Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from Building Your Professional Portfolio: Essential Tools for Healthcare Providers. Click here to learn more.
When developing your portfolio, highlight stories of past accomplishments or learning opportunities that can be shared with colleagues or future employers. What is the story you want others to see when they are looking through your portfolio? What do you want them to know about you personally, academically, or professionally? As you continue to learn and mature professionally, it becomes more critical to record your journey, ensuring that your artifacts and reflections are up to date and accurately describe your educational achievements and professional accomplishments.
Your portfolio tangibly illustrates your learning and career paths of successes and challenges for present and future employers, colleagues, and faculty. Showcase your past and present professional experiences and accomplishments across the years. Explore your goals for future-oriented activities and roles. Enlarge your stories through reflective journaling of specific details of events as they occurred in which you had a significant learning experience or impact. What was the outcome? How did this impact or outcome influence your decisions afterward? Did anything change for you? Ask yourself questions and analyze your answers—explore what significance this event may have had for you. As you build your story, list the technical and soft skills, new knowledge, and improved competencies you would like to acquire or enhance.
Your portfolio is a great tool to use during interviews for school or work. Be proud of the work, time, and effort you have put into creating your portfolio. Your artifacts and reflections are the building blocks of a portfolio that speaks with your voice to your target audience. Take a deep breath and jump in!