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Career Portfolio Guide

What is a Career Portfolio?

A career portfolio is a summary of who you are and showcases your best work. It is a collection of samples of your work that demonstrates your best skills and abilities. The portfolio can be used as part of a job interview, college admissions interview or other opportunities where it is important to show your skills and abilities. By completing your portfolio, you will have the opportunity to master important skills and to showcase your best work to potential employers and/or colleges. The following information will help you write your cover letter/personal profile, resume and reference list. Take your time, first impressions are important! Remember: By California Education Code, there can be no references to drugs, alcohol, gang affiliation etc. The Career Portfolio will be viewed by potential employers so this is a good reminder!

How do you get started on your Career Portfolio?

The process for developing your portfolio is simple. Throughout your course begin to collect assignments in a working folder or file. Near the end of your course, choose several items for your final portfolio and organize the materials to meet the portfolio guidelines. Your work can be placed into sheet protectors and arranged in a clean, professional appearing binder.

Career Portfolio Tips!

· Take time to put your portfolio together. Plan it out to make sure it reflects who you are and shows your best work. Check with your ROP instructor for the rubric used to evaluate the portfolios. Follow the check list order and make sure your portfolio includes everything on the list. All letters, resumes and lists should be typed. The job application should be handwritten in blue or black ink so the judges can see a sample of your handwriting. Ask for your one letter of recommendation ahead of time to ensure that you have it when the portfolio is due. Spelling, neatness and grammar count! Have someone proof your portfolio before submitting. Show a variety of class work. Include three examples of work and a description of your work. More is not always better ­ include certificates of significant achievements or awards, but be selective with the materials that are included in the portfolio. Portfolio covers should look professional, related to the course. They should include Student's name, class name, teacher's name and school

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Santa Cruz County Regional Occupational Program 2008/09

Career Portfolio Checklist 2010/11

Use this checklist to make sure that you include all information in your portfolio! Target Due Date

Title page/Table of Contents ­ may be separate pages. Letter of Introduction that describes you! Your special traits, qualities, hobbies, and personal, educational and career goals. List your top 5 skills and abilities. It should consist of at least one page. Make sure to use correct spelling and grammar. Resume Job application ­ Handwritten only ­ including your work experience, language skills, volunteer work, club, church activities, awards, honors, certificates, etc. Complete in black or blue pen. Get application form from your ROP instructor. Three references - These need to be different than the letter of recommendation with full name and title, address and phone numbers. One letter of recommendation - Cannot be from your ROP teacher or a family member. Three (3) work samples or photos, videos, CDs, projects, etc. related to the ROP class(es) you are enrolled in. If you are enrolled in more than one ROP class only submit one portfolio, but include work from all currently enrolled ROP classes. Explanation of why the sample is important to your career choice. What skills does this work sample demonstrate? If you are in more than one ROP class, you may submit one portfolio with work samples from each class labeled indicating which class the work is from. Portfolios completed and turned in for grade Completed Parent Review form ­This requirement is only for the

winning portfolio that is being submitted to the showcase competition.

April 2010 March 2010

December 2010 January 2011

February 2011 February 2011 March 2011

March 2011

April/May 2011 May 20011

Portfolio Showcase will be held Tuesday May 10th, 2011

Santa Cruz County ROP Career Portfolio 2010/11


Writing Your Resume

The resume is a key piece to a successful job search. It should clearly describe who you are, your skills and abilities, educational and extra-curricular background and work experience. The more concise and neatly written your resume is the better chance of you being asked in for an interview. The resume has three major purposes: 1. To help you get a personal interview; 2. To provide the employer with information during the interview; 3. To remind the employer of you after the interview.

Steps to Writing Your Resume

Examples follow for your use as a resource. 1. Your personal information; name, address, phone number and e-mail address if you have one. Make it clear and centered at the top of the page. 2. Your job objective; the work you want to do. Be specific. 3. Special skills ­ identify those skills that would be important to the job objective. 4. Your educations ­ list the high school you are attending, the city and state and note what grade you have completed. List courses you have completed that might be useful for the job you are applying for. 5. Your work experiences ­ include both paid and volunteer work. Use reverse chronological order. Start with your current or most recent job and work backwards to your first job. Use action verbs to describe your work like "Managed the shop; Assisted in the development of....." 6. Extracurricular Activities ­ write those special activities that you participated in or are currently involved in either at school or in the community. Indicate name of organization and dates. 7. Awards & Achievements­ Recognition or awards you have received. 8. References ­ "Available Upon Request" Talk to those people who know your work and ask them if they will be a reference for you. Then on a separate sheet make a reference list. Include the person's name, address, phone number and how they know you.

Tips for a Great Resume

· A resume is a summary of your abilities, education and work experience. It introduces who you are and what you have to offer the employer. A resume gives you an opportunity to present yourself in the best possible way. Therefore, it is important: It is typed neatly and printed on a high quality paper. Save it on a computer disk so you can make changes when necessary. It is only one page long. Use action verbs to showcase your skills and accomplishments.


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Santa Cruz County ROP Career Portfolio 2010/11

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Margins are even and there is appropriate spacing between sections. It looks professional. There are NO misspellings or grammatical errors. Always have someone else check it over for you. All information is up-to-date and correct.

Writing Job Objectives

There are two reasons for including an objective on your resume: 1. To show that there is a match between the kind of work you are seeking and the position being offered. 2. To clearly state your job target for the employer who needs assurance that you have clear goals. Potential employers may be hesitant to take a risk on a candidate who is unsure of his or her career direction. The ideal resume and objective are tailored to a specific position and employer. The savvy job seeker modifies a resume to emphasize different skills and experience for different opportunities. The myth that one resume will do for all positions is just that, a myth. Remember you can change your job objective to more closely align with the position for which you are applying. Remember, the job objective is in the top third of your resume and will be carefully read by the employer so be specific and concise.

Sample Job Objectives

· · · · · · · · · A responsible position in retail sales. Seeking a position as a hostess and food server using customer service and cashiering skills. Seeking an entry level Office Assistant position, offering excellent computer skills. Seeking an internship position as a Health Aide helping other medical personnel assist patients and provide quality health care. Obtain a challenging, entry-level position in Broadcast Journalism, with a special interest in reporting, anchoring, and producing with a commercial television station. A web design position, using background in graphic arts and desktop publishing. Management Trainee, eventually qualifying for a position in sales management based upon performance and strong communication skills. An entry position in the media utilizing highly developed written and oral communication skills. Seeking a position as a preschool aide in a childcare facility.

Santa Cruz County ROP Career Portfolio 2010/11


Suggested Statements for Special Skills, Strengths and Abilities

· · · · · · Excellent oral and written communication skills Outstanding leadership skills Detail oriented and well organized Get along well with others Experience working with children Quick learner, eager to learn and follow direction · · · · · · Excellent ability to solve problems creatively Ability to work well under pressure Enthusiastic team member Good time management skills Strong mechanical ability Strong listening skills

Examples of Volunteer Job Experience

· · · · · · · · · · . Blood Drive Worker Candy Striper Church School Aide Fund Raising Worker Library Aide Nursing Home Assistant Recycle Helper Telethon Helper Voter Registrar Youth Group Leader · · · · · · · · · · Camp Counselor Choir Leader Coach Junior Achiever Life Guard Recreational Aide Teacher's Aide Time keeper Wildlife Rescuer

Possible Extracurricular Activities

· · · · · · · · · · Girl or Boy Scouts High School Sports Church Choir / Church Group School Clubs School Honor Societies Mock Trial Speech and debate team Yearbook Community Sports Regional Occupation Program Courses

Santa Cruz County ROP Career Portfolio 2010/11


Resume Template

Use the following template to plan your resume. See the sample resumes for assistance. Name Address Phone # E-Mail OBJECTIVE: SPECIAL SKILLS: · · · _ _ _

EDUCATION: School Courses WORK EXPERIENCE: Where What you do/did. Use action verbs When



Santa Cruz County ROP Career Portfolio 2010/11


Sample Resume

SHERRI SHORT 234 Westside Ave. Aptos, CA 95003 (831) 626-1111 [email protected] OBJECTIVE An assistant manager position in a retail clothing store. SKILLS & ABILITIES · Excellent in sales and customer service with proven customer service skills · Experience in opening and closing a store · Creative with displays · Enthusiastic team leader who thrives in teamwork situations EDUCATION Watsonville High School Class of 2007 · GPA 3.2 · Retail Merchandising ­ Regional Occupational Program; participant in school fashion show; Certificate of Completion · Economics of Marketing ­ Regional Occupational Program; Certificate of Completion WORK EXPERIENCE Sales Associate, The Gap, Capitola, CA 1/06 ­ present · Assist customers in selecting merchandise · Open and close store · Create displays to promote higher sales of merchandise Waitress, Chili's, Capitola, CA 5/05 ­ 12/06 · Served customers · Cashiered to assist in shift changes · Worked as part of a team to deliver excellent service HONORS & AWARDS Employee of the Month, The Gap Recipient of Rotary Club Service Award EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES Volunteer at Dominican Community Hospital Competed in school debate team High School volleyball player May 2006 December 2007 Spring 2006 Winter 2006 2006 - 2007

References Available Upon Request

Santa Cruz County ROP Career Portfolio 2010/11


Sample Resume

David French

1242 Leaf Ct Scotts Valley, CA 95066 (831) 553-3232 [email protected]


Seeking an internship in video production.


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Over 150 hours of camera and equipment use Excellent computer graphic techniques Proficient in Adobe, Go-Live, Flash Animation, and Photoshop Work well as part of a team or independently Flexible and able to work under tight time constraints



San Lorenzo Valley High School, Felton, CA Class of 2007 Video Productions ­ Regional Occupational Program; Certificate of Completion Web Design ­ Regional Occupational Program; Certificate of Completion Computer Graphics ­ Regional Occupational Program; Certificate of Completion


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Cameraperson for SLVHS Video Yearbook Video weekly high school sports events Fundraiser for Friday Night Live, television program Produced informational video for local non-profit group Video school drama productions

Fall 2007 Fall 2006 Spring 2007


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Santa Cruz County Cable Television, Community Service Award for videotaping local events First Place Winner in ROP Portfolio Contest in Web Design Recognized for outstanding student performance in the arts

Spring 2007 Spring 2007

References Available Upon Request

Santa Cruz County ROP Career Portfolio 2010/11



It is important to develop a list of good references. Your references will be critical in helping you obtain jobs, college admission, or acceptance to a special program.

Who makes a good reference?

· · · · · Teacher Coach Counselor Present or past employer Family Friend · · · ·

References to Avoid:

Anyone under 18 Personal friends Family members Anyone who cannot speak highly of you

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The format and heading of your reference sheet should match your resume. Do not include references on your actual resume. Include at least three references. All references should be responsible adults who know you well and can speak to your character, skills, and work habits. Always ask whether or not someone is willing to be a reference for you. Once you have gotten approval to use someone as a reference, verify the address and phone number he/she wants you to use. If you ask someone to write you a reference letter, provide an updated resume and any other information that will help them write the letter. Be sure to include who the letter should be addressed to and provide a self-addressed envelope if it needs to be mailed.


Use the following format to list your references: Person's Name: Address: Bob Smith 35 Pacific Ave. Santa Cruz, CA 95060 Phone Number: (831) 438-2468 Title & Place of Work: Business Owner Pacific Springs Water

Santa Cruz County ROP Career Portfolio 2010/11


Sample Introduction Letter

John Star 242 Crest St. Capitola, CA 95010 (831) 553-2323 [email protected] Date To Whom It May Concern: I am currently attending Soquel High School where I will be graduating this year in June. I have enrolled in ROP classes, which are business-oriented. ROP classes have given me a closer look at the business world and I have learned excellent work skills. My top five work skills are: · · · · · Excellent communication skills with strong listening skills Responsible and reliable with attention to detail Strong team player who thrives in teamwork situations Good computer skills Excellent time management skills

I have received special acknowledgement from my employers for strong skills and work ethics. I recently was accepted to CalPoly and plan to go there in the Fall and pursue a degree in Agribusiness. After receiving my degree, I plan to work in my family's strawberry farming business. Eventually, I hope to be the president of the business. I have many hobbies including surfing, skiing and playing baseball but most of all, I enjoy riding my horse up in the hills. It gives me a sense of freedom and independence. My portfolio shows some of the skills and abilities I have acquired in while attending Soquel High School and throughout my work experience. I have always enjoyed landscaping and have enrolled in the Horticulture class for my last semester of high school. From my past experience you will notice that I enjoy working especially when I leave the job better than it was when I first got there. I have been doing tree work for three years and have worked for commercial and residential customers. Thoroughness and safety are some of my favorite qualities. Included in this portfolio, is my resume summarizing my schooling, work experience, and skills. In addition I have a list of references, letters of recommendation, and samples of my work. I hope you enjoy reviewing my portfolio. Sincerely, John Star

Santa Cruz County ROP Career Portfolio 2010/11


Sample Table of Contents

Name Career Portfolio Table of Contents

Letter of introduction.......................................................... 1 Resume.................................................................................... 2 Job Application ...................................................................... 3 Letter(s) of Recommendation............................................ 4 References.............................................................................. 5 Examples of Work.............................................................6-8 Work Sample #1 Work Sample #2 Work Sample #3 Parent Review Form............................................................. 9

Santa Cruz County ROP Career Portfolio 2010/11



Mission: "ROP provides students with opportunities to acquire career and technical skills to prepare for life-long learning and success in the changing workplace." ESLR 1: The opportunity to explore, assess, and prepare for postsecondary training and careers within broad career pathways Understand how to make career decisions based on core interests, skills and work values Understand how to explore, assess and prepare for appropriate postsecondary training based on career goals ESLR 2: Strong work ethics, leadership and employability skills necessary for success as a productive member of the community Demonstrate appropriate work ethics and etiquette Dress and act appropriately in the work environment Demonstrate the ability to assume a leadership role Be a productive and contributing member of the community Demonstrate organizational skills such as goal-setting and time management ESLR 3: Reinforced academic skills through applied learning experiences Demonstrate academic skills in real work situations Demonstrate computational and research skills ESLR 4: Critical thinking and decision making skills for workplace success and life-long learning Use critical thinking skills to effectively evaluate situations and make appropriate decisions Demonstrate problem-solving skills Evaluate new situations and demonstrate appropriate work skills ESLR 5: Reinforced oral and written communication skills through applied learning experiences that are necessary for success in the workplace Use appropriate verbal, written, artistic and technological forms of communication Develop appropriate listening, speaking, and presentation skills Use technology to enhance and demonstrate communication Read and comprehend technical material ESLR 6: Technical and career skills to support life-long learning and success in the workplace Acquire industry-specific competencies Understand the on-going career planning process Identify short term and long range career goals Produce projects that demonstrate originality, high standards, and workplace skills

Santa Cruz County ROP Career Portfolio 2010/11


Example of Work #1 Cotton Advertisement Redesign

In this assignment we were asked to recreate an advertisement so that the design was the same but the target market was different. I was given an advertisement for cotton that was geared towards young women. I redesigned it so that it would target older women. I did this by changing the focus of the advertisement from style to comfort. I pictured an older woman relaxing by the pool instead of the original advertisement that had a younger women standing in the street. I used a combination of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator to recreate it. The background and shadow was created in Photoshop and the line and text were created in Illustrator. This project connects to ESLR #5: reinforced oral and written communication skills through applied learning experiences that are necessary for success in the workplace. I had to try and communicate to a different audience when I redesigned this advertisement. I also gained more experience using both Photoshop and Illustrator. This assignment helped prepare me for the working world by improving my communication and technical skills.

Santa Cruz County ROP Career Portfolio 2010/11



What is a Career Portfolio

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