How to create a standout professional portfolio

A portfolio is a personalized collection of materials that demonstrate your talents. It showcases your professional development, skills within your field and accomplishments in the industry. Nowadays, portfolios are just as important as resumes and cover letters when applying for a job.

Gathering material is one of the most challenging aspects of assembling a good hardcopy or online portfolio. (I know it is for me at least.) The best advice in this regard is to hang on to everything that you work on during class, extracurricular activities, internships and jobs; you can decide later what to include.

"Remember to keep editable versions of the documents so

you can make adjustments

later if needed."

Based on research and personal experience, I find that the best items to place in your portfolio include:

  • Evidence of specific skills, such as leadership and public speaking.

  • Samples from participation in professional organizations, committees and work teams.

  • Work samples produced during internships or professional work (such as media writing, blogging, social media campaigns and design work done on Adobe Creative Cloud).

  • Certifications and letters of reference.

Be sure that your portfolio is:

  • Organized and free of typos.

  • Tailored to your audience.

  • Clearly labeled with your name, address, phone number and email.

  • Composed of a mix of your skills and talents.

In the past, hardcopy portfolios were the standard expectation. Now, employers also expect online portfolios. Learn more on how to create a professional online portfolio.


Currently a senior marketing major at Drake University, Samantha has worked on research and content creation for social media outlets for Capture Marketing clients. Samantha also works on campaigns focused around Hispanic outreach and engagement.

#marketing #digital #internship #professional #business #portfolio #experience

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