Building a Student Portfolio

What kinds of things help to build a good portfolio?

Skills: Things learned from school, projects, work or other trade skills (typing, programming, writing, construction, music, etc.)

Writing/Marketing Skills and Advertising: Creating flyers, assisting with advertising, writing business plans or presentations, using computer applications to create spreadsheets and documents. Using social media to reach audiences.

Team Leadership: Being part of a group; heading up and developing projects and organizing or leading service projects; organizing events, summer programs, etc.

Shadowing: Doctors, Lawyers, Veterinarians, Business Owners, Leaders in any industry.

Volunteering/Internships/Service: Volunteering at local businesses; in science labs; with teachers, doctors, lawyers or veterinarians; interning at local theaters; volunteering at zoos, aquariums and stables; interning or volunteering with political organizations; assisting with special ed programs or early education programs; assisting at summer camps, pools, sports programs, etc.

Fundraising/Organizing Events: Calling for fundraising, finding entertainment, catering and speakers for events, etc.

Design Skills: Visual displays for businesses, posters or advertisements created, etc. Keep copies of all art, designs and photography, and take pictures of anything that you create or build. Take pictures of groups and projects that you are involved with.

Technical Skills: Keep a list of blogs and websites that you have created, programs that you are familiar with or have written yourself; graphic design, art or photography that you have created.

*Be careful with online content. The first things that businesses and potential employers do before hiring you is Google you. Make sure that your online content represents you in a good light. Keep your privacy settings high on social media and never post inappropriate or sensitive content or pictures online that may be used or seen by others in a negative way. Keep your messages to the world positive and uplifting. Always consider that the college recruiter or potential employer may see anything that you post online.

Building a portfolio on LinkedIn: Utilize this tool to build your resume, keep track of your skills and jobs. List all awards, honors, contests participated in, courses that you have taken/are taking, accomplishments in any arena, languages learned, clubs joined, shadowing experiences, examples of your visual designs, etc. Get teachers, employees or advisers to leave you good feedback on LinkedIn. Use it to build up a network for future jobs. List all performances, performance groups and venues that you have been involved with.

Twitter: It can be used for social networking or professional networking. If you read online blogs or articles that are related to your interests, skillsets, politics, news, etc, tweet those articles. You will build followers, have specific hashtags associated with your name, and it helps to establish yourself as a knowledgeable person.

Blogging: If you like writing, photography or connecting with others, having a blog about your passions or interests helps to develop your online presence. Writing is an essential skill for marketing. It also creates another source for potential employers and educational institutions to look at.

Travel and Languages: We are fast becoming a global economy, and many businesses and industries are multi-national. Being knowledgeable of other cultures and learning other languages is valuable both in work and school. Be sure to list all travel, languages learned and intercultural experiences in your resume and portfolio.

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