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Portfolios - Everything You Need To Know

Video Script

Hi, John here. In my last set of videos we talked about awards, and everything you needed to know to find and apply for them. This time, we’re going to be looking at a necessary tool for all you high school students for when you either apply for a job, apply to a college or university, or apply for an award. That necessary tool is called a portfolio.

In this video, we’re going to answer three questions: What is a portfolio, how important is a portfolio, and what are the parts of a portfolio. We’re also going to play a little game, that has no educational value whatsoever, but I’m curious to see how observant you are. When we get to the part where I talk about the parts of the portfolio, the camera will go blank for a second. When I come back in the picture, something will be different. Maybe it’ll be something about me, or something on the table. I don’t know – something. If you’re watching carefully enough, you may be able to see what’s different every time I start speaking again.

K, first thing’s first. What is a portfolio? A portfolio is a collection of items about you, that shows people your interests, skills, and experience. I’ll get to what these items are in a moment, but it’s important to keep them in either a binder (show binder), or in a computer folder. Me, I like keeping these documents in both places.

The second question is, how important is a portfolio? The answer is, very important. The documents in a portfolio contain not only important information about you – like I said before, your interests, skills, and experiences – but you may have to include some of these documents in a job application, or an application for college or university, or when you apply for awards. And if they’re all in one convenient place, like a portfolio (show binder) or in computer file folder, you don’t have to worry about going to the trouble of collecting them later.

The final question is, what are the parts of a portfolio? K, for this, you’ll need up to four things:

  • a binder (show binder)
  • a plastic sleeve to keep your documents in, because you don’t want to three-hole punch your documents when it’s better to slip them inside these sleeves, which you can get at a Dollar Store (show sleeve)
  • Some tab dividers, to keep your documents separate (show tab dividers)
  • You could also print off a title page for each individual thing you keep in your binder, with the categories of the documents you’ll be keeping in that section. We’ll talk about those now.

So, what goes in your binder? Remember, after I talk about each thing, I will disappear for a moment. When I come back, something in the picture will be different.

The first thing that goes in your binder is a copy of your most recent audiogram, or hearing report, or vision, or eye report. You get your audiogram from your audiologist, and your eye report from your eye specialist.

Did you see what’s different? Pause the video for a second and think about it.

K, that time I switched my ring from my ring finger to my pinky finger.

The second thing that goes in your binder is your transcript, otherwise known as your grades. The moment you receive your first semester grades, they go in the transcript, or grades section of your portfolio. When you get your second semester grades, you add them to the grades section of your portfolio.

See what was different that time? Pause the video for a second and think about it.

K, that time I unbuttoned the top button of my shirt.

The next thing that goes in your portfolio is your resume. I believe my friend Tracy from New Brunswick is putting together a video on how to write a resume. Or, you can get some help from your guidance counselor.

How are your powers of observation? Pause the video for a second and think about what’s different.

K, that time I put my cross outside my shirt.

The next thing that goes in your portfolio are your letters of reference. References are letters from people who know you and will share positive information about you. For example, when you’re applying to a college or university, or applying for an award, or applying for a job, you will often need a letter from someone you know who is willing to say why you should get into college or university. Or why you should get that award. Or why you should get that job. References are not members of your family or people you live with, so do not ask your mother or father, or aunt or uncle, or grandparents, or brothers or sisters, or boyfriend or girlfriend, to be your reference. You could ask someone you’ve worked for, or done volunteer work for, or maybe a teacher, someone like that. But never a family member, or someone you’re living with.

Pause the video for a second and think about what was different that time.

K, that time I put a pen in my shirt pocket.

The next thing that goes in your portfolio is a letter from a college or university saying they’ve accepted you into their program. I hear you asking, What if I haven’t applied for college or university yet? Well if that’s the case, that’s one less thing that goes in your portfolio. But if you have applied for college or university and you get accepted, you will get a letter saying you’ve been accepted. That goes in your portfolio.

Pause the video for a second and think about what was different this time.

If you said there’s a coffee mug on the table now, you’d be right.

The next thing that goes in your portfolio are any awards you receive. If you apply for and receive an award, put it in the awards section of your portfolio.

Pause the video for a second and think about what was different that time.

If you guessed that the coffee mug has moved to the opposite side of the table, you’d be right.

The next thing that goes in your portfolio is proof of Canadian citizenship or permanent residence with your date of birth.

Pause the video for a second and think about what was different that time.

If you guessed that my ring has moved back to my ring finger, you’d be right.

K, the home stretch. The final thing that should go in your portfolio is a letter written by you about you. You see, when you apply to college or university, or apply for an award, for example, you will sometimes have to write a letter explaining why they should accept you into their college or university, or why you are deserving of a particular award. If you already have such a letter written, you can just change the wording just a little depending on what you’re applying for. But you won’t have to write a brand-new letter every time you apply for something.

Now you have all the main ingredients to a portfolio. Feel free to add something else if you think I’ve missed something. This video is just intended to get you started. Make your portfolio your own. And unlike the very boring binder that I’m using, dress yours up a little. Draw pictures on it, add some photographs, anything at all to make it your own. Also, start your own portfolio today. You don’t need to complete it, just start it. Get a binder or make a folder in your computer and start adding documents to it.

And that’s it. In a few seconds the screen is going to go blank one more time, and then something else will be different. This one’s super tricky, so concentrate.

K, maybe not as difficult this time. In a few seconds a list of the documents you need to make your own portfolio is going to appear onscreen. Take care, and get started on your portfolio today.

Displayed on screen:

Parts of a portfolio:

  • Audiogram or eye report
  • Transcript of grades
  • Resume
  • Letters of reference
  • Letter(s) of acceptance into a college or university
  • Awards
  • Proof of Canadian citizenship or permanent residence with your date of birth
  • Letter written by you explaining why you should be accepted into a particular college or university, or why you are deserving of a particular award
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