Electronic Career Portfolio Reports Skills, Not Just Jobs

Oftentimes what makes or breaks students’ success in getting a job is their ability to demonstrate that they have obtained knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for the required position throughout their college experience. The standard resume showing work experiences may not necessarily reflect what they are now able to do or how they are able to think critically or strategically.

To keep up with the growing demand of capturing and tracking this experience, Jeff Garis, Jill Lumsden, and the Career Center team at the Florida State University (FSU) developed a Web-based application called Career Portfolio. This career resource enables students to showcase the skills they have developed by allowing them to input information into five experience categories — coursework, memberships and activities, volunteer work, jobs and internships.

This online portfolio serves both the students and the prospective employers. Students can see which skills they have developed so far and which skills they may want to concentrate on in the future. By keeping all of the information centralized, employers can gain access to additional electronic information that is not included on a typical resume or curricula vita and use it to more effectively direct their decision making process.

More than 40,000 students have used the Career Portfolio system since its inception.

It has become part of the academic and student service culture at FSU. In fiscal year 2005, Career Portfolio was licensed to three major colleges — University of California, San Diego, Montclair University and Georgia Technical Institute — and a private  company based in Japan. The invention of the FSU Career Portfolio changed the national landscape regarding how college students prepare for their careers and apply for jobs. The FSU Career Portfolio is recognized nationally as a new leading innovative career service and is contributing to an international trend in the development of ePortfolios.

For more information visit www.career.fsu.edu/portfolio.

This story was originally published in 2007.

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