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Center For Academic Excellence

CAE | Portfolio

A portfolio is a collection of pertinent materials that reflects your experience and expertise, the qualifications that make you uniquely suited to the position you aspire to.

Purpose: A rhetorical device, “one of the available means of persuasion,” to convince someone that you are capable, competent, ideal person to be hired for a particular job.

Audience: The first step in assembling a portfolio is an analysis of your audience, similar to an analysis that a lawyer or research company does of a potential juror. You must organize and collect material that will appeal to a general audience in your field, but then as the job search becomes specific, choose those items that reflect the qualifications of the specific position for which you are applying.

Style: The choices of the mode and the medium in addition to the several pieces that you select in assembling the portfolio reveal much about you. The style reflects your personal savvy, your unique interpretation and understanding of your profession and the particular position you seek.

Delivery: The way in which you package and present the material is critical to your being hired. Again it is a personal reflection of your professionalism, and it is a permanent record.

Possible documents to include:

  1. Resume
  2. Personal statement, which includes career goals
  3. Publications or articles submitted for publications
  4. Presentations
  5. Papers written for classes, particularly papers that reflect an accumulation of knowledge such as a senior thesis
  6. Honors or recognition
  7. Documents that reflect some aspect of work experience either while you were in school or earlier

Qualities to reflect:

  1. Educational expertise
  2. Professionalism
  3. Critical thinking
  4. Communication skills
  5. Correct use of language
  6. Creativity
  7. Independence as well as the ability to work with a team
  8. Personality

Developed by
Jennie Ariail, Ph.D. - Director
Tom Waldrep, Ph.D. - Director (retired)

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