The Nurse Becoming Podcast 

#084 How to Create a Portfolio Step-By-Step

If you want to know how you can be a competitive applicant and stand out in interviews and when networking, then having a professional portfolio is an ideal way to:

  • Organize your most important professional career documents
  • Impress your hiring manager / interviewer
  • Show evidence of your experience, education, and credibility

If you’re applying for jobs right now, I highly recommend that you create a career portfolio.

How do you create a professional portfolio? In today’s episode, I’m covering:

  • The difference between your résumé and a professional portfolio
  • Step-by-step how to create a professional portfolio (and why it’s necessary)
  • What categories to include inside
  • How to put it together (+ my supplies list)



Listen to more episodes here!


We all want to stand out and make sure that we are putting our best selves forward. So here is a super easy way to be viewed as someone who is not only on top of their game, but also a confident and competitive applicant!


What is a Professional Portfolio? (And Why Should You Have One?)

A professional career portfolio is a physical product that you hold in your hands, that has all of your achievements in one place. You likely already have a résumé – a résumé is a document that tells others about your experience. But a portfolio is something that you can show others that shows them about your experience. 

This distinction between telling someone and showing someone means you can provide evidence that backs up what you say. 

And the good news is, this is something that you really only need to make once!


Supplies Needed:

  • 3 ring binder
  • Numbered divider tabs (I think all you really need is the numbers 1 through 10).
  • Sheet protectors (the little plastic pockets that are already three-hole-punched that you can insert a single or two papers in.)
  • Bonus:

Something else that will make this a lot easier for you is my newest digital product, The Professional Portfolio Toolkit. 

You know that whenever I see people having a problem with something or really trying to figure out what to do, I am going to help you with a solution and that is available at theresumerx.com/portfolio, I’m going to give you pretty much everything you need in this blog post to create it yourself. But certainly if you want to save time, this is going to be something that really helps you!


Professional Portfolio Content Categories

The first thing that you will do is determine the contents of your portfolio. Here are some general sections that you may want to include:

  1. Résumé/CV
  2. Statement of Philosophy
  3. Degrees, Licenses, Certifications
  4. Procedure or Competency Log
  5. Professional Advocacy & Affiliations
  6. Recognition, Honors, & Awards
  7. Nominations & Recommendations
  8. Presentations & Publications
  9. Evaluations
  10. Non-Medical Interests & Achievements

You may not have something for every category at this point in your career, which is fine. But even if you just have one or two things, I think that it’s worth creating a section for it, because chances are, you’ll have more in your career. But certainly feel free to edit this as you see fit and have it reflect your individual professional journey. 


Create A Table of Contents

After you’ve decided on your sections, you’ll want to create a table of contents, as well as subtitle pages for each section, with the individual things listed beneath, if applicable.

So for example, you’ll have a Table of Contents that’ll list out all the categories, all the sections of your portfolio with the numbers, so that people can just look at the table of contents, see that something is in section number four, and then use the number of tabs to go to that section. 

Let’s say in section number four is your Degrees, Licensure and Certifications. And let’s say you have multiple of those, as many of us do, especially if you’re a nurse practitioner, you might have multiple degrees, multiple certifications, and multiple licenses. So on your little subtitle page for section four, include another little title page, along with some bullet points underneath that list out everything that’s in that section. 

Organize Your Career Assets & Documents

So after you have created all these pages, and yes, this is what I created for you in The Professional Portfolio Toolkit, print out your contents pages, put those in sheet protectors, and arrange them in the binder behind the numbered tabs.

Start arranging the actual documents and proof that you’re going to include in each section. I think it’s nice to put them each in a sheet protector, as well and arrange according to your sections. 

And if you want this to be even easier and save some time with the creation of the actual document with the table of contents and all the sections, you can get a full tutorial and template for your contents pages at theresumerx.com/portfolio. 


Final Thoughts

I think this is a fun project. Maybe it’s just fun to me because I like to organize things. I hope I’m not alone. Please raise your hand in solidarity if you are there with me. 

But beyond it being fun, having a professional portfolio will be a really nice way to show your interviewers, or whoever you’re connecting with, more detail on why you are awesome. 

Career portfolios bolster you to stand out on a whole new level. Not to mention the fact that you have shown up prepared with this portfolio serves as proof that you thought in advance about this important moment. It will really speak to your level of commitment and preparation for the interview itself. 

So good luck! Go make your portfolio. Tag me on Instagram @theresumerx. I’d love to see your portfolio!  

Create your own professional portfolio fast & easy with my brand new template,
The Professional Portfolio Toolkit!