Military Moves Part 9: Employment Portfolios
I don’t have to tell you it can be challenging moving and having to start your job search over and over. By building and maintaining an employment portfolio, you will be well equipped to enter the job market as soon as (or ideally before) you settle into your next posting.
To be clear, I’m not talking about a presentation binder you share with a prospective employer during an interview. Honestly, most companies and organizations don’t ask for those. (You will know what to bring to a job interview based on your industry, required credentials, and whatever else confirms that you meet the specs of the ad.) I want you to have everything you may need for whatever your career ambitions are. Think of it as a dedicated “catch-all” to pick and choose from to support your candidacy for a new role.
Essentially, you need a huge binder with inside pockets:
These ones from Staples are great:
- they come in various widths (up to 4 inches) and 9 colours,
- have clear front and back “windows” allowing you to insert images of your choice, and
- sport rubber ‘bumpers” on the corners to protect the contents from move to move.
D-rings and internal pockets are featured inside.
Purchase good quality, top loading, 3-hole punched, clear page protectors to drop documents into.
Find a high capacity thumb drive with a clip to hook on the top D-ring.
3 areas to consider when compiling your employment portfolio
I’ll suggest 3 general areas to consider when compiling your employment portfolio. (Remember, we are all unique and not all of these will apply to everyone.)
1. Career Marketing Collateral:
- General résumé
- Formal job descriptions from previous jobs
- Performance reviews / evaluations
- Job-related media exposure (newspaper clippings, printed screenshots of social media mentions)
- Letters of professional recommendation/appreciation (hard copy and email)
- Card of thanks (from customers, supervisors, peers, students, patients, etc.)
- Course surveys/student feedback
- Reference sheet
- PDF printout of LinkedIn profile
- Samples of work (press release, sales chart, customized spreadsheet, org chart, brochure, event program, playbill, infographic, schematic, grant proposal, menu, scoring rubric, book jackets, etc.)
- MPRR and PERs (if you served previously)
- Awards (recognition, performance, military service, etc.)
2. Education & Training:
- Degree / Diploma. Document too big to fit in a page protector or it’s matted and framed? No problem. Order institution-issued stamped proof of graduation through the Registrar’s Office.. They’re 8 ½ x 11 mini versions of the original. Pop your high school diploma (GED) in as well. Include complete and incomplete transcripts. (You never know when you might need them for future use.)
- Professional certificates, licenses, and trade tickets
- Copy of Driver’s Licence, abstract, and proof of insurance
- Internal training (HR software print out, email verification, etc.)
- Practicum / placement / co-op / intern reports and evaluations
- Conferences attended (brochures, speaker hand-outs, CEUs, etc.)
- Bursaries/scholarships notices
- Word processing WPM verification (for administrative candidates)
3. We are all unique. Here’s a list of “other” possible items to add:
- Professional affiliations/memberships
- Speaking engagements
- Personality dimension/communication/personal branding reports (MBTI®, Disc®, Process Communication Model®, True Colors®, Neo Pi-R™, 360°Reach™, etc.)
- Volunteerism acknowledgment
- Final pay stub (print off emailed pay statement) for each role to verify employment and for possible pension tracking later on.
- Pardons (including documentation for pardons in progress)
- Criminal background/vulnerable sector checks
- Name change certificates
Please, back EVERYTHING up in the cloud
AND on a memory stick or external hard drive!
As always, I’m happy to answer any questions. Good luck friends!
Audrey Prenzel has been helping Canadians secure the jobs they want and providing outplacement since 2001.