What is a Portfolio?

What is a Portfolio?

The word portfolio is a combination of the Latin words portray for carry and folium for sheet. The term is used in very different areas, but it means the collection of objects of a certain type that are combined and stored in a real folder or a digital folder.

A portfolio can be created for different purposes. Depending on the purpose of the portfolio, there are subtle differences that you should be aware of. The most important things are clarity and quality.

Importance of Portfolio

A portfolio can serve different purposes. For example, a portfolio can record the learning process, illuminate your career, showcase your artistic skills, or calculate finances.

In some cases, portfolios need to be created for applications. This can be, for example, when applying for a study place. But portfolios must also be submitted when applying for a creative job.

A portfolio can be a folder that collects all meaningful materials on a topic. This folder can be both printed and digital. It is often compared to a shop window in which only what is relevant for the respective subject is exhibited.

For example, if it is a learning portfolio, the learning development, and the skills acquired are recorded.

Basically, it is then about reflecting on one's activity or learning progress. The selection of the chosen materials should be made in a logical order and it should be possible to justify them.

When applying for a job in the advertising industry, as a designer or photographer at a certain company or agency, all relevant work and activities including curriculum vitae and goals must be recorded in the portfolio.

Make sure that you provide the individual objects or pictures with a caption or signature. These should contextualize the images of your work, i.e. provide information about the creation process or the purpose …… . This is not just about the final results of your work steps, but about the process itself. You can document the various stages of your work in chronological order and display them in a photo gallery. This could be designed as follows, for example, Photo of a mind map that you created in advance; Photos of project sketches, notes, and your workplace or photos of collages that you have created for inspiration. The network offers numerous good templates for such a portfolio, for example with Google Docs, but you should only use them as a suggestion: Individual design and layout of your portfolio is a must!

You should definitely include the following documents and materials in a portfolio: title page, table of contents, curriculum vitae, introduction, working out the focus on the basis of the materials, resume, possibly a bibliography, etc. Depending on the aim of the portfolio, different materials belong inside.

The portfolio is a valuable addition to the usual application documents, especially for creative professionals. Here you can show interested parties a selection of your work results that you have selected yourself and find best. Especially if you find it difficult to write about yourself in your cover letter and resume, you can simply let the pictures speak for you and therefore for you. A good portfolio is also great for being embedded in your social media accounts. On the job platform XING, you can even do this directly on your homepage and thus offer people who notice you directly appealing information about your work. Yes, creating a good and appealing portfolio takes time, concentration, and care - but you can show your potential employer through a well-thought-out portfolio that exactly these qualities apply to you!

Does it fit or not?

HR managers ask themselves this question with every single application - and they can find their answer in seconds using the portfolio. Software often even takes on this crucial pre-selection process, in which around half of the applicants are screened out. The perfectly fitting portfolio is much more than the cover letter your entry ticket to the shortlist of candidates and ultimately to the job. This offers no space for flowery formulations and imaginative design. Only facts count here. Use the tips and examples in this text to learn more about how to let the facts speak for you on your portfolio.