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What Are 5 Things A Great Portfolio Includes

In an ever-demanding job market, having a portfolio of experience, skills and talent is invaluable. A portfolio, should it be in the professional or creative arena, is a must-have tool that allows you to showcase yourself – your knowledge and your talents.

Among the many portfolios out there, some of them stand apart – great portfolios – distinguished by the very elements that have been included in them. In this article, we will look at the 5 things a great portfolio includes.

1. Application

A great portfolio should demonstrate an application of knowledge. This means that whatever is included in the portfolio, whether it is images, writing samples, or other media, should demonstrate the skilled application of knowledge.

Telling a potential employer that you are knowledgeable about a subject is not enough, you must prove it. A great portfolio will include pieces that show that the skills you possess are applied through research, reporting or analysis. To truly stand apart from the competition, you must demonstrate the ability of your knowledge to solve a problem or create an opportunity.

2. Personalization

A great portfolio should include items that are personally tailored for the target audience or job role. In many cases, this means tailoring a portfolio so that the content and/or design specifically resonates with the position or type of job one is applying for. When creating a portfolio, taking advantage of the current resources available, such as design templates, can be a good way to quickly customize the portfolio on the fly.

3. Depth

A great portfolio must be substantial and comprehensive. This means that the portfolio must include items that are longer form, detailed explanations and descriptions. The portfolio must include items that accurately explain your experience and skills, as it should allow for someone to understand you and your capabilities.

By including explanations and descriptions of the items in the portfolio, a reader is better able to evaluate its contents and the value of your talents.

4. Variety

A great portfolio needs to include a diverse array of items. This means that not only should the items be comprehensive but they should also include a wide range of materials. For instance, including photos, essays, technical drawings, musical pieces, web designs and/or other creative work are all important elements to include in a well rounded portfolio.

By including a variety of items, it allows the reader to have a full understanding of the range of your interests and proficiencies.

5. Description

A great portfolio must include a concise and well thought out description of each item. A good description of an item should include a title and/or other keywords that quickly allow someone to identify what the item is and what it is about. When it comes to describing the item and its contents, it should be long-form and detailed.

While including keywords is important, it should be used to facilitate the reader’s understanding of the item and not manipulate their opinion or mislead them.


A great portfolio needs to be presentable, hinting at the range of your abilities while also being specific and tangible. It should give observers a feeling of the experience, skills and talents you have acquired through time and effort. Portfolios allow you to stand apart from the competition and a great portfolio should be comprehensive and include application, personalization, depth, description and a variety of materials.

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