Master Career Counselor

Carla Hunter, President of Career Span, Inc. is a Master Career Counselor (MCC) by the National Career Development Association and a Certified Career Coach by the National Board for Certified Counselors. She is an expert in writing resumes, effective job search strategies and interviewing success. Most recently, with over 20 years of navigating the complexity of today's world of work, she published "Finding Your Place in the World of Work", a career interest inventory (2014) and CareerView, an iPad app. As a private practice career counselor and a workforce development consultant, this blog is Carla's trove of ideas, trends, forecasts, and career tips for finding meaningful work.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Business Portfolio: How Important Is It?

A signicant tool to bring to the interview table is a business portfolio. It is an objective tangible display of your skill-set and the results you've accomplished over the span of your profession. I strongly encourage clients to invest the money, time and energy into a business portfolio that harnesses the strength and talent discussed during the interview now shown in a full documented report. Truly, almost any profession can benefit from this display of credentials and accomplishments.

Here are the secrets I tell clients:

Go to Office Max or Staples and purchase a black leather three ring binder ($25 to $30). Nest, purchase clear sheets to place in the binder as well as 20 pound cotton linen paper to make copies of your resume or presentations. Off white or gray is best.

Your portfolio needs to contain the following documents:

1. Table of contents (organize and lay-out the presentation of your work)

2. Resume

3. Letters of recommendation

4. Diplomas

5. Credentials

6. Certificates of completion (trainings, professional development, etc.)

7. Professional feedback ( emails or thank you notes from colleagues, customers, etc.)

8. Samples of your work (brochures, power point presentation, etc.)

9. Achievements and Awards

Take the portfolio with you to the interview. Tell the interviewer to keep the portfolio and you will pick it up in three business days. This way, you also have an opportunity to follow up in person and this feedback session can be a positive catalyst for the next phase.

Once you've developed a business portfolio, keep it current and active. Contents should be removed if dated beyond five years (diplomas and credentials are an exception). If you have a certificate that shows you completed a customer service training in 1999, it needs to be tossed. Customer service today is not like it was then. Show you're in the know with the latest training opportunities.

Make professional copies of your original diplomas, credentials and certifications and insert them in the portfolio for professional posterity.

The benefits? HUGE!

  • A tangible, hands-on product that proves your contribution and professionalism

  • A written tool to reinforce the skills you presented verbally in the interview

  • A confidence booster that can refresh and invigorate your job search

  • An objective reflection of your talent via educational and career accomplishments

Make the effort to accomplish this important task of compilation that speaks volumes of the organization, energy and success you bring to the table.
After all, a business portfolio can be your best reference.

1 comment:

  1. I was searching some detail about creating business portfolio as soon I am going to write an effective portfolio for business, you points are really very helpful, I will keen in mind all. Thanks.