Building your portfolio

Step 2: Reflect on your skills

Look over your experiences so far

Once you have started recording your achievements and activities you can then identify skills you have not yet developed and areas where you think you need to improve.

This will give you the opportunity to seek out activities that will develop these skills.

Use tables or checklists to reflect

One way to reflect on your skills is to use a table to identify any missing skills by placing a tick against each skill you have gained from your activities.

Jane Doe's skills
Information literacy
Research and inquiry
Ethical, social, and professional understanding
Personal and intellectual autonomy
Oral tick
IT literacy
Critical thinking tick Responsibility tickticktick Independent learning tick
Written ticktick Information evaluation tick Problem solving tick Understanding
Self management tickticktick
Information searching
Analysis ticktick Awareness
Goal skills tick
Teamwork ticktickticktick Library skills
Sensitivity tick  
Leadership tick     Empathy tick  
Networking tick        

Examine how the following activities have been used to complete this table:

  • Member of a soccer team, organised the annual trophy night (developed teamwork and leadership skills)
  • Member of the Grade 12 High School debating club, runners up, NSW competition (developed written and oral communication skills, teamwork, self-awareness)
  • Bush Care Volunteer during years 11 and 12 (developed responsibility and awareness, commitment and self-management)
  • Working for fast food outlet during last three years of school (developed responsibility, teamwork, self-management, self-confidence and work ethics)
  • Student Point of Contact during O-Week (developed leadership, empathy, sensitivity, flexibility and oral communication skills)
  • Member of a group that designed and executed a research project in first year physics (developed teamwork, critical thinking, problem solving, information evaluation and written communication skills)
  • Treasurer of the Chocolate Lovers Society, wrote successful submission to the Union for funding (developed networking, written communication and goal skills, self-awareness and confidence)
  • Work experience at Telstra over summer vacation (developed independent learning skills, self-confidence, self-management, responsibility and networking skills)

After viewing the skill table, it is easy to see that Jane's information literacy skills have not been developed much by the activities she has participated in so far. Jane now has a better idea of her strengths and weakness and can use this to plan her future activities and career.

Using employment advertisements to reflect

Another good way to reflect on your skills and tell whether you are on track to getting your dream job is to test your skills against a job advertisement. Try the skills listed in your record of activities against these examples of real job advertisements.

STEP 3: Construct your portfolio