Discussion: Strategies for Academic Portfolios

Discussion: Strategies for Academic Portfolios

Strategies for academic portfolios

An academic portfolio is a marketing tool that allows individuals to present themselves as competent persons with the right complement of skills and knowledge. In fact, it is a folder that presents the individual as a unique brand based on past activities and practical experiences, offering proof of being the right person based on past activities and experiences while demonstrating the qualities being sought. As such, it helps in maximizing career opportunities (Smith, 2011).

There are two distinct strategies that students can apply for including academic activities and accomplishments into their professional portfolios. The first strategy is to organize the portfolio based on the skills that the job market expects or requires. This is grounded on the awareness that each job will require a particular complement of skills. This implies that the student only needs to focus on presenting the skills that are relevant to the job or position, rather than presenting all the skills, some of which may be irrelevant or even detrimental to being considered for the job. It highlights the relevant learning activities that the individual has undertaken and how the learning informed and influenced professional practice as reflected in the acquired skills, projects and practice. In addition, it presents the individual as an organized, professional and creative person. This strategy involves applying a three-step approach. The first step is to determine the skills that are required for the program or position that the individual is interviewing for. The second step is to select the professional materials and documents that act as proof that the individual has the required skills. The final step is to group the information into sections and label the sections to ease efforts by persons reviewing the information to find the required information (Casey & Egan, 2010). Discussion: Strategies for Academic Portfolios


 The second strategy is to prepare an electronic portfolio rather than a printed version. It involves creating an online presentation of professional experiences and academic achievements. It recognizes the fact that although traditional paper-based portfolios are still in use, ICT advances and the fast paced technological growth are phasing these paper-based systems out and replacing them with electronic portfolios. Given this awareness, it is only logical for individuals to anticipate the change and prepare electronic portfolios to show initiative. This strategy allows for the development of a more comprehensive portfolio with additional documentation that may not be apparent at first glance. It enables the individual to present a simple portfolio front page along with active links to proofs of academic activities and accomplishments. The links to the proofs could be offered in the form of online materials (such as animations and graphics), professional networking websites, school program website, e-mail addresses, video clips of practical activities, and audio clips. Besides that, this strategy allows the individual to create a digital identity and leave a footprint that demonstrates technical experiences and skills, offering an online presence and links to any other relevant discoverable online content. In addition, it allows the individual to create a positive digital identify that articulates professional experiences and goals while highlighting the unique set of marketable achievements and skills, as well as linking the individual to other individuals with the same professional interests who may offer links to new opportunities (Hannah’s & Oliyo, 2017).


Casey, D. & Egan, D. (2010). The use of professional portfolios for career enhancement. British Journal of Nursing, 15(11), 547–552. https://doi.org/10.12968/bjcn.2010.15.11.79625

Hannans, J. & Olivo, Y. (2017). Craft a positive nursing digital identity with an ePortfolio. American Nurse Today, 12(11), 48–49.

Smith, L. S. (2011). Showcase your talents with a career portfolio. Nursing, 41(7), 54–56. Discussion: Strategies for Academic Portfolios


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