If you’ve been following our blog recently you would know we’re big fans of a portfolio of work. It makes sense since each and every person who completes recognition of prior learning (RPL) for certification needs to build a portfolio.
We talk more about what evidence you can use for RPL here. It takes time and energy to pull together all the pieces you need for your portfolio for RPL, so why not use it to create a portfolio of work that will go beyond certification and help you in the future?
Here’s a quick how to on creating a great portfolio that will support your career:
1. Collect your work samples and supplementary evidence
During the RPL process you’ll need to collect all the evidence of your work, skills and knowledge. This means you’ll already have a bunch of documents, photos, videos, references, testimonials, work samples, your resume and other key elements for any good portfolio.
If you’re not yet ready for RPL you can start pulling your portfolio together by collecting these bits and pieces in preparation.
2. Organise the materials
Whether it’s for RPL or future planning for your career it’s essential the portfolio is easy to read, navigate and understand.
Start by organising all the materials into categories that will make sense for your industry. Think about who will be most likely to look at your portfolio and what will be most important.
As a general rule you can start by grouping your bio, resume or work history and testimonials together.
Then group your work samples together. There are two common ways to go about this:
1. Group specific skill sets or work pieces together - i.e. if you’re a tradie group the different areas of construction or work together, if you’re in marketing keep all the copy in one place and videos in another
2. Group project-specific samples together - highlight projects as case studies that illustrate how your different skills are used together for a project
3. Customise your portfolio
How you actually present your portfolio is completely up to you, but one of the best ways is to create a simple website or a digital PDF file. There are many great online tools that can help you create an easy website such as Wix and Squarespace. If your portfolio will be used a lot it might be worth investing in a web designer to do it for you to save you time.
If it’s not likely to be used much you can create great visually appealing documents online. Again if you’re not tech savvy or are pushed for time you can get good design help for a little investment - the money and results will be worth it!
Top tips for creating the actual portfolio:
- Make sure it’s easy to update. If you’re investing in help make sure you let them know you’ll need to update it so keep it simple. Usually once the main pieces are done it’s not too difficult to go in and update yourself.
- Keep it updated: following on from the above point - make sure you go in and update the portfolio from time to time.
- Customise it for each job / reader: if you’re using a document for job applications rather than a website, make sure you tweak it slightly for each application to showcase the skills they are looking for.
Have a portfolio already and want to put it to good use? Talk to our team to start your RPL journey.