They are work related collections you put collectively to show your abilities, expertise and accomplishments. Job planning portfolios are particularly useful in drafting your resume and can be used as a marketing tool because they are solid evidence of your achievements.

Usually career planning portfolios have been used by creative artists, actors and photographers. But they can also be used by journalists, business people and anyone who can point to a record of accomplishments. Accomplishments can come from anywhere and do not have to be job related. Volunteer work can also be highlighted. Career planning portfolios have become so important to modern job applicants that many high schools and colleges require students to accumulate portfolios as a requirement for graduation.

What can career planning portfolios do for you?

• Exhibit what you have accomplished in previous jobs or assignments, or even as a volunteer.
• Showcase your skills and abilities.
• Give you extra confidence and serve as a reminder as you prepare for an interview.
• And the number one reason that many cite is to use it as a draft or starting point to putting together their resume.

What should be included in career planning portfolios? Of course, this depends on what skills, abilities and accomplishments you want to bring to the potential employer’s attention. Here are some ideas:

  1. Educational transcripts
  2. All diplomas, degrees and certificates
  3. Letters of recommendation
  4. Awards, bonuses and certificates of merit
  5. Letters of commendation, letters of thanks (It’s a good idea while on the job to keep an file. Notes, emails, letters that reflect favorably on your abilities should all go into the file. Attach explanations as appropriate)
  6. Newspaper clippings, pictures or magazine articles about your achievements
  7. Professional licenses, registrations and certificates
  8. Photographs
  9. Work performance records and job evaluations
  10. Programs and agendas from conventions or conferences you helped organize
  11. And Work samples.

When you are assembling your career planning portfolio, you should keep in mind that portfolios must be flexible, and can be customized to suit the interview or employment situation. There are many options for wrapping. Some use photo albums or binders. Others prefer accordion folders. Some portfolios can be stored on disc. If you do use a CD, take your own laptop to the interview and be sure the battery is charged.

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