How to Use Your Personal Brand to Compile a Printed Portfolio

By Susan Chritton

Why not infuse your portfolio with your personal brand? A portfolio is a collection of documents that validate your accomplishments and professional achievements when you go on a job interview (or when you meet with a new client).

This tool helps you remember all that you have done in your past to build your personal brand. Portfolios provide evidence of your credibility. Having possession of your documents not only provides proof of your work to use as a marketing tool but gives you the confidence to speak to your brand.

Your portfolio may be compiled in a section of your file cabinet, scanned into an electronic file on your computer, or put into a file box. These days, portfolios are often saved to online repositories — such as Behance.net — that provide electronic access to all these documents. Follow the steps at Wikihow to create your own portfolio.

But even as society moves away from paper and toward the computing cloud, it’s a good idea to create a portfolio binder that contains paper copies of documents that demonstrate who you are.

Sharing such a binder with a prospective employer or new client is an impressive way to highlight and prove that you have done what you have said you could do on your resume. This printed portfolio is especially helpful for people who need to show writing samples or visual representation of their work.

[Credit: Courtesy of Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI]

Credit: Courtesy of Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Here are some things to include in your portfolio:

  • Your branded resume

  • Your branded biography

  • Letters of recommendation, at least one or two of which are current

  • Sample projects

  • Articles that you have written

  • Past business cards

  • Academic degrees

  • Certifications and licenses

  • Employee reviews

  • A list of key successes from your work

  • A list of awards you have received

  • Volunteer service documents

  • A list of professional contributions, such as committees you have chaired or evidence of how you have contributed to your profession

  • Thank-you notes you have received

  • Social networking site profiles

  • Print copies of multimedia presentations you have created