Have you ever wondered about the origin of portfolios? Let's be honest, you probably haven't. But it's interesting regardless! The word portfolio gets its origins from the Latin word portafoglio. The stem porta means "to carry" and the root foglio refers to "a leaf", or "loose sheets of paper", leading to the full word that is defined as a case-like folder used to carry loose papers, usually documents or drawings. A clarification that will be useful in this article is that a resume is a summary of your education and work history, rather than a portfolio which gives your employer proof of your skills, abilities.
Originally, neither resumes or portfolios were very common in the workforce. The high demand for cheap laborers during the industrial revolution put skilled laborers at a disadvantage, meaning there was little use for resumes or portfolios. Portfolios gained prevalence through individuals seeking careers in the performing arts. They allow artists to not only show their future employers a summarized list of art exhibits they have been featured in, but samples of their art as well. Similarly, portfolios allow models and actors to showcase their talents not only through a list of their past experience but through photos of their talent as well.
As time went on resumes gained popularity and became a prerequisite to apply for a job, but portfolios didn't get the same attention until later. According to Davron, a professional search firm for the Engineering, Architecture, Construction and IT Industries, it was in the 1980s that people started supplementing their resumes with portfolios of their work. Of course, because the 80s were pretty hi-tech and the portfolios back then were presented on VHS (a type of video recording on tape, for those that aren't old ladies like me).
Portfolios have become so common today to the point where many employees or admission officers expect you to have one prepared. The difference is, we have become even more hi-tech in the 21st century with digital portfolios. With portfolios becoming more and more necessary in order to be a competitive applicant, it is important that your portfolio is professional, organized and perhaps most importantly, up to date. Digital portfolios save you the trouble of spending hours meticulously organizing loose sheets of paper, but they also give you the flexibility to customize what you want others to see. You can tailor your online portfolio to fit your personal needs, whether you are applying for a sports scholarship or a computer science internship. Even moreso, having your portfolio online ensures safekeeping for all your important achievements, awards, and experiences. With how easy it is to update your online portfolio, you'll always be ready to take on any opportunity and put your best foot forward.
Portfolios have come a long way from being just a case of loose sheets of papers. See the benefits of creating an online portfolio, sign up for KudosWall today.