What is a Career Portfolio

A career portfolio isn’t to be confused with a portfolio career.


The latter a term famously coined by business guru Charles Handy in the 1990s, to describe a new way of working.  Having a Portfolio Career was more than being a freelancer, it suggested that you are expected to be a master of several different, if perhaps interconnected, lines of work at the same time.

As a fresh graduate, this concept may seem appealing but for the time being, let’s focus on the former, to get you on that first career rung. So what is a Career Portfolio?  It is still a relatively new concept in the UK and not widely used in Graduate Recruitment.  However, it could be a growing trend.  It is therefore useful to know what it is all about.

At Interview Advantage we can help you build your personal brand and a Career Portfolio is a good starting point.  What your portfolio will include will be dependent on the company and the position for which you are applying. In the competitive world of graduate recruitment, employers want proof that you can do the job. They want examples of what you are capable of doing. This is what a career portfolio is all about.

A career portfolio is a visual presentation of all your achievements. A CV will list your experience and qualifications but a career portfolio will give proof of what you have done. A career portfolio may be on paper or on a website. You may even in some cases give a USB stick. It will all depend on the position and company. Never give loose papers or a stack of stapled /paper-clipped sheets, always put in a folder or binder that will be easy to navigate. It is a good idea to use tabs and consistent headings so sections are easy to find and reference.

There should not be endless pages, it should be succinct and engaging. It may include:

  • a CV
  • table of contents
  • letter of recommendation or references
  • images or videos of you at work and explanations of what skill you are demonstrating
  • actual work or reports you may have done
  • certificates or licenses
  • a philosophy of work or ethic
  • class projects
  • transcripts
  • contact details, numbers email or personal website address

The most important thing you can do is make it relevant. An interview coach can help you decide what to leave in or take out.