Thursday, December 3, 2009

Top 9 Elements for Your Career Portfolio

Do you have the right tools and know-how to manage your Career Portfolio? There are as many different tips, words of wisdom and techniques recommended for creating a resume and establishing an effective personal brand as there are candidates on the market. How will you separate yourself from the masses? Start by promoting your own personal brand effectively by managing your career portfolio.

Your full portfolio should include:

1. Your Executive Summary or Bio– Forget an “objective” section. That is nothing more than saying where you hope to be in a few years or what kind of opportunity you are seeking, which are basically obvious. Instead, draft a summary of who you are as an expert (we are all experts in our own way and the masters of our own experiences). This summary is basically your personal “mission statement” of who you are what you are known for and give the reader an idea of where you can fit in best in the organization. Describe your qualities and achievements which make you stand out, including your Unique Selling Proposition. Make sure to include special awards, accommodations and recognitions you have received.

2. Traditional Functional / Chronological Resume – It’s important you always keep your resume up to date, NOT just when you are seeking a new role. This is a living, breathing billboard of your entire career and demonstrates the value-add you offer a potential employer.

3. Electronic Resume or Personal Website
– There are numerous Free sites available that help you create a graphically stunning and eye catching resume that not only helps enhance your online image, but creates and easy and professional way to disseminate your experience to larger audiences.

4. Detailed Account of Your Marketable Skills, Abilities and Accomplishments
– Create a more comprehensive list than is documented in your resume and should highlight and demonstrate all the major achievements in your career to date. Remember to concentrate on how you achieved what you achieved and be specific about the benefits that your accomplishments realized for your employer.

5. Deliverables and Samples of Work – Most people do not see their job function or career field as having viable work products or deliverables that can easily or visually be represented to a potential employer. This is a common misconception, in fact, every role and career field has tangible and demonstrative proof of your abilities and accomplishments. Pull together examples and lists of reports, white papers, business cases, projects summaries, return-on-investment case studies and customer testimonials that you have produced. These are great examples of your individual contribution, written communication and asset to your business.

6. Awards, Honors and Accolades – Gather any certificates, awards, trophies, contests one, notable achievements or honors that you have received. If any of these awards have garnered any media, press or additional business make sure you denote the added marketing significance you have earned. This significantly enhances your credibility as an expert and solidifies other claims you make on your resume and executive summary.

7. Volunteer and Community Activism Work
- Part of being a successful leader and business driver in any industry or career field is offering and applying yourself and experience to volunteer, not-for-profit and community work. It demonstrates to a potential employer that you are not one-dimensional and are just looking for a job but to give back to the employing organization as well. If you are not currently performing any volunteer or community work, go out and find some groups to get involved with now!

8.Testimonials and References
– Create a “brag book” of recommendations, testimonials, performance appraisals, promotions and letters of accommodations. Many people feel this is too aggressive, narcissistic or cocky to actually create a book of acknowledgement. Is it “cocky” for an organization to create marketing brochures and billboards highlighting awards and trophies they have won? Of course not! You are promoting brand “You”, do not be shy about communicating that to the marketplace!

9. Professional Development & Educational Activities
– Do not forget to include details of training courses, sessions, leadership activities, workshops and even college or graduate studies you have completed. Underscore the professional organizations of which you are a member and details of any of their activities in which you have played a key role.